When you’re starting a business, you’ll need to take care of planning, making financial decisions, and completing essential legal actions. If you’re ready to become an entrepreneur, use these helpful steps to get your start up going.
Step #1 – Validate Your Start Up Idea
Make sure you take time to do the groundwork needed to validate your start up idea. It starts with inspiration, but you need to make sure it can be transformed into a successful, sustainable business.
Step #2 – Form Your Company
Although you’re still in the idea stage, form your company legally. This way you have protections that aren’t available to individuals. Consider whether you want to form an LLC, S-Corp, or a C-Corp.
Step #3 – Put Together Your Team
A quality team will decide whether your business succeeds of fails. Even if you’re the sole founder, you still need to have a great team.
Step #4 – Complete Primary Market Research
It’s time to really get to know your target market. Learn everything you can about your target market by getting face-to-face with them. Ask questions and listen closely.
Step #5 – Develop and Test Your Product Prototype
Now you need to take your market research and develop a product that meets your market’s needs. Make sure you develop a product that that offers value to your target market.
Step #6 – Scrub Business Plan and Projections
You need to have a clear path to making a profit as an entrepreneur. Now is the time to figure out how you can make money.
Step #7 – Secure Your Intellectual Property
It’s important to know what protections you’ll need, and then make sure you secure your new company’s intellectual property. You should also decide whether you want to file trademarks or patents.
Step #8 – Create the Company Name and Branding Strategy
The name and brand of your company will be important to the life and success of your new business. A name is important, but a good branding strategy helps you create a “feeling” with consumers.
Step #9 – Outsource Auxiliary Functions
When you’re developing a product and launching your startup, many auxiliary functions can be outsourced. It’s often more cost-effective to outsource rather than trying to do everything in-house.
Step #10 – Come Up With a Marketing and Sales Plan
You probably don’t have millions to spend on marketing, so you need to use guerilla marketing that will help you generate awareness, affinity, and advocacy for your product.
Step #11 – Capitalize Your Company
Many new entrepreneurs spend a huge amount of time trying to raise money for a start up. Focus on getting the business going in the beginning. You can capitalize your company later when you really have the time to spend raising money.
Step #12 – Operate Your New Start Up
Don’t forget, you have to operate your company. Make sure you have a good system for running your new start up. Many tools are available that can help you keep your company operating smoothly.