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Startups 101: How to Turn an Idea Into a Successful Business

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Startups 101: How to Turn an Idea Into a Successful Business

Starting a business is an extremely exciting yet quite challenging choice in life. On one hand, you’ll get to see your idea come to life. On the other hand, you’ll have to learn to manage a multitude of business, finance, marketing, liability, HR, and legal issues.

But do not get discouraged, whether you are planning on opening an online clothing store, paper writing service to help students learn better, or mobile game development company – the guidelines are usually the same. Here are the steps to take to launch your own business.

Do Market Research

You have a unique idea. It is great. Now it is time to research all about the market, possible competitors, and ways to create MVP. Here’s what to look for:

  • The problem your product solves;
  • Possible target audience;
  • The demand for such product;
  • Is it unique or are there similar products out?
  • Look it up on official patent office sites;
  • How is your idea different?

Make sure you come prepared. Look at success and fail cases of similar services/producers and note what should be done differently.

Choose Type of Business

This one depends hugely on what your idea is. But there are lots of options out there:

  • Home business;
  • Online one;
  • Import/Export, etc.

It will help you to figure out many factors needed for a solid business plan.

Protect Intellectual Property

As soon as you know that your idea/product is unique, it is time to protect IP rights. It means that you’ll be the sole holder of all rights to the product. There are several options to consider:

  • Patents;
  • Copyright;
  • Trademark;
  • Trade secrets;
  • Confidentiality agreements, etc.

Usually, patents are the strongest in protection. But the choice also depends on the type of idea you come up with.

Think About Finances

It is all about the money. The earlier you start planning your budget, the better. Maybe at this stage, you do not have all the factors to consider, but you can line down all the possible sources of financing. Luckily, there are many of them out there, so choose a couple of them for plans A, B, and C. These can be:

  • Personal funds you are willing to invest;
  • Help from friends and family;
  • Credit funds;
  • Angel investment;
  • Crowdfunding via online platforms;
  • Venture investment;
  • Bank loans.

When planning a budget, always include a safety pillow for possible risks.

Write a Business Plan

A strong business plan is exactly what turns a mere idea into an actionable blueprint. First of all, it is a set of guidelines for you on what to take care of and how to grow a startup. Secondly, it will be a pitch basis for future investors.

There are many formats of such a document. But generally, it has to include:

  • The business goal, mission, and vision;
  • A detailed explanation of the product or service offered;
  • Market research results – size, target audience, competition, possible growth;
  • Marketing strategy;
  • Financial analysis and forecast.

Work on Branding

It is a quite obvious but very essential step. You need to choose a perfect name for a company, service, and product. Register it, as well as your domain name.

Also work on the marketing guidelines like corporate colors, logo, and slogan. It doesn’t have to be a 100-page brand book for now, but make sure to tackle all the essentials. They are going to be needed for marketing.

Incorporation and Permits

Here comes the legal stuff. Incorporation means turning a startup into a legal entity. Never choose sole proprietorship because it means that your personal finances and assets can be used for debt and business liability. Usually, there are these options:

  • LLC (limited liability company);
  • C corporation;
  • S corporation.

They differ in taxation rules and equity compensation. Here it is best to work with a lawyer.

And determine what permits, registrations, or licenses you need to start your activity. It can be a sales tax license or a permit for home-based businesses.

Hire Professionals

One can choose a co-founder, which will take a lot of stress off their shoulders. It is often a great idea as one person is not enough to do everything.

And if it is applicable for your idea, hire professionals to start working on MVP, service, website, etc. Now it is time to put some work in. Make sure you follow all legal aspects, set employee records, and consider them signing confidentiality agreements.

Focus on Building a Product

Lots of startups fail because they take too long to launch. Of course, it is crucial to building a great product, but often an MVP is enough to attract investors and start pre-sales.

Put all your efforts into working on the product/service to make sure to bring it to customers in time and with quality.

Implement Marketing Strategy

This is another incredibly important factor in business success. You need all the marketing tools available to promote the brand and the product.

Use social media, brand website, content creation, paid promotion – whatever is in line with the strategy and goal. Work on brand recognition, audience engagement, and building an email list.

Source https://unsplash.com/photos/xoU52jUVUXA

Do Not Forget About Accounting

Accounting and books are not the most exciting parts of being an entrepreneur. Yet, the earlier you take care of them, the fewer problems will come up later.

It is better to hire a professional that knows exactly how to manage all of that;

  • Financial statement;
  • Getting Tax ID;
  • Tax payments and records;
  • Invoices and contracts;
  • Bank accounts.

Remember to separate the company’s funds from personal ones. And consider insuring your startup if it is possible.

In Summary

If you have a great idea, it feels almost like a crime to not turn it into reality. So why not get into entrepreneurship? The steps might seem complicated, but the possible result is also quite fascinating. The complexity of the process will depend directly on the type of product and service you come up with. Always calculate the risks and commit to this startup.

 

People Also Read:

5 Effective Ways to Promote Your Service Business

Contino’s Digital Innovators Report Unveils the Quality of Europe’s Top Business Leaders’ Digital Transformation

 


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