Launching a new company is one of the most exciting and stressful projects you’ll ever take on. To tip the scales more toward “exciting” instead of “stressful,” it’s important to follow some specific steps before you open for business. The good news is that if you give yourself enough time to complete these steps, they won’t be particularly difficult to get through. If you want to hit the ground running with your new business, check out these seven steps for success.
1. Do Your Research
Unless you take the time to do adequate research, you might as well not complete any of the other steps. One important facet of your business to perform in-depth market research is to determine whether or not there is actually a market for the product or service you want to sell. If there is a market, you need to figure out whether it’s better to sell that product or service digitally, in person, or both. You’ll also want to research any other companies operating in the same market space as you so that you can find a competitive edge to help your company succeed. If necessary you can outsource this task to professional market research companies in Denver or your local area.
2. Get a Handle on Your Finances
Don’t let money ruin your chances of launching a successful business. Understand what your funding needs will be, and then increase that target to give yourself some margins for rainy days. If you need to secure investors, don’t just assume you’ll be able to find good investors quickly. Instead, do the work to find solid investors who will stick with your company during any rocky periods that are likely to come.
3. Decide on a Marketing Strategy
As great as your product or service may be, no one else knows about it yet. To get the word out, you need to decide on an effective marketing strategy before you can get your business off the ground. If you really want to start off strong, consider using a marketing company to help you stretch your advertising dollars as far as possible. Outsourcing your marketing will help free up a lot of time that you can use to complete other important tasks.
4. Ask Around
There’s a good chance that someone, somewhere, has done what you’ll be doing when you launch your company. To help make your new company more successful, your job is to find those people and ask them all the questions you can. Don’t make the mistake of trying to be a pioneer in your space when there’s already a well-worn path you can follow. To be sure, you can tweak their suggestions to apply to your company, but don’t assume that they don’t have valuable tips that can save you a lot of headaches.
5. Make a Clear Plan
Knowing what you’ll do and when you’ll do it is an important part of actually getting things done. That’s why every new startup needs a clear and concise business plan to guide its activities from day one. This plan should include the results of all of the research that you’ve been doing for the other steps, including your goals for the company, information on competitors, and forecasts for growth. Having a business plan will help you stay on track when unexpected speed bumps come your way.
6. Check the Legal Boxes
With everything in place for a successful business, make sure that you don’t get tripped up by accidentally breaking the law. All types of businesses are regulated by multiple laws, and your new startup is no exception. That’s why it’s good to consult with a business lawyer to ensure you stay on the legal straight and narrow. If you can’t afford an attorney, at least take the time to carefully research any laws relating to your business and make sure you properly fill out all legal forms before submitting them.
7. Hold it all Loosely
Launching a startup is a very fluid process during which there will almost certainly be problems. That’s why, in light of all of the above advice, the best advice you can receive is to hold your business loosely. That doesn’t mean you don’t believe in or fight for it, just that you are willing to be flexible so that you don’t fail because you can’t adapt. If you go in knowing that you’ll likely need to make changes, it will be much less painful when those changes actually occur.
While it’s important to take your time while completing the above steps, it’s also important to keep that fire inside so that you stay focused on the goal. Don’t get lazy and start procrastinating when you hit a roadblock. Instead, use setbacks as motivation to propel you forward toward success so that you can achieve your dreams of launching a successful company.