Doing away with the average 9 to 5 and setting up shop yourself is becoming hugely popular. More of us than ever are considering a startup as the solution to our career problems. It offers autonomy, creative scope, and the chance to pursue something you’re really passionate about.
So just how do you go about starting a startup?
Forward Thinking Is Key.
One of the most crucial parts of starting a startup is having a great idea. Of course, most ideas aren’t entirely unique, but they can be innovative nonetheless. That’s exactly what ‘the big idea’ behind a startup has to be; forward thinking. The very essence of a startup is to try something new. So when you’re brainstorming ideas focus on the future, not the past or the present. Think of it as trying not to replicate a successful existing idea, but finding what’s missing instead. Anybody can look at a successful business and copy it, but you won’t succeed. First of all, they will have cornered the market and you won’t be able to compete. Secondly, it’s not really in the spirit of entrepreneurship. Thirdly, having passion and drive, behind your own idea, is what spurs so many startups on.
So it’s clear that you’ll need to see something that’s missing from people’s everyday lives and find out how to bring it to them. Just like Deliveroo and Uber, it could be as simple as making people’s lives more convenient.
Be Prepared To Deviate From The Plan.
Whilst you’re still in the planning stages you might fall in love with your idea. This is common amongst startups. Whilst it’s great to be in love with your idea, you also need to be willing to criticize and probe it for weaknesses. Too many startups are blinded by their unwavering commitment to a plan which just doesn’t work. Take Microsoft. One of the huge titans of the tech world. They originally set out to make money selling programming languages. They changed their business plan once they’d got underway.
It’s completely normal to need to make adjustments and tweaks along the way, and in some cases overhauls. You just need to be prepared to do them. Plans with flaws in them aren’t the end of the world, but you need to be prepared to compromise.
The Right Man Or Woman For The Job.
Hiring staff is a crucial stage in any startup’s success. You need the right team around you to be able to bring your idea to fruition. The chances are you aren’t an expert on everything. You’ll need people who are marketing, tech, and sales geniuses. People who understand your vision and are passionate about it too. Hiring staff for a startup is different from hiring staff for an existing big business. The crucial difference is that staff working for an existing company are likely to slot into a pre-existing framework and be a useful cog in a very big wheel. In a startup you start off by fighting to be noticed, fighting to keep up with your competitors, and fighting to keep the doors open. You need staff who are committed beyond the usual 9 to 5. Who understand that hard work is what’s going to secure their job and the company’s success.
One of the benefits of the hiring process for startups is that it’s usually more intimate. The likelihood is you’ll build your startup with friends or acquaintances. They, in turn, might have some useful contacts that want to come on board. Already you’ll know each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and personality quirks. It’s a far more thorough introduction that a 20-minute job interview.
The Founding Members.
In all likelihood, you won’t be going into a startup venture solo. To do so would be to put an unnecessary amount of strain on yourself. It’s usually far more effective to have two or three founding members. Between you, you can share responsibility and the pressure of the business. Whilst not all of you have to be in business already, it makes sense to have one business-minded brain in the group. Similarly, if you’re going into the catering industry someone should have this kind of experience, same goes for tech and other industries too.
Only Money Can Make It Happen.
Funding Your Startup.
Every startup needs money. It doesn’t matter what your idea is, you’ll need funding to get it off the ground. There are a few ways to go about this, you can get loans, raise the money yourself, or get investors. Find out more about what investors can do for your company at The Fortunate Investor. Essentially you’ll need seed money, to begin with. This is capital which helps you to make a prototype and get the whole idea off its feet. Make sure at this stage you have a comprehensive business plan in place. The more money you need, the more this will be scrutinized by investors.