Are you considering starting a business? A successful startup requires strategic planning and careful implementation of some basic business steps. While the “rules” surrounding a startup are a bit more flexible today than they were before the Internet age, there are still some procedures you need to consider to launch that business successfully.
One of the first hurdles a new business needs to overcome is coming up with sufficient capital to get the business up and running. Once you know the amount you need to start your business, you will need to locate the funding. During the deepest days of the recession, traditional lending for entrepreneurs virtually shut down, but the economy’s death-grip on lending capital has since loosened. Check with your bank first, then consider venture capitalists, friends and family as investors and borrowing against your own personal assets as a last resort.
Additionally, there are emergent methods like Kickstarter and other crowdfunding ventures that allow entrepreneurs to pitch their idea to the masses and collect donations from anyone who wants to help your vision become a reality.
Finalize Legal and Financial Paperwork
Once you know the capital will be there, you need to finalize the legal and financial paperwork. Talk to your local chamber of commerce to learn what licensure you need to open business. Apply for any special permits, such as a license to sell food if you will be opening a restaurant. Open a “Doing Business As” account with your chosen bank, and register your business name with the state.
Secure Your Location
The next thing you need to do is secure your location. If you are launching a traditional business, this will be a storefront. If you are launching an online business, this will be your URL. Either way, the key to success is securing something your potential future customers can find.
Take, for instance, a new restaurant. That restaurant will do best if it is near a busy road, easily accessible and easily seen. If it is tucked away on the back of a strip mall far from any road traffic, people will struggle to find it, and then you’d better hope your Yelp reviews are amazing or no one ever will.
If the business is Web based, visibility requires an easy-to-remember Web address that connects to the business. Be creative until you find one that relates well to your business and also is something customers will easily be able to remember. Put some time into optimizing the site so it is easily found on the search engines.
Before a new business can open its doors, it must get the proper supplies. That new restaurant will need to contract with a restaurant supply company to furnish its kitchen and prepare for opening day. An online business will need to contract with a supplier for the products it will be selling.
Once the location and supplies are ready, you are ready to begin advertising. A successful, highly targeted opening advertising campaign will draw the customers you need for a successful launch. Consider offering a coupon or special deal to people who visit on opening day. This will help you launch with a big crowd, setting the stage for future success. Cut together a splashy video to distribute to the blogosphere. Hire a comedian to run your Twitter account. Do anything you can to get the word out early; no one can patronize you if they don’t know you exist.
Starting a business is always an exciting time for the entrepreneur, and with the right planning before opening da, it can be a successful time as well. Taking a little time to plan for the needs of the business, get your paperwork in order and purchase the supplies you need now will help it to open successfully when the time is right.