“Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.”
“Hard work works better than luck!” Yuk
“Sell the results, not the nuts and bolts.”
“Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.”
“Diligence is the mother of good luck.”— Ben Franklin
“Act now on those ideas! As they say, you snooze you lose. Or as I say, if you begin, you win.”
“Buckle up, Start up, Keep it up, Don’t give up, Cheer up (when things of bad)”
“Chase the vision, not the money; the money will find you – if you do it right.”-
Starting a business entails understanding and dealing with many issues—legal, financing, marketing, human resources, intellectual property & liability protection and more. There are spectacular success stories of early stage startups growing to be multi-billion-dollar companies, such as AirBnB, Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, Shopify WhatsApp and many others.
Many entrepreneurs starting a new business have the following challenges: 1) insufficient Business Knowledge, 2) not doing sufficient Market Research, 3) ignoring the Competition, 4) not knowing your Strengths & Weaknesses by not doing a SWOT analysis, 5) insufficient Money to survive until Break-Even, 6) low Pricing, 7) weak Marketing, 8) working with Friends & Family, instead of qualified people; 9) trying to run Business alone.
The following is an overview of 25 key steps for entrepreneurs who are starting a business.
Startup Steps: Problems, Solutions, 1.Time & Energy, 2.Verify Idea, 3.Research Competition, 4.Name, 5.Protect personal Assets, 6.Biz Plan, 7.Launch, 8.BootStrapping, 9.Website, 10.Traffic, 11.Elevator Pitch, 12.Marketing, 13.Sales, 14.Service, 15.Intellectual Property, 16.Reference Check, 17.Offer, 18.Gap Fillers, 19.Legals, 20.Acctg, 21.Books & Records, CDs, Streaming [Whoops, got distracted] 22.Statements & Budgets, 22.Investor Pitch Deck, 23.Angel & VC Financing + 24.“seed” Capital.
1. Understand the Commitment & Challenges Involved of: time, resources & energy, balancing family & business, recovering quickly after a failure, learning from failure, adjusting to Change quickly.
2. Verify your “great” New Idea is unique: Google & Patent search, Hire a Patent Lawyer.
3. Thoroughly Research your Competition & keep on top of their new developments & announcements via Google Alert , do SWOT analysis, create your Value Proposition.
4. Come Up with a “great” Name for your Business: not hard-to-spell, limiting, then test name.
5. Protect your Personal Assets when Forming your Business: S or C corporation, LLC.
6. Don’t go BiG on a Business Plan when 1st starting: Start with 1 page at earliest stage, then expand it (but keep it Lean) as more things stabilize. Then finally, do a full Business Plan of 20-40 pages that you will present to Investors. Review plans monthly and change as you develop.
7. Focus on Developing a “great” Product, but don’t take forever to Launch: that’s differentiated from Competition, (ie, Better, Faster, Cheaper). Start with Minimum Viable Product; get Feedback.
8.Start “lean” with Boot-Strapping. to keep expenses to a minimum, until you are sufficiently successful and can get outside Funding from Angels or VCs, keep in control at early stages.
9. Build a “great” Website: for prospective, Customers, Investors, etc: check out Competitor sites; steal Ideas, improve; get a Web Master, do SEO, original content, Mobile optimize, make easy-to-use.
10. Drive Traffic to your Website: Pay Google, Yahoo, Google Adwords, SEO, Social Media, Links.
11. Perfect Your “Elevator Pitch“. Have a standard Pitch for anyone; Tailor according to Industry; Start with a Question. Talk about Problem & Solution. Explain why you’re is “Better, Faster, Cheaper”; Keep it to 60 seconds or a little less. Finish with a Question to determine their interest,
12. Market your Business Like Crazy: determine your Target & Market; do SEO; use Social Media; do Content Marketing & Press Releases; only use Ads if, you have the money.
13. Become a “strong” Salesperson: to “sell” your business—not only to Customers, but also to prospective Investors, Co-Founders, Management Team & Employees; Practice; get Feedback.
14. Focus on providing “exceptional” Customer Service: you want your early Customers to give referrals to their friends, colleagues, etc. Thank your Customers personally by Email.
16. Perform a comprehensive Reference Check before you Hire an Employee: Job Titles, Dates; Education, Why left last job? Ask last Supervisor: strengths & weaknesses, get along, grow?
17. Employee Offer Letter and/or Employment Agreement: include Job Title & Description, etc.
18. Gap Fillers: use Mentors, Consultants, Freelancers to Supplement your Management Team & Employees: No or low, immediate Costs, fill a small, but important Gap, Advise.
19. Legals: determine which Permits, Licenses, or Registrations you will Need: for Regulated, Sales Tax; Home-based business; City & County; Zoning, Seller’s, Federal & State Tax/Employer IDs.
20. Set Up a good Accounting & Bookkeeping System: to keep track of your Finances (income, expenses, capital expenditures, profit & loss, etc) for Cash Flow, Taxes (ie, QuickBooks)
21. Setup appropriate Books & Records: Financial statements (P&L, Balance sheet, Cash Flow, Invoices); Bank accounts, Tax filings & records, Creditor records, Stock & Options ledger; Board & Stockholder meeting Minutes; Employee records, Contracts & Agreements, Secretary of State filings (Certificate of Incorporation, annual Filings, etc)
22. Understand Statements & Budgets: 1, 3 & 5 year Projections? Assumptions; Equity & Debt; Capitalization; Break-Even point, Burn Rate; Metrics; do Budget; review monthly.
23. Have a “great” Investor Pitch Deck: 15-20 slides in PowerPoint; showcase the company’s products, service, technology, & team.
Investor Pitch Deck Do’s; include Opportunity, Graphics & Images, Demo; Traction; PDF file.
Investor Pitch Deck Don’ts: >15-20 Slides; excessive Financials; knock Competition.
24. Key points of Angel & VC Financing: looking for quality, passion, commitment & experience; Market & Opportunity, (ie, Better, Faster, Cheaper); reasonable Valuation.
Proof: Investors will want to initially see or records of the following from a Startup:
- Plans: a concise Elevator Pitch, Executive Summary & Investor Pitch Deck
- Demo: prototype or working model of the company’s product or service
- Users: from Proof of Concept, Early Adopters, Customers, or Partners
25. Secure “seed” Capital to Finance your Business’s growth
- Personal funds & Credit cards, Friends & family
- Angel Investors & Venture Capitalists
- Crowd Funding such as Kickstarter & Indiegogo.
- Bank Loans/SBA Financings/OnlineLenders
- Equipment Loan financing
More details are available on each Step. if you contact Peter@Wiz4.biz (CXO)
Comment: Do you know any other Steps that should be included.
fm Forbes & AllBusiness 9-20 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz
For more Info, click on Starting a Business..