How do you launch a startup? Where do you begin? Many people begin haphazardly, with an office in the garage and a maxed-out credit card. If you’d rather leave your fortune less to luck and being in the right place at the right time, there are steps you can take that will increase the likelihood of startup success.
Do you feel as though you can’t wait? That’s no problem either. You can get your startup running in a low-key way while you follow the steps below. In fact, that can be a great risk-free way to gradually build up your business.
Get an Education.
Even if your entrepreneurial heroes didn’t go to college, you’ll be in a much better position if you do. First, college can help you make some great connections. Second, you can learn a lot about how to run a business there. Many startups fail not because their owners don’t work hard and don’t love what they do but because they love what they do too much and have no head for business. Colleges are increasingly offering classes in entrepreneurship, but you should take other business classes as well.
Paying for college may feel like an insurmountable obstacle to some people, but you can get scholarships and grants and take out federal and private student loans. Checking online to see what private loans you might be eligible for is a quick and easy process.
The great thing about getting your education is that you have access to all the resources on campus and time to grow either your business or your business plan slowly. While you are still in school, research your startup idea and find out who your competitors are. How can you set yourself apart? Work on a business plan. Think about how you will fund and market your company. If you are fortunate, you can combine some of this work with your actual classwork.
Create a Strong Culture.
One thing that will make your startup great is the people that you work with. When it’s time to add employees, think about the culture that you want to create and how it will reflect the values of your company. Do you want lots of high-energy people who live to work? Are you looking for people who are a little more settled who want to spend time with their families? Will you emphasize personal development among your employees? There are no wrong answers to these questions, but they are all worth thinking about so that when you start to bring others in, you can hit the ground running.
Develop Your Leadership Skills.
While you’re in school, take some management classes. On top of that, read books about management and leadership. Some people are natural managers and leaders, but these are not necessarily skills you are born with, and people who are excellent at one part of their jobs can be promoted into management positions and struggle. The good news is that you can teach yourself the skills that you need. Being good at working with people will give you a big advantage when you are trying to recruit talent.