Starting a business is no easy task. Its demands of time, smart strategizing, much hard-earned expertise, measuring, and effective translation of needs into solutions along with considerable efforts in terms of startup funding are only a relative part of all it takes to start a company. To help, we bring our best advice on how to start a startup. We'll begin with the topic of having a great business idea.
In answering how to start a startup, of course, consider having a great business idea as part of its essential requirements. It doesn't necessarily need to be brilliant per se. It just has to be better than what already exists. Moreover, your business idea needs to be functional.
That's just the beginning, however, and we'd like to be emphatic about that. Your business idea will drive you forward, and you want to believe in it. However, that's not all you need to get a successful startup off the ground. Almost every entrepreneur, at some point, believes their idea is the best one, and it might truthfully seem that way. But bear in mind that you might need to change or adjust it at some point in your startup process, and that should be OK. Be flexible with it, and learn to acknowledge its setbacks.
Another of the best advice on how to start a startup is to recognize what you do very well. Tap into your passions and talents as a way to answer areas in which you can excel. That level of management of a particular area can help the much-needed business expertise that needs to go into a starting company.
You probably already want to be great at what you do. And you're most likely also already very good at something in particular. If you're a techie, for instance, look into startups in tech to lift your business off its feet. Whatever you choose, a vital first step is to study that proposition very well. Be great at it and excel at the level of care with which you consider any potential business endeavors.
You'll also need many skills not necessarily tied to what you do best. Start learning how to improve upcoming essential areas to complement your existing skills.
If you're great at a particular niche or industry into which you'll insert, but have no managerial experience, for example, it's time to learn how to be a good manager. As you move forward with your company, you'll need to engage in primary areas out of your comfort zone, so preparing how to face those ahead of time is a great asset.
Consider the basic hiring processes and letting people go as new tasks you'll face. Don't hire too many people at first. That's too much of a recurrent expense. Try to stick to basics.
And with any new business, learning acceptance over failure is very valuable to face many challenges. It's tough to learn about this out of a theoretical book. But you can already find your balance so that new opportunities and setbacks do not throw you off your initial company vision. Find that place of comfort to which you can return when business matters get hectic. Facing trialing times with positivity starts immediately. It's better to prepare than to be caught fully off guard. Can you assure safety nets in some way? Now that we're on it, let's move on to the importance of networking.
Another of the best advice on how to start a startup is networking with other founders and possible mentors. Seek to be an active part of an entrepreneurial community. For as much as we recommend having people entirely out of your startup who can cheer you on as you take on this enormous endeavor, like-minded business people are a great company to help you move forward with your business plans. They give you insight and resources, teach you from experience, hear you out on your current challenges, and help direct you in some way.
There's much competition amidst entrepreneurs all over the world when starting a new business. And that might be tricky in some areas, as you'll learn along the way. However, that also means you can tap into a massive worldwide community that's fighting your same battles right now. Connect via whichever means suits you best with those who are on the same business path you are.
Reach out to experienced entrepreneurs or study from their wisdom via books, videos, conferences, and even forums! Sign up for events, join social media groups, read blogs, look out for tweets…you name it! Just make sure to be in touch with others who are already doing what you envision and actively learn from them.
Everything we've mentioned so far has to do with you in regards to the best advice on how to start a startup. However, a company's full burden can't just lie on a single individual. On the contrary, the value of a perfectly-chosen team is of utmost importance for any new company.
Your team is the key to your startup. You can even read that again. You simply need to put the best team together for a successful start at getting a company off the ground. Hire the best mix for your diverse business needs. Get people who aren't only passionate about the area you need them to cover, but who are also great at it. More importantly, get people who share your work ethic, and make sure that's the one you'd all like to bring to your startup table. Doing so is fundamental.
You'll be demanding a lot from your team. Getting a startup to profitability is strenuous hard work. And you'll be dealing with many setbacks in multiple ways. From human errors to political and financial challenges, a lot will continuously need fixing. Rely upon the start on people who are eager to work with you through thick and thin. They shouldn't only want to find and think ahead about those areas for a potential setback, but to prevent and fix any challenges through personal engagement.
These are also people with whom you'll be spending much time. Make sure you all want to be around each other. Co-founders are especially great because they help you carry the weight of the company.
A big reason startups fail is because people don't want the product they sought out to create. Focus on what customers want by genuinely listening to them. You might have to change prototypes or business offers out of focus groups with potential clients. That's precisely why you run those tests. Tweak features, if needed. Be flexible about your business conceptions, stay on the lookout, dig out information. And try again. And over and over until you manage to scale. But do so out of a direct relationship with a target audience that you know perfectly well. Model as much as needed. Create room for discussion and feedback. Go to places they visit, seek to understand how they live and what their worldview is. The more you know about them, the likelier you'll enter a fruitful business relationship with this group of people. Your bread and butter depend on them at the end.
Funding is probably an area that terrifies entrepreneurs the most when they think about how to start a startup. You'll need seed capital for many reasons, but especially while you develop a prototype. And this will take you down a fundraising path that's very hard to beat.
Our CEO wrote on how to Find Investors for a Business with just an MVP, for instance. But you can already think of angel investors, accelerator programs, and other options beyond bootstrapping.
To get the money to start working, you'll need to incorporate your company and sort out any pending legal aspects in your area. Start finding out about that if you haven't already.
After you get some initial funding, try to get investments from VCs (Venture Capitalists or VC firms), which will take time. Prep your most successful pitch deck in the meantime. For that, and especially if you have no experience whatsoever, there are consulting and design services, such as our own, that can genuinely lend you a much-needed hand.
Pitch deck writing is a whole new world on its own. When you're ready for that, make sure to give us a nudge.