By: Natalie Zweig
New startups have a tough path to success. According to Forbes, 90% of startups fail, in order to be in the 10% there’s a lot you need. Your success depends on more than just your idea, you need to beat out the competition. The path to success may seem difficult, but it’s definitely possible and extremely rewarding. Mark Zuckerburg found great success through starting Facebook, now the leader in social networking. Zuckerburg’s advice to entrepreneurs is, “Don’t set out to build a company, he advised. Rather, “start with the problem that you’re trying to solve in the world. … The best companies that get built are things that are trying to drive some kind of social change, even if it’s just local in one place.” Source: CNBC
A startup can be defined as a company in its first stage, created by entrepreneurs and often financed by investors. The company is entering the market, and competing for success. The market is full of large businesses who have years of experience and knowledge, making it difficult to compete. However, a strong startup can find their place in the market and have great potential.
The first step to success is having a business plan. This includes your business’s plan of operation and how the business will achieve its goals. The plan should outline the next 3-5 years. The plan should show what the business will look like in the future and how it will get there, including the resources and finances needed to get there.
The next step is funding. A startup needs funding in order to grow. Investors will pay in exchange for equity in a business. Seed funding is also common for early startups. A seed investment is a very early investment in a company in exchange for equity to support the business until it can make money on it’s own. You need startup capital to start a company, and investors are the best way to achieve this.
Next you must assemble and build a team. First, register your business name and get a federal tax ID number from the IRS. Consult an attorney, financial advisor, and accountant in the early stages to prevent mistakes from affecting your business down the line. Your company can choose to be a LLC, corporation, sole proprietorship, or partnership. The type of company you chose will impact taxes and liability. You also need business insurance to protect your company. After these steps are complete, it’s time to build a team, and hire people.
Now it’s time to build a website. Launching the website is essential and doing it correctly is very important. Forbes’s 10 tips are “1. Set up a pre-launch page 2. Create at least 3-5 pieces of high-quality content 3. Give your visitors a way to sign up for your email list
4. Start networking with influencers in your field 5. Set up online alerts for your blog name 6. Start getting free links and publicity with HARO. 7. Upload an XML sitemap 8. Learn the basics of SEO 9. Install Google Analytics 10. Add your site to Google Search Console.” You also want to create social media accounts on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to connect with consumers.
After creating an online presence, it’s time to begin marketing. Pre launch marketing is an essential step to spreading the word before the company has launched. In addition, utilize digital marketing strategies such as search engine optimization, pay-per-click, social media marketing, content marketing, and email marketing. Marketing techniques will vary depending on the industry and company.
Building a customer base is essential for company growth. Having an online presence is helpful, but the most important thing is customer loyalty. The best way to achieve this is through customer service. You want to keep your churn rate as low as possible. Learn more about reducing churn.
This process is very difficult and your company is likely to face many challenges along the way, however, if you are able to solve problems as they arise, you will have great potential to succeed. Being in the 10% of successful startups is achievable.
Do you want to build a successful startup? Consider using MassLight for all your technical efforts. We build software for early stage startups solely in exchange for equity. Learn more about our build for equity program or contact us directly.