Just Starting Up? Here Are Five Things You Should Look At.
1. Get good mentors.A good idea is a great start, but a good mentor? Priceless. A well-picked mentor can help point you in the right direction, identify potential opportunities and his potentially extensive network can lead you to investors and collaborations.
2. Check out available grants.Many governments are pro-business, and there are many public sector funds that founders can apply for to give their startups a much-needed boost. Depending on your area, you may find financial support in purchasing capital equipment, as well as grants for hiring locals or even adopting certain technologies.
3. Scope out all available credit options.Sometimes it may take a while before you'll attract a potential investor - in the meantime, you may need to make sure you have sufficient funds to ensure a decent runway. For example, you may want to assess the terms offered by various banks, or look out for small business start up loans in 2013. Credit cards are an option, but the interest on those are horrendous so use only at last resort. Also, make sure if you have a good value business bank account. You'll want one that not only gives you a decent interest, but is flexible enough to scale with and adapt to the needs of your business.
4. Join an innovation center or startup incubator.Whenever possible, locate your startup in an innovation center or incubator. These centers offer an excellent environment for nurturing startups, and it's a good place to network with developers and other small businesses. You'll find it a great place to find talent, service providers and even potential customers.
5. Consider participating in a startup competition.Institutes of higher learning, chambers of commerce, trade groups and other business organizations sometimes hold startup competitions, such as business plan challenges that you can sign up for. Aside from the potentially being able to win a (cash) prize to help sustain your startup journey, you'll get to network with other startups and key members of various industries. Not to mention, the publicity that comes along really helps too! So if you've just registered your business, consider taking the above steps.
Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.