Developing your first startup can be one of the most exciting and nerve-racking experiences all rolled into one. On the one hand, you’re fulfilling your dream of launching a company and possibly changing the world; on the other, you’re putting yourself in a position of risk and potential failure. Without a proper knowledge base to build from, failure might be inevitable. Rest easy; I’ve provided a few helpful tips on how you can feel a little better about establishing your startup’s foundation. Check them out below.
Get Yourself Protected Early
As is the case with starting any business, getting yourself protected legally is a crucial aspect. While you might be thinking that you can handle a lot of these aspects yourself, it’s something that requires quite a bit of diligence, especially if you’re sitting on an idea that you feel should be patented. As noted by UpCounsel, with your average junior lawyer costing around $150 per hour, which is well worth it despite how expensive initial upstart costs might be.
Start by looking at the materials you might need to be protected and the different filings your startup might need. I highly recommend a startup lawyer like attorney Aaron Kelly, who’s one of the best when it comes to launching a business. Not only will Aaron Kelly go over all the necessary steps with you, but he’ll also do it at a rate that’s fair and worth every cent. Because while protecting your startup is important, it’s even better to know everything’s in good hands.
Learn From Some Of The Best
Any successful owner of a startup will tell you that the most significant quality to have is not only an openness to learning new things but the resources to access that knowledge as well. In fact, according to Entrepreneur, 80 percent of CEOs in a survey stated that they had some mentor in their career, and still do to that day. Mentorship and learning are some of the biggest tools you’ll have as a startup founder and something you shouldn’t lack on if you want to be successful.
To begin, start looking for educational resources that are geared towards teaching you the ropes. This should be a well-balanced mix including marketing, fundraising, team building, and even product development. Additionally, try to find a few founders that you admire and be proactive in following their blog and Twitter. I personally recommend Brian Magierski, a serial entrepreneur who has most recently taken his talents to start a health blockchain company.
Finally, since your mentors are going to be a huge help in your development, it’s important to establish those relationships early, making it a habit to check in regularly. If you haven’t exactly formed a solid relationship with a mentor, then it doesn’t hurt to go out to some networking events and cold-call a few prospects locally whom you admire their work. Your mentor should be someone that you feel will help guide your startup along to hitting multitudes of success, which is why it’s key to find your way to the best fit.
Know How You’ll Get To Market
Once you’ve established the general idea and protected it, the biggest step that you’re going to have to address before you start building your company is how you’ll get to market. As noted by Preferred CFO,
with 82 percent of businesses failing because of cash flow problems, it goes without saying that figuring out these aspects early and genuinely being able to explain them to your partners and investors will be crucial. Although it’s unfortunate unless you have an incredibly brilliant idea, the days where companies that went through periods of pre-revenue or operating at a loss until a big enough user base came in is over, which you need to be mindful of in describing your model.
A good point of reference is honing in on your pitch and being able to explain to someone how it’s going to make money from day one. The better you get at explaining that in one sentence, the more likely that you’ll be able to get your foot in the door places, and even start possibly landing investment. Remember, because this is a project you’re passionate about, the best thing you can do is not only show how it will generate income but also why you feel like it could change the world. That’s half the reason most of us become entrepreneurs, after all.
What steps are you taking to establish a strong foundation for your business? Share your process in the comments.