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Creating a Solid Foundation For Building Your Startup

If you want to work for yourself and have a business of your own, then no doubt you are looking for inspiration everywhere. You might have an idea that you want to run with, or have a couple of ideas that you can combine to create your dream business. But how can you turn your idea, that could just be all in your mind or scribbled on a piece of paper, into a thriving and growing startup company? This is something that all business owners go through, so the good news is that there are some fundamental steps that can be followed, in order to get you to where you want to be. By taking these steps, you will be creating a solid foundation from which to build your business, which is going to help to set it up for success and create a functioning business.

Work out what the problem is that your business would be solving

When you break down the most successful companies to just their core, you will see that there is a problem that they are the solution to. It doesn’t have to even be something profound or complex. For example, in the past decade, the top companies that have grown and grown are Airbnb and Uber. Neither of these businesses are reinventing the wheel. They have just found a better way to do something than what was being done before when it comes to travel accommodation and hiring a taxi. Another example is Amazon. They have resolved any issues in eCommerce and made it more cost-effective and quicker for the consumer. If you want something the next day, or even that same day in certain locations, then now you can; providing a solution to a problem.

With a business in its infancy, you are likely to be focused on the idea of the business with the solutions that it gives to people. But if it is a solution, what is the problem? If there isn’t really a problem that the business is solving, then will there really be a need for it? All successful companies, services, and products, help to improve the lives of the consumer, by getting rid of something that is a problem to them.

Think about your market and ideal customers

If you have a product or service to sell, then who are the people that you can imagine selling to? Who will buy what you have on offer? In order to be successful, knowing your ideal users will help all aspects of your business from sales tactics to marketing, so you need to decide who it is aimed at. Users may vary on age but just have this specific problem that needs to be solved in their lives, such as a baby or toddler product for parents. You could focus specifically on an age demographic, such as millennials, for instance. When you can work out where your product fits and how it can work into someone’s life, then it will help to make the business more successful.

Research into this area really is key. If you have the solution that they need, then you need to make sure that it is getting in front of the right people, in order to be seen as this amazing solution that they need.

Create a financial plan

If you have your market research done, then the next step is to think about it making sure that your idea is a financially viable one. One of the best steps that you can take is to create a financial model that focuses on how the product or service is marketed, created, and then sold to consumers. When you break it down like this, it can help to give you more of an insight into how the business will be able to function. So that you can work out your financial projections, creating another financial model is something that can then be ‘top down’ is next, as that helps to examine the size of your market and looks at what goals you have, in order to be able to reach a particular profit.

When you have decided on the kind of financial model that you want to have, you can get started with the first area of your business. This is something that is simple and can help to get our ideas planned out. If you are working with others, such as a mentor or a business partner, then discussing options with them is wise, in order to set out your objectives and mission statement, along with target market and how your business can stay competitive. This will help you to keep moving through different phases and be a helping hand in your planning and successes.

Work out your financial sources

As a rule, entrepreneurs don’t generally want to start a business purely for the money. Although it is a driving factor, there are other things that drive those that have a passion for business and working for themselves. With that being said, money is still needed to get the business off the ground. The amount can vary greatly, of course. There are a lot of options open to people, such as self-funding, money from those you know such as friends and family, or even using credit cards or startup loans to get things moving. If you need quite a large financial sum of money, then you may need to look to a bank for a business loan, or to a venture capitalist or angel investor, who will put money into the business in order for them to own a small piece of it.

Crowdfunding is something that is also popular recently, with the use of social media, as it helps loyal customers to have a ‘piece of the action,’ so to speak. If you are brand new then this is unlikely to work, as no one will know who or what they are investing in. The key thing is, that no matter what source of financing you choose, they all have different rewards and different risks. If you know what will be owed and have it in your financial business plan to pay a certain amount each month, then that is a good position to be in.

Find your supportive circle

If you have a business that you are creating alongside someone else, then it can put you in a good position because you will have someone right there alongside you for the journey. However, there are many startups that are created by just one person. This can be a lot to take on, as there is a lot to juggle and think about, and if not done in the right way, can lead to failure.

If you have a couple of business partners when you start out, then it can be a good thing for a number of reasons. First of all, you will have people to talk to and sound off ideas with, and be there to support one another. Building a team like this can also give you some really invaluable knowledge as you get to grips with the business and all that it entails. This isn’t always possible, especially if anyone getting involved may want to have some ownership of the business. However, there may be some people that could get involved in a non-executive director kind of role, or as a mentor, in order to be there for advice when needed, but not involved in the day-to-day.

As well as those in the know when it comes to business, it is also helpful to have people around you that can be there to help and support, such as friends and family. Be clear with them on what you are doing and the kind of help that you may need for them. It may just be for stress relief or maybe for an extra pair of hands from time to time.

Stay positive

There is an old saying that goes ‘misery loves company.’ It is important to make sure that there is none of this misery getting involved with your new business. If there are any worries about self doubt or lacking in confidence, then it is something that can genuinely hold the business back and can mean that you’re not taking the necessary risks that are required. There are always going to be some people who aren’t there to support and who aren’t going to be happy for you. They may not believe in your business and can then cause the negativity to carry on. If you are able to stay positive and away from negativity, then it will make it much easier when you do face an obstacle, which is inevitable in business.

The road to building a successful business is something that can be long, complicated, and a little messy. There are no guarantees for success. However, if you can give yourself a more solid foundation for the start of your business, then it can be a good platform to grow your business from. Changes and adaptations will need to be made along the way, but with some positivity and flexibility, you can be heading in the right direction.

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