You’re going to be spending most of your time trying to launch your business – and the demands don't let up once you’ ve launched. It’s a 24/7 effort, so you'd better love what it is you want to do! Read on to learn why other successful entrepreneurs think it's so important. . .
"Starting a business is a lot of work. . .If not for passion, you might be tempted to give it all up. . .Passion is that crucial characteristic that blinds you to so many obstacles to help keep you on track. " - Laura Deustch, Found of Babybites.
Whether you have worked in the industry for days or for years, you can't be an expert in everything. Having a second person who has the necessary skills or the experience you may lack can be a tremendous help – if to just bounce ideas off of.
Launching a company is a lot like building a physical structure: Without proper blueprints and a model, how do you know what you're building? Do all the pieces fit together? Where are the bottlenecks?
Not only will potential partners and investors want to see what your product or service will look like, but you need to have a clear understanding of what you are building, how it will work, and how your customers will react to it before you put a lot of cash into producing the final product.
If you're in a low-risk business and will be self-funding, a sole proprietorship may be right for you. One good thing about business structures is that they can be changed, so you aren't bound to a single structure. It may still cost to change later on, but saving cash in the beginning is key.
Watch a video of Wicked Start's legal expert, Franklin Simpson, founder of Franklin Simpson, Attorneys at Law, to learn four ways to keep your corporate structure costs low.
This is a much debated topic...to business plan or not to business plan? Having a solid plan of how you intend to operate, market, finance, and grow your business is never a bad idea.
Not only is writing a business plan a requirement when trying to raise money, but is important for you as the business owner to have a good plan of attack. Otherwise, you'll find you're running in circles, which can take up valuable time and money.
Now with the ability to store data in the cloud, the quality of VoIP (Voice over IP, setting up a phone line over an internet connection) and the emergence of free organizational and communication applications, a virtual office can be cheap, easy and efficient. We've outlined 5 considerations for setting up the ultimate startup "office".
When starting up, you probably will first try to found co-founders or partners who can shoulder the work load as well as bring the right experience and skill sets to the table. Make sure that your potential partner either has industry experience or contacts to help get your company to the next level (think funding). Read a blog post on how to best allocate equity to each of your partners, it will be helpful at this stage.
You can probably identify a vendor/strategic partner to produce your product for you. Don’t outsource if you’ll be manufacturing yourself, in that case you can outsource components of your operations. In the beginning, it may be difficult to outsource because your volumes are low. You may need to purchase high levels of inventory, commit to minimum production runs or provide some sort of guarantee. So be prepared for some possible cash outflow. Watch our "4 Considerations when Outsourcing" video and visit our Resources to find strategic partners to outsource with.
You can market your company with a small budget, patience and elbow grease. Set up social media (Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Groupon etc.) Create buzz by giving your product away for free, if what you’re selling has value than good reviews will travel fast and you’ll perk the interest of new customers. Be smart and treat your initial customers very well.
Less than 2 percent of small business funding comes from venture capitalists – so needless to say, it's extremely difficult to get. Most VCs look for extreme growth companies and often don't focus on prerevenue companies, unless you are an experienced entrepreneur.
Since venture capitalists only invest in a small number of startups, try looking at the other 98 percent of the funding options, such as family and friends, SBA loans, angel investors and crowd funding.
Ever wonder if you have what it takes to start your own company? Starting a business can be challenging, and it isn't for everyone. Take our quiz and see how you fare.
Not every great idea becomes a successful business. Take our quiz to determine your idea's business potential. Take our quiz and see how your idea fares.