So you've decided to create a startup. So what next? The next steps of setting up your budding startup from scratch can be daunting. What about the risks? What if I do something wrong? What if I don’t have enough money? What if I fail?
If you think the founders of Facebook, Guzman Y Gomez or Alibaba didn’t worry about this…you'd be wrong. Every startup has risks, but it also has infinite rewards.
You have taken the first step, so let’s look at the basic steps for setting up your startup from scratch.
Step 1. Start with a single step
The hardest step in your new business is taking the first one. There is a lot of things that are probably running through your mind right about now. The key to your success is to never lose your vision.
Setting a startup from scratch requires everything from the back end systems, product development, testing, HR right through to staffing. You won’t just wake up one day and be able to sell the perfect product to the perfect client.
Starting small will also allow you to test your initial products and services in a limited and captive market. This will allow you to learn, review and evolve everything from marketing activities to product/service offerings before you go to market. It will also give you data that is quantifiable and marketable to potential investors should you want to take the business down that path.
The hardest step is the first – that is not saying others won’t be hard – but once you step out, enjoy the ride.
Step 2. Find a mentor
A mentor gives you a competitive edge.
A mentor is someone who has been there, done that and is prepared to grab a coffee and speak to you, guide you and advise you on a path forwards. There are a range of opportunities such as social networks such as LinkedIn or conferences such as StartCon, which are littered with thousands of successful entrepreneurs. If you’re a little on the shy side simply finding someone who you can follow their blog posts to gain inspiration from and attempt to learn from their experiences is a good starting point.
Step 3. Define your mission
Even NASA’s moon landing had a mission, so your budding startup needs that and more. A mission will guide you on your path to success. You need to be crystal clear in what you are setting out to achieve, by when, with whom, for what reason.
There needs to be a steadfast commitment by you (and your team) to stick to the mission, the vision and why you wanted to create the startup in the beginning.
Your vision/mission is not only about the company, product, service or customer, but about why you came to set up your startup, for what reason and what you want to achieve out of it. Get your vision on paper and plaster it around your workspace, so you are always on track.
Step 4. Get a marketing plan
Unless you’re a gun at marketing and strategy, a talented marketing expert can provide you with a roadmap to success through a detailed marketing plan.
There is a range of freelance experts that can provide a marketing plan for you that will outline an activation plan and a clear communications and marketing strategy. This plan can provide you a turnkey solution on who your market is, where they shop, what they are looking for and how to speak to them.
A good marketing plan should not only have a clear understanding of your market but clearly define your objectives and provide marketing strategies through a range of channels to achieve them.
Step 5. Build a network
In any business your network is vital. It’s about having people around you that you can turn to pick up part of your business, so you can have the time to dedicate to driving your budding startup.
Your network is critical for your budding startup to ensure you are on the correct path while maximizing your output and innovation.Whether you’re actively catching up with colleagues in your industry or schmoozing at networking functions, get yourself out there and start talking about your startup.
Step 6. Get legal support
Setting up your budding startup, you will be finished before you begin if you are taking someone’s brand name, or product idea. Setting up your business properly and registering your business through the right channels such as the tax department is vital. You’ll also need to register your URL for your website; this provides you with that platform from which you can build your company.
Even if you don’t set the company up for 12 months or more, you have all the names and registrations you need to be ready – and no one can take them from you – unless you forget to re-register them.
Getting legal advice on your intellectual property (ideas) and your physical assets (logos, brand names, etc.) is also going to put you in good stead and are well worth a look.
Step 7. Set up a website & get digital
You have your product, brand, and company – now it’s time to get online. Set your website up and your social media and don’t forget to ensure they are connected to each other. Your website is your most important touch point. Social pages are great for ‘beating the drum’ and making people aware of your product/service, but your website is king so make sure you get online stat.
Step 8. Release a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) or prototype to the market
The MVP is one of the most important things that a startup can embrace. It’s releasing a product to a captive, controlled market, to test it with ‘early adopters’ to get their feedback and drive the future development or iterations of the business.
Many budding startups have the idea, spend their savings on making it come to life and then realize that their product/service has expensive features that customers don’t want, or that other startups have built and launched more successfully than them – leading to instant failure.
Your MVP allows you to test the product, the marketing, and the customer reactions, embracing feedback then going back to market with something that customers want – not just something that you think they want.
Step 9. Fail fast, learn quickly
If you’ve been in startup land before you’re probably well aware of the risk of failure. Over 90% of all startups fail, so be aware of this but don’t let it stop you.
If you fail small, you pivot, you learn quickly and then move forward. Entrepreneurs should embrace learning, being nimble and fast.
Step 10. Re-release your product
So you have released your MVP, it failed, you learned, and then you re-released again. There is a lot to be said about the continuous journey of a startup, and it’s important to be persistent if you are driven to make your startup work.
Ensure that you are reducing the pain points of your customers, making things easier, better, faster or stronger. Ensure that your marketing & sales efforts are bringing your products to the target markets and you are well on the way to achieving your goals and objectives.
Finding The Right Talent to Grow Your Startup
When you’re a budding startup, there are plenty of freelance support services you might want to tap into to help you grow your business such as graphic designers, web developers, product developers, content writers, business development experts, sales experts, and marketing support.
If you need to get all engines firing and find freelancers to help launch your startup you’re going to need to create an amazing project brief that grabs their attention and encourages them to bid on your project.
Here’s what you need for the perfect project brief for freelance talent:
Describe your startup
Take the time to outline your startup and what you are looking to achieve and why they would want to be a part of your startup. The more info you can give the better.
Outline the task
Outline what you need to be done, the skills needed and what the outcomes will be. If you need a graphic designer, list everything you need them to do for you and be clear about how you want it done.
Add in a time frame for the job
Time waits for no one and if you need a quick turnaround here is where you should be clear about it. Outline if it is a job that needs to be done in 24 hours or if you have a few days or weeks up your sleeve, so you get the right freelance talent that is available when you need them.
Hire Your Freelancer Team, And Get Stuff Done Today
Freelancer.com makes hiring the best talent for your startup easy.
If you’re in need of a brilliant freelance content writer, app developer, business development expert or graphic designer, Freelancer.com has thousands of freelancers ready and waiting to work on your project.
Whatever freelancer you’re looking for to work on your startup, you’ll find the perfect match for your business needs.
Post a project today, and receive bids within seconds.