Building a business is easy… but creating a business that will last and be successful is another matter…
That’s why in this article I explain the 13 steps to start a business, whether it’s an SME or a startup:
Make sure your idea fits a market…
It’s not step one, but a prerequisite.
There is no point in jumping into a project if prospects are not willing to buy.
It may seem counterintuitive to start finding partners right away, yet it gives you a much better chance of success later on.
Why is that? Simply because you’re overwhelmed by the issues, you don’t take a step back… and therefore the project is less likely to go ahead. This first partner can be there temporarily (to support you during the launch) or for the rest of the adventure.
Setting up your communication supports
Even if your idea is only in its infancy, you should start now to occupy the field, via a blog, a Facebook group?
This allows you to be recognized by your prospect community, to create your first pool of prospects…
Draw up specifications for your product’s mockups
This will allow you to clarify your idea, and to know what you want to propose.
Remember that the Devil hides in the details, and it is often by going into detail that you ask yourself the right questions.
Develop a prototype – The MVP
The goal is to focus on the key features, and not want to make a Swiss Army knife product.
It’s time to focus on the “killer feature” and see what your prospects really want.
Make your prototype known to the first prospects and influencers (Facebook Ads, bloggers…).
You need to prove the relevance of your concept, with a minimum of sales to make.
You have to start by testing your speech, your arguments… on a small number of prospects, and then go from there.
Initially you can get your first funds to start your business, especially with “Love Money”, i.e. money from your family and friends for your first steps in business.
The cash is the petrol and your engine your business… if there is no more petrol, the engine stalls and then stops!
Once you can prove that your product is aimed at a real solvent market, that you have your first customers… you can raise funds or get more financing.
Determine the structure of the company
Even if the creation of a company can wait for the completion of your project and your first customers, it is important to think about the legal form of your company, and the distribution of capital.
The business name
The smaller the company, the more important the brand and the graphic charter will be.
Indeed they will allow you to create emotion and to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Open a bank account for your company
Whether it is a simple Stripe or Paypal account, or a bank account to domicile the company, the bank account quickly becomes essential to pay suppliers and receive the first payments.
Set up an accounting software or an ERP system
The accounting must allow you to be in order with the Law (VAT…), but above all to follow your finances, especially profitability and cash flow…
Cash is the essence of your company’s engine, if there is no more money to pay suppliers and employees, the company stops.
Build your team
Only one person can go faster, but with a group of people we can go farther.
Creating a startup alone is one of the major causes of failure.
It’s better to create a project with several people than to never see your project finalized.
The team also allows to delimit responsibilities and to know who does what, and the use of sub-contracting, employees…
Have a minimal presence on the internet (websites & social networks)
A beautiful website, nice landing pages and social media accounts allow you to increase the notoriety and credibility of your company.
As a small business with few resources, partnerships are essential to gain notoriety and visibility at a lower cost.
And at the end of this file, I offer you a free guide that gathers my best advice to create your Startup.