How to start a startupPeter von Boeck
When it comes to how to start a startup, many things come to mind, which can be somewhat overwhelming. Questions like “Where do I get the money from”?, “Do I have what it takes”?, “What will my family say”?, “Where do I start”? and many more will cross your mind. This can be intimidating, especially if this is the first time you are trying to start a business.
Don’t let these things discourage you, everybody was once in your shoes. This is the first big step, overcoming your doubts and being aware that people around you will try to convince you away from your ideas.
The most important advice I can give for how to start a startup, is preparation and planning. Instead of just wildly become involved in business activities, take some time and prepare.
Does your product or service have a demand?
Its great to have an idea which is unique, but is what you have to offer in demand? True business people have learned to anticipate the next big trend. This is steered many times by certain generations. Lets take the baby boomers for example. The generation born between 1946 and 1964, after world war II, family values became top priority and literally 76 Million babies were born.
These people were growing up with high values on ethical work and family, saving for bad times and security. This means they have likely accumulated wealth and therefore their particular buying power is very strong.
Think about it, if you could have anticipated that in this 20 year window so many people would have been born, what would have come to mind?
Imagine diapers and baby strollers, toys and baby food, day care. What when they grew up? Children clothing, school supplies. Their early adulthood. Cars, bars, nightclubs, gas, jewelry, fashion etc. As they grew older, they bought their first home, bigger cars, tv’s and on and on.
How to start a startup? That’s how, anticipating what is the next big trend, steered by certain generations. Is there a demand and how long will that demand be there? You must evaluate your market, see if you have competitors and if its worth to get a share of that market.
Do you need capital? And how much?
Today it is easier than ever to get access to money. Investors are constantly looking for ideas to invest in. Don’t be shy, your idea is worth money and the investors will get a big share of it in return. It is even a great idea to outlay your plan and they can help you to determine the amount of funds and time you really need. These are expert business people who are operating on a whole different level.
- Personal loans from family and friends, as well as crowd funding is a good source for smaller amounts
- Bank loans
- Private investors
- Hedge funds
- Angel investors
- Established corporations
are just an example of the multitude of money sources out there. Keep in mind, in order to “sell” your idea you need to put it into a formal structure, people can easily understand. This is called the business and marketing plan. For large amounts of money, this is essential and a big part on how to start a startup.
Location, location, location
You hear this all the time, selling an ice machine to an Eskimo probably wont cut it, but doing the same in an area with tropical climate will be a killer business.
You got to be in the right location, regardless if your business is small and local or if you market to multiple markets at the same time.
Determine your market and chose a ideal area to start your business, do you need an office or can your start from home? Will you meet clients and if so where? These are all questions you have to identify.
Success leaves clues
One of the most important components in how to start a startup, is that many people have built successful businesses before and that you can too. Why not following someone who already has a flourishing enterprise?
Surround yourself with people who have answers to your questions. Identify the authorities in your field and gather information based upon actual outcomes and not hearsay. Everybody has an opinion, only a few can actually back it up with proven results.
Get a coach and mentor, this is the best way to learn while you are building your business. Someone you can rely on to identify potential mistakes before you make them and can guide you in the right direction. There are great sources nowadays to find coaches online, small business consulting has become a great business by itself.
Get the right legal and tax advice
This might not seem that important at the beginning, but you will have to incorporate your business sooner or later. Knowing about the benefits of the different corporate setups will help you protect your business and save taxes.
How to start a startup is a lot about learning before doing. You can spear yourself a lot of disappointments and frustrations if you are willing to learn from an expert.
Keep a positive attitude
You will face a lot of adversity along your journey. Like everything in life, building a business has to be learned, it will take time. How long solely depends on your individual talent and willingness to work and learn. The hours you spent on productive activities and to a large extend your attitude.
How many times can you navigate yourself through the ups and downs of your business? What if things are not working out, once, twice ten times? Can you hold it together?
You must find a way to stay motivated. One great way to do that is to find a very strong reason why you must succeed. This reason must be more painful for you than to admit defeat.
Everybody can stay down and give up, getting up and finding a way to try one more time will make the difference of your success or ultimate failure.
Make failure your friend and learn from it. You will only fail if you do not try again, there is always another day to correct, redirect and succeed eventually.
How to start a startup is about finding a way for you individually to make your dream come true. Keep that attitude the one of a winner and never give up.