Each year, hundreds of millions of startups are launched around the world. Each business is started by an entrepreneur who thinks they’ve found the next big thing, and thinks they have what it takes to make it a success.
Unfortunately, more often than not, those entrepreneurs are wrong. According to research, just over 20% of startups fail in their first year, another 30% fail in their second year, an additional 50% fail in their 5th year, and 70% of remaining startups fail in their tenth year. The odds of a startup surviving are about 10%.
If you’re committed to launching your startup despite the statistics, you’ve come to the right place. It’s imperative that you plan correctly if you want a chance at success. Read on for the 5 steps you need to launch your startup.
Step 1: Make a Business Plan
You’ve got a killer business idea; congratulations. A killer idea is great, but it really means nothing if you don’t have a plan to execute it. Before you make any moves on launching your startup, it’s time to build your business plan.
While the exact business plan for your business will vary based on concept, vertical, and a number of other factors, all business plans consist of a few key categories.
- Executive summary: A high-level overview of your business that will provide a potential investor or partner an understanding of you and your business.
- Company description: What is your company? What problem does it solve? You should explain this in your business plan. A great way to do this is by telling the story of how your business came to be.
- Market analysis: Who is your audience? Who are your competitors? You should have already performed market analysis and buyer personas. Include any information gleaned from those exercises here.
- Management: Who is on your team and what do they bring? While you haven’t hired employees yet, you’re sure to have secured your high-level management team. Even if it’s just yourself and your business partner, tell your stories.
- Marketing proposal: How will you find customers? Where will you market your product? What channels will you use to connect with people? Include those details here.
- Funding proposal: What are you asking for from investors? How will that funding be used?
- Forecast: What sales and revenue do you project? Include a forecast for the first 6 months, first year, and first five years to give readers a strong idea of where you’re heading.
Step 2: Build a Website
Let’s face it: without a website, your company might as well not exist. Most business these days takes place on the internet. And even if your company requires an in-person sale, you should still have an online presence.
It’s extremely easy to create a website in our digital age. You can find plenty of website builders with templates and drag and drop features. While your website doesn’t have to be perfect, it should give a good overview of your company. Include pages like:
- About Us
- Our Team
- Our Products
- Contact Us
Step 3: Find Investors
Every startup needs seed money. Now that you’ve made your business plan and built your website, you have all the information you need to go to investors.
A pitch deck should be 15-25 slides long and should tell a story. Create a pitch deck that will tell investors exactly who you are, what you plan to do, and what you’re asking for from them. Most importantly, tell them what they’ll get out of their investment.
Step 4: Hire Employees
The next step is to find your employees. Your employees are arguably your business’s greatest asset. They are your sales people, your brand ambassadors, and the face of your company.
Find strong employees by thoroughly vetting them. Set up interviews with both you and your business partners, as well as other key figures in the business. Ask for references and perform a background check to find any red flags in their history. With a strong team, your business can accomplish anything.
Step 5: Open for Business
Congratulations! You’re ready to launch your business. Managing a startup is a wild experience; no matter what happens, you’ll learn more than you ever imagined. Good luck!