Getting your startup off the ground is no easy task. You may have a great idea and a strategic business plan, but no clue where to start generating profits.
Explore the ultimate cheat sheet for startup owners. In it, you will discover seven areas of your business where you should focus your efforts and learn what to do to increase your growth.
The Ultimate Cheat Sheet For Startup Owners
Raise Capital. For your business to get off the ground, you need to have capital behind you. There are two factors related to capital that you need to identify:
- How long will it take to raise capital?
- What steps should you take to connect with investors?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to these two issues. It varies based on industry, your experience, your business model and other factors. Start by looking at other startups in your sector. Determine how long it took them to garner capital and apply that rough standard to your timeline. If you already have startup investors, identify how long it took you to convince them to invest and use that timing as a benchmark for future investment.
Form A Legal Entity. As soon as you’ve made the decision to start your business, you should seek out legal guidance to ensure that you are taking all the necessary steps to shield yourself from legal liability. Determining whether your new company should be a C-Corp, S-Corp, or LLC (Limited Liability Company) is an important first step. Under federal income tax laws, each of these have specific guidelines, so knowing which is right for you is going to be key to how you set up your business finances.
Establish A Strong Leadership Team. You need a strong team of leaders, both in your early startup phase and as you grow. Consider your company’s needs. Do you have a strong captain at the helm of the ship? Do you need a strong CTO that can innovate your technology? Typically, if you are the founder of a startup, you possess sales skills or are a strong technologist. Depending on which of these you are, you will need someone to compliment you in the other category. If you have strong sales and technology leadership from day one, you should be in good shape to launch your business.
Invest In Marketing. You will need to generate leads and establish your product, right from the start. Investing in the right marketing strategy and resources will help you with this. You are going to need customers that will write checks and refer business to you as you launch. Outsourcing your initial marketing is a good way to get the ball rolling on this while you are focused on ramping up your business.
Consider Your Short-Term And Long-Term Goals. Do you have a business plan in place based on your short-term and long-term business goals? By establishing these goals, you can strategically plan your resource allocation and how to best spend money to meet these goals. Your goals should be focused and tactical. Things like “getting two customers” or “having minimal viable product numbers by a certain date” will give you something clearly defined to focus on. Once these goals have been determined at the leadership level, communicate them to your entire team, so that everyone is on board with achieving them.
Be Flexible. As the owner of a startup, you never know what the future holds for your business from one day to the next. Things may not always go as planned, or you may find a market that better suits your product or service. You should expect changes like these. Be ready to adjust your strategy, alter your goals, and continue to move forward. Be prepared to pivot. You are going to get a lot of feedback once you launch, so your product and company’s ability to pivot based on this feedback could be the difference between success and failure.
Embrace Feedback And Criticism. For many startup owners, their business is their brainchild, making it hard to hear criticism. However, being open to feedback is the best way to evolve and improve your operations. You want to provide customers and prospects with the best product or service, and listening to their feedback is key to making that happen. It will also lead to appreciation from customers, resulting in long-term loyalty.
Develop A Financial Strategy. Ultimately for your startup to be successful, you must have a strong financial strategy to back you up. Consult your leadership team for their input on your financial decisions. Another alternative is partnering with a financial advisor for startups to help your business move forward. They have the time and expertise to manage you finances, and you will have more time to plan for growth.
Want to learn more about developing the right financial plan to help your startup grow? Schedule your free consultation now.