When you launch your startup, it’s important to lay the necessary groundwork for your future success. That means taking the time to do a little research, planning and self-reflection. Here are some tips you might consider:
- 1. Follow your passion
Earl Nightingale once said, “The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal, the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfillment.” Whatever you chose to do, you should be passionate about it. Sometimes it takes a leap of faith, but you need to trust that your deepest-held desire is simply an echo of future success. But that leap doesn’t necessary mean you must immediately stop what you’re doing in order to pursue your dream. Take the time to research your options and create a plan that maps your way to success.
- 2. Create a business plan
You’ve heard the old maxim, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Perhaps you’ve spent hours dreaming about your business, imagining your achievements, and talking with friends and family about your goals, but without a business plan you haven’t given yourself the opportunity to truly plan all the necessary details and build a foundation for your success. A business plan is a must if you’re seeking funding from investors or a lending institution in the form of a loan. The business plan illustrates how profitable your business will be and builds confidence in those who will give you the money to start that business. But even if you’re not looking for funding, writing a business plan will enable you to articulate all the necessary details of your business, planning for its success.
Business plans generally include the following:
- Executive summary
- Company description
- Descriptions of products and/or services
- Market and sales analysis
- Strategy and implementation of your products and/or services
- Management summary
- Financial plan
- 3. Find a mentor
A mentor is a trusted advisor, someone with expertise in an area you’re interested in. So a small business mentor is someone who has enjoyed small business success and is willing to advise you as you start your own small business. If you develop a good relationship with a mentor, he or she can work as a great sounding board, asking you the questions you need to consider, and point you in the direction you need to go, all the while boosting your morale. From something as simple as referring you to the right printer for a direct flyer or providing you with practical marketing ideas, a mentor can save you many of the steps you might take if you were working alone.
- Begin marketing
As with a business plan, if you don’t have a marketing plan, chances are you won’t get many customers, and if you don’t get many customers, your business will fail. Even if you’re marketing on a shoestring budget, you need to know what marketing strategies you will use so that you can begin using them as soon as possible! A marketing plan should define or address the following:
- Target market
- Marketing objectives
- Market analysis
- Marketing strategies
- 5. Evaluate your finances
An accountant can help your launch your startup on the right financial foot. In fact, your accountant could probably help you with aspects of both your business and marketing plans. A simple consultation could also determine whether or not you will need a small business loan, and if you do, that same accountant could help you complete the application required.
It’s important that you follow your dreams, but don’t do so blindly! Enlist the help of an accountant to evaluate your finances and determine what’s required to launch your startup. Call us for a free consultation today!