Launching your first company can be one of the most exciting endeavors you’ll ever embark on. However, for as much as founders like to hype the startup life, there are a few things you should know before you leap. That’s why we’re offering a few helpful tips on how to get started. Check them out below:
Know Your Upstart Costs
Before you can approach any investment strategy or capital partners, you first have to assess your upstart costs in getting your product off the ground. Most investors are going to want to see at least an MVP (most viable product) before they give you any investment, which is why having a little bit of a nest set aside while you build out your product is imperative.That starts with estimating your budget.
According to the SBA, the upstart cost for your average small business is between $1,000 to $5,000, which while that’s accurate, can vary depending on where you live. First map out how long you think development will take, then add a little bit more for error and roadblocks. From there, estimate what your overhead will be per month until you reach that goal, making room for any incidentals along the way. The goal is to have enough of a safety net you feel comfortable, making your startup a full-time focus.
Find Those You Admire In The Industry
A smart strategy that can lead to building partnerships, as well as investment, is finding those you admire in your industry to learn and grow from. No matter if it’s someone you’re currently working with or a founder you have admired from afar, having a mentor is the norm now, with Forbes reporting that approximately 81 percent of millennials are happy with who they’re learning from. Don’t sweat it if you lack in this department, as bringing on a mentor can be much easier than you might imagine.
The first step you should take in trying to find a mentor is network, network, network. Similar to dating, this is all about getting out there and meeting people into you click. Try to find some networking events for your industry or based on the startup community, as well as directly reach out to those in your city you find valuable to meet. Although this process might feel uncomfortable at first, the more you go out and try to meet others, the more likely you’ll find that organic match.
Establish Your Web Presence
Often overlooked, having a great web presence is imperative for your startup. Not only is this the first point of contact that most people will have with your company but additionally the source for your brand as well. Even though you might be thinking just a placeholder is necessary for now, establishing a solid website from the jump will save quite a bit of a headache down the road, especially if you’re aiming to seek investment.
As you never know who could be visiting, your website should be able to showcase what you do and why others should gravitate towards your product or service from the very start. Furthermore, this also needs to be responsive because as noted by Statista, mobile makes up 52 percent of global internet traffic, which is a market you don’t want to miss. Another important piece of note is to have some call-to-action that can quantify success; for example, early access or an email signup. Remember, this is a primary hub for how people learn and become interested in you, which is well worth a substantial initial investment from the start.
Keep Consistent With Networking
Finally, as you continue to grow your business, keeping up with networking will be crucial. Not only is this how you meet more employees and partners but potentially new customers as well. Although practices like digital marketing are smart, nothing can beat an in-person meeting; in fact, according to Hubspot, the close rate for in-person meetings is 40 percent. Landing numbers like that can make a world of difference for your business, which is why you need to make networking second nature.
Similar to the practices listed above for finding a network, going to industry events and conferences are an excellent first step. Furthermore, don’t be afraid to enter out of your comfort zone a little bit, learning from different industries and practices. Networking is all about finding strength in numbers, which is the main component of success for a lot of startup communities.
What are you most excited about in launching your first startup? Comment with your answers below!