Have you ever felt the impulse of doing something of your own, being your own boss, defining your own powers, monitoring others, being a salary payer rather than taking a salary, simply have you ever thought of starting your own Startup. Well, if yes then you must have stumbled on ‘How to start your own startup?’
If so then don’t worry, most people often don’t know much about this start up game and where to begin from. The main aim of this post is to pen down everything about startups and how you too can start your own startup.
What is a Startup? (Startup Meaning)
A startup is nothing but a company or a venture by an entrepreneur to start his own business in order to create something unique or something of utility to the society.
Startups are generally idea based organisations which revolve around a new concept and have a small number of people on the team. In words of Blake master, a startup is the maximum amount of people with whom you can work to make a change. However a startup should not be confused with a small business or any other type of business.
To know what actually a startup is and how a it differs from a small business and any other type of business read this post ‘What is a Startup? Meaning, Features, Difference, Funding‘
6 Crucial Steps to start your own startup
Starting a startup can be a thrilling and exciting moment for anyone and in such a state of mind it is no harder to lose your track and commit a big blunder which you can’t afford. The startup world is amazingly competitive and this cut throat competition often wipes out most of the startups within a year,
So if you want to survive, sustain and grow your startup and must follow the following 6 crucial steps religiously to make your start a hit:
Step #1: Chalk Out Your Plan
What startup without a plan?
Your first task is to create a business plan for your startup. You can’t even think of a startup if you don’t have plan about its future. You must be clear with what your startup would be about, how it would be different from others, in which domain it would function, what products or services it will offer and a few other things. Ideas would be numerous but you must filter out the unrealistic ones and pick the one which has the highest potential of being a success.
Don’t worry if you haven’t thought of all this till now. But be sure to start planning out these thinks. Most of the people just think of ideas and feel motivated and equipped enough to start their startup. However, the stats tell a different story. 47% of the startups fail because they don’t begin with a plan. In reality there is no startup if there is no plan.
So make it your utmost priority to chalk out a plan and essentially a great plan but just a plan would suffice at this stage because at least you would know in which direction you have to move and would be saved from meaningless running.
Step #2: Find a Suitable Co-founder
Startup is a draining and hectic job and you can’t manage all the hussel yourself. You can’t be with the investors, with potential clients, with the marketing department, with the registrar, all at the same time.
In such a scenario having a partner really helps and makes your work some what easier. In case of startups, these partners are called Co-Founders. They are the initial people who are responsible for all the functioning of the startup. They may take up the position of CEO, CFO, COO, CTO or some other high level position.
Finding a suitable co-founder is immensely important for the success of a startup. Your partner must be as passionate about your idea as you are and must be committed to the success of the plan. He must have the necessary skills which an entrepreneur require.
Read our post on ‘How to become and Entrepreneur: The A to Z Guide‘ to get an idea as to what all you are supposed to do to become a successful entrepreneur and what skills you should look for in your partner.
Step #3: Complete all the legal formalities
Its time to give your startup a legal existence. You have to complete a lot of legal formalities to get your start registered as a separate and distinct legal entities.
The registration laws and process differs from country to country. However, in general, you are supposed to first get your company registered with the Registrar of companies by submitting certain documents and undertakings. It is at this stage that you assign a name to your startup and decide on the form of company it would be – a public company or a private company.
Almost all the startups are private companies because its easier to start a private company then a public company. Registering your startup as company gives you a lot of advantages. Your personal assets are safe and apart from business, the business has its own legal existence an rights.
On thing to take note of is the fact that if you don’t register your startup and complete the legal formalities then your startup would be just another small and personal business.
Step #4: Raise Funding for Your Startup
Once you are done with the above steps, its time to get to the ring. You have to secure funding for your startup. A startup or for that matter any business cannot function without appropriate funds.
In case of startups, the requirement of funds is much more as a lot of things are to done for the first time from scratch. The factory and machinery has to established, a marketing company has to be approached, new employees have to be appointed, and a lot has to be spent on marketing.
Now there are a lot of ways of funding a startup. You may chose to bootstrap your startup or go for an incubator setup. It all depends upon how much finances you require and how the financier views your business prospect.
Following are some of the ways of financing your startup:
- Boot Straping
- Crowd Funding
- Angel Investors
- Incubators and Accelerators
- Venture Capitalists
Raising funding for startups has always been a hard time for entrepreneurs. To know how you can raise funding for your startup and about the various schemes available for startups, read our post on ‘ The 100% Guaranteed way of Raising Funding for your Startup‘.
Step #5: Build Your Core Team
Remember what I told about Blake Masters definition of startup, ‘A Startup is the maximum number of people with whom you can collaborate and work to make a change happen’.
Well, a distinguishing feature of a startup is the small number of people who work in it. These people are the first one who associate themselves with the startup and are the ones who eventually take up the leading roles like CFO,CTO,etc. onces the startup no longer remains a startup and becomes a full fledged organization.
These people are together called the core team of the startup. Just like the Co-founder, it is very important to have the right people on board as part of your core team. The members of the core team must be skillful in a lot of areas with specialization in anyone one or two.
If you get the right people with the right mindset in your team then no one can stop you from being successful. One thing to take note of is that the people must be complementary to one another rather being jealous and irritated with one another. It is therefore advisable to have cooperative and understanding people then to have great people who cannot work together.
Step #6: Brand and Advertise your Startup
Tell people that you are here to stay !!
Advertising, marketing, and branding your startup among the public is extremely important. In today’s times, all startups spends almost 70% of their ecpenditure on marketing and why not if it can pay you much more than this.
Customer acquisition is extremely important if you want that your startup does not end up being in one of those 85% startups that fail every year. You have to tell people what products and services you are offering and why you are better than your competitor.
Startups usually sign influencers and public figure to be the face of the organization. This also helps in building trust between the consumers. You surely can’t take this lightly if you want to succeed. So build networks, focus on word of mouth publicity, spend on advertising and hope that it all works.
Starting a startup is not an easy task. The startup world is very competitive and cruel. You have to work day in and day out just to make your startup survive. Forget about parties, about chilling out with friends and family, enjoying vacations and having leisure time. Instead get ready for many sleepless nights and much more rejections. You have to show a great deal of commitment and dedication and put yourself entirely in the process. If you are lucky enough you would succeed for sure.