To build a successful startup, you need to create and fine-tune a business plan, complete all the legal paperwork, assess your finances, pick your partners, research apps for startups growth and much more. There are two options: to develop everything from scratch or buy ready-made business. Here are three reasons why the first option is the best solution for a beginner.
Motivation. Successful startups began with the idea: young entrepreneurs created what they personally lacked. When you are engaged in business that meets your interests or experience, you work more efficiently and more confidently.
Finance. You are aware of all the risks in the early stages and you decide whether to invest your capital in business, borrow or attract investments. Perhaps for some time you will continue to be employed until the startup begins to bring a steady income.
Control. You are insured against unpleasant surprises that may come from your predecessor: a bank loan, rental problems or inefficient employees.
How to launch your startup from scratch
1. Define your value Write a list of what you do best or what you like to do. How to launch a startup without money? Think about the knowledge and skills that you have not yet applied anywhere, but can potentially cash. For example, you can organize holidays or explain intelligibly complex topics.
Ask yourself questions:
- Do you want to change the field of activity or continue to develop your business in the direction in which you are working now and with which you are familiar?
- Do you have a hobby that can be profitable?
- Do you have enough knowledge or do you need additional training?
2. Analyze the market and select a niche. To choose one option for starting a business, you need to analyze the market: take into account the competition and good timing for launching a new product. For example, Uber appeared during a recession, when people needed extra income.
What should be done:
- Make a detailed table of competitors, write down their strengths and weaknesses;
- Test selected niches: post ads on the Internet, send letters to potential customers, create a blog or landing page and track attendance;
- Conduct research on keywords in search engines: analyze the number of results for your requests;
- Make polls among friends, on social networks or on forums.
3. Define a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) Without a unique selling proposition, brand promotion and sales will not be effective. Why should people buy from you? What special do you offer? What benefits do you promise? What do your customers want and what problems are they experiencing? Briefly and clearly answering these questions, you will receive USP.
✏️ Tip. Do not try immediately to make the perfect business plan for five years in advance. A common mistake for beginners is to get carried away with planning and not start acting. Consider only the details that will be needed in the first stages: what is your starting capital, how and when do you plan to profit, how many competitors will be, what steps will you use to advance, what is your unique proposition. a few months later, analyze and adjust the strategy.
5. Surround yourself with professionals. A strong team is one of the startup success factors. Alone, you cannot cope with all the tasks. For example, in case of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, the former was responsible for the promotion, and the latter – for the technical part of the startup. Where to find team members:
Take a closer look at the inner circle: relatives and friends;
- Ask friends for recommendations;
- Publish a job ad on the Internet: on job search sites and in specialized groups on social networks.
6. Start advertising and look for customers. How to start a business? Talk about yourself and attract customers. Typically, resources for beginners are limited, but this should not stop you, because there are free and effective methods of promotion. Start with them, and then move on to paid tools. Use maximum channels:
- Word of mouth; Social network;
- Site, blog or landing page;
- Guest articles in blogs and media;
- Advertising: targeted, contextual, on the radio or in the press;
- Visiting thematic events, meeting potential partners and clients.
Branding elements such as slogan and logo contribute to the promotion. Use them in all marketing channels: put the logo as a profile image on social networks, post it on the website and implement it in advertising campaigns.
7. Create a customer base. You have already attracted a small audience. Now you need to win their loyalty and keep interest to the brand. Here are the ways you can use: Be active on social networks: regularly publish posts and give feedback; Offer discounts to regular customers; Organize promotions for the holidays; Start the e-mail newsletter.
8. Analyze the results and scale the business. Do you have loyal customers, regular income and professional contacts? It’s time to check with the business plan, summarize the intermediate results of work and identify new goals.
- Analyze errors. Think about what you failed to consider in the first stages and how to fix it.
- Mark achievements. Remember what you particularly succeeded in: successful techniques you can apply in the future.
- Increase the team. Hire new employees and delegate tasks.
- Scale business. Ask your competitors how other startups have appeared in your niche. Perhaps it is time to launch a new product, reformulate the USP, or change the marketing strategy.
💡Conclusion When launching a startup from scratch, the main thing is to conduct a thorough preliminary analysis: choose the right niche, formulate the USP and draw up a business plan. Such training can take more than one week, but significantly increases the chances of success.
Need ideas for inspiration? Each year, Forbes analysts select the 25 fastest growing businesses that are approaching the first billion. Here are three startups from the 2019 list:
Chainalysis. The software tracks how people use cryptocurrencies. This technology helps prevent money laundering and find criminals.
Dave. The cost accounting application warns users about a possible overdraft. For two years it has been downloaded almost 10 million times.
Grove Collaborative. An online store, Amazon’s e-commerce competitor, sells only products made from natural products — from toothpaste to wipers.
Remember that it is an innovative idea that is at the heart of any startup. Follow the trends, look to the future and actively communicate with people to understand what is currently lacking in the market. And then follow the eight steps described in this article.