What do the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, Groupon and Instagram have in common? All are highly successful startups built from scratch that have grown to become formidable companies and global household names, but also game changers that revolutionized their respective industries, and even created new ones.
These businesses started out as crazy ideas that were percolating in their respective founders’ heads. No doubt you may have that kernel of an idea about a business that you think will become a success and you want to get it off the ground. But you are probably wondering how you should begin, or maybe you are wondering how you can find investors for your business.
The very same people that founded the above-mentioned companies definitely ruminated on the very same questions; and from their subsequent successes (and as well as those from other enterprises) we can gain numerous insights and tips that can help you launch that next big business idea.
Let’s begin with very practical, almost rudimentary advice that is easy to remember and even easier to adopt and we’ll work our way up to more advanced ones. Most of the tips we are including were culled from the experiences of actual CEOs of start-up companies – a virtual masterclass condensed!
1. Don’t let fear get the better of you
Many of the CEOs of successful startups started young – in their 20s to 30s. This is a time in one’s life when we are more inclined to take risks and be aggressive and tenacious. If any of them had hesitated and retreated to their comfort zones, what would have happened to their ideas? They would remain just that – thoughts in their heads or unrealized concepts put to paper. As that iconic slogan states: just do it!
2. Do what it is you love
‘Doing something you love‘ may sound like a cliché but its value can never be underestimated. If you love what you’re doing, and the more you enjoy your job as you go along, the easier your work becomes. This does wonders for your outlook especially when your business is just starting because you’ll be less caught up in the stress and potential challenges that are sure to come up when you trying to get your business off the ground. You’ll be more focused and intent on succeeding.
3. Do your homework
Before you take the plunge and get your startup going, be sure that you’re armed with the necessary data and information to support your ideas. Study the market. Test your product with people particularly your target users. Learn from others in the field including their mistakes. Gather inputs and suggestions from others.
4. Build an awesome team
‘No man is an island’ – it’s a wise adage and holds true even in business. It’s almost impossible to do things alone – you’ll spread yourself too thinly and get burned out easily. Bring in people who not only possess the needed know-how and necessary skill set, but also those who share in your vision and are willing to join you – even when the going gets tough – in pursuing your goals for the company.
5. Achieve more with less
When you’re starting your business, you’ll have to contend with fewer resources at your disposal. This is the time for creative thinking. How can you achieve your goals with as few tools as possible and keep your momentum? The satisfaction you get from accomplishing something with the tools provided to you is going to be immense.
6. Don’t throw in the towel
The early stages of running a startup will never be a walk in the park. Feeling impatient, losing steam or getting discouraged are some of the reasons that lead to the failure of many startups. Stay the course and don’t let any obstacles deter you from your objective.
7. Get a mentor
When you’re starting out, finding a mentor who can offer guidance, give timely advice as well as the needed support will prove to be of great value. A mentor’s experience and insights will help you avoid some of the pitfalls of establishing a startup.
8. Find investors for your business
Review the existing resources that you have and determine your future requirements. Then figure out how you’ll go about getting them. If you plan on seeking investor capital and outside funding, create your business plan now and be ready to pitch and present to potential funding institutions, agencies and angel investors.
9. Choose a catchy business name
It’s all about branding. The name you’ll give your startup will speak volumes about the kind of products and services you’ll offer. Name recall is also very important since it will make your product or service stick to the minds of your target audiences.
10. Get a good lawyer on board
Not that you’re expecting a lawsuit anytime soon, but it pays to have a good lawyer as they can advise you in the business structure that’s most suitable for your startup, assist you in drafting contracts and agreements, help you with copyright and patent protection among others, and also guide you through the various legal requirements that are needed when starting a business.
11. Get a good accountant
Along with a lawyer, having a good accountant at your side is also a plus as they can help you establish bookkeeping and accounting procedures as well as help you with tax planning and government regulations.
About The Author
Rabie Fares is the founder and CEO of Associare.com, a new social network where you can find investors for your business.