17 Key Steps for Entrepreneurs starting a Business (part 1)
Starting a new Business can be a very challenging task. These 17 key Steps can help you make sure – you optimize everything.
Topics: a Great Product/ Service, Launching, great Name, Website, Elevator Pitch, Super Salesman, Executive Summary, Pitch, Funding.
There are many issues a new entrepreneur will encounter (legal, financing, marketing, development, IP, HR)—the list is endless. Many new entrepreneurs are simply over-whelmed by all the things they are expected to know starting a business. Having been involved in hundreds of startups as an Entrepreneur, Lawyer, VC, Angel & Board member, I have learned a number of real-world lessons. I share 17 of the most important ones.
1st Focus on Building a Great Product/ Service, but don’t take forever to Launch. Your product or service has to be at least good, if not great, to start out with. It has to be differentiated in some meaningful & important way from your competitors’ offerings. Don’t drag on getting your product out to the market, as early as possible, Use customer feedback as one of the best ways to help improve it.
2. a Great Name is so important for your Business, and can have a significant impact on your success. The wrong name could result in over-whelming legal & business hurdles. Here are some quick tips for naming your startup:
- Avoid hard-to-spell names.
- Don’t pick a name that could be limiting as your business grows.
- Conduct a thorough Internet search on a proposed name to avoid duplication.
- Get a “.com” Domain name (as opposed to “.net” or another variant). [More professional
- Conduct a thoro’ Trademark search.
- Make sure you, employees, family & friends will be happy saying the name.
- Come up with a few names you like, then Test the name with prospective customer, partners, investors, etc.
3. Build a great Website for your Company. Prospective investors, customers, partners & employers are going to check out your site and you want to impress them with a professional product. Here are some tips for building a great company website:
- Check out Competitor sites.
- Come up with a few sites you can point out to your Web developer to convey what you like.
- Be sure the site is Search Engine Optimized (SEO) and thus more likely to show up early on search results.
- Have high-quality Content.
- Be Mobile-Optimized.
- Make sure the site Loads quickly.
- Create an optimized user experience.
- Keep it clean & simple; clutter will drive visitors away.
- Make the Navigation Bars prominent.
4. Perfect your Elevator Pitch. It’s intended to be a concise, compelling intro to your business. Your can modify your L-Pitch depending on whether you are pitching to prospective investors, partners customers or employees. Here are a few tips for coming up with a great L-Pitch:
- Start out strong – problem & solution
- Be positive and enthusiastic.
- Practice perfects your Pitch.
- Keep it to 60-90 seconds in length.
- Avoid using industry Jargon.
- Explain why you’re “unique”
- Invite participation or interruption by the listener. This shows they are interested & engaged.
5. Become a Super Salesperson of yourself & your Product. You are going to have to “sell” your business – not only to customers – but also to prospective investors – and even to potential employees. Practice in lower risk situation. Get feedback. Refine your presentation. Keep going for tuffer audiences.. You need: 1) to show confidence, be (+), trustworthy; listen for feedback; be willing to negotiate & ask for the sale.
6. Short & concise Executive Summary is typically is a 1-2 page high-level summary of your company that can be presented to potential investors.
- Your Mission & long-term Vision
- The problem you are trying to solve
- The product and its key differentiating features
- Your technology or proprietary innovation edge
- The competitive landscape and competitor shortcomings
- The big market opportunity you see
- Believable projections showing a big upside in the business
- The experience and passion of the management team
- Examples of early buzz or customer traction, if available
7. Pitch Deck is a 15-20 page PowerPoint presentation that lays out more “visually” – the business for prospective investors. You absolutely have to perfect Exec Sumry & Pitch. Review others to help you improve your own. Plenty of examples are also available online. For example, check out the pitch decks used by Facebook, Airbnb, LinkedIn, Buzzfeed & YouTube.
8. Finding Funding is Hard & takes a lot of Time. It takes a great deal of effort, preparation, projections, Executive Summary & Business Plan to convince VCs & Angels to invest in your company. So you need to anticipate the time involved, then double or triple it.
Comments: Do you know any other Key Steps for Starting a Business? (see Part 2)
from All Business.com 16 Dec 16 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
For more info, click on Starting a Business.