Startups - ironing out the creases before you launch
All too often, businesses are started on the back of a napkin. In theory, that’s fine. Even the largest multinational conglomerates began with people just like you thinking up the smallest idea and writing it down. The problem is that if you fail to fan the flames of that initial spark, you can’t hope to make fire.
There is a plentiful supply of great advice out there regarding startups. For example, have you looked into payment methods and merchant services? No company wants to be faced with their big opening day, only to realise that their current best method of accepting payment is taking an I.O.U. because they’re not digitally literate when it comes to trade.
But before we get to that stage, there are some fundamental considerations you need to map out. Let’s begin.
Goals - ask yourself why you are going into business
This seems like a bizarre question. Or, it may well seem like a bizarre question if you give the expected - and incorrect - answer.
Why are you going into business? Is it for the money? Then you are most likely destined to be the next entrepreneur on the fail pile.
Money shouldn’t be the deciding factor. If money is all you want, work for someone else. Let them do all the thinking. You can clock off at 5 PM and get paid. Simple.
But if you feel that life is truly lived and experienced in the pursuit of the goal and not in the outcome itself, then a life of entrepreneurship may be just right for you. Are you hungry for change in your chosen industry? Do you feel a part of what you offer? Is it close to your heart? If you only want to make money and drive a fast car, your motivations may not be personal enough to give you the drive you need to see your startup through.
Refine your product or service
You started your business from thin air. Congratulations. You made something from nothing. You created a notion where it didn’t exist before. And now you own that notion. What are you going to do with it?
If your products or services aren’t exactly market-leading, you could have a real battle on your hands to win over customers and create a loyal army of repeat buyers.
Spend time on research and development. Your competitors were out of bed early this morning to make sure that what they offer is far superior to your meagre attempts. How are you going to wrestle the general public’s spending power away from your well-prepared competitors? Simple. By being even better prepared.
Your business name is going to stick (don’t make a foolish judgement)
If you enjoy telling people that your wine business is called something like Pinot Evil See No Evil, or worse, something like a boat rental for fishing called Canoe Believe It, then your sights are probably set quite low.
You will struggle to think of a single company that ever made it big with a pun for a name. Keep that in mind the next time you think of choosing a business name that people will naturally assume is a small-time establishment.