The process of building a startup business to profitability is an arduous task that requires more than just some good ideas and an ability to execute. It takes a substantial amount of planning, patience and endurance.
This article will discuss the most important factors in preparing for the long haul and achieving success: Peter DeCaprio
Building your team:
You cannot do everything yourself, nor should you. A good team of peers will let you focus on the aspects of your business that bring most value, while they can take care of everything else. It is also important to remember that not everyone is the right fit for the job and every startup is going through a constantly evolving process, so be prepared to constantly shift who does what.
This is a rather long process and it takes time to find the right people as well as trust them with your idea. Furthermore, as you will be working closely with each other every step of the way, good communication and relationship skills are essential traits to look for when hiring an employee or building a team.
Defining your goals:
Having a well defined set of goals tells you when you’re are on the right track. Being able to measure results helps you define milestones further down the road, which in turn will help you assess if reaching them is becoming more and more plausible. These goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound. They should also directly align with the mission and vision of your business.
A strong business plan need not be anything more than a few sentences or even one page long – it just needs to be clear and concise so that everyone involved knows what they’re working towards. It might seem overwhelming at first but if you start by simply writing down some general ideas it will slowly take shape and become a lot easier.
Building your product or service:
Building the actual thing you want to sell is the most crucial part of any startup business as it defines what your brand stands for. If you have an idea but not a clue on how to implement it, do some research and talk to people who have been there before – whether that be other entrepreneurs or professionals within your industry. It’s important to remember that perfection is unattainable so try to finish things as quickly as possible rather than polishing them forever.
Raising awareness about your company:
Now that you have something tangible, people need to know about it! Marketing and branding are essential ingredients in attracting customers and gaining their trust. It is also important to focus on where your prospective customers are hanging out and how they prefer to be communicated with. Different social media platforms offer different advantages for bringing attention to your startup, so use them all!
Every business will need a marketing plan that defines who their potential clients are and how their product or service can help solve consumers’ problems. Marketing encompasses many things including SEO (Search engine optimization), PPC (Pay per click) advertising, SEM (Search engine marketing), PR (Public relations), email marketing, content marketing, influencer outreach and others. Again, do some research before starting as well as testing each option until you’ve found what works best for you – don’t expect everything to work right away either.
Pricing your product or service:
When selling products, pricing is mainly based on the cost of producing the item; while the price of services varies depending on how much value it brings to customers. To get an idea on what people would be willing to pay for your product or service, do thorough research and start with a slightly higher price that you think people will accept. You can always lower it later if necessary but raising it later on might not be an option anymore.
Coping with failure:
There might come a time when things don’t go according to plan – perhaps sales are not meeting expectations or maybe even competitors are offering better versions of your product or service. Try not to take it personally and accept the fact that you need to make changes, whether they are to your marketing plan, team structure or even business model. Failure is a part of success so don’t be discouraged by it – draw lessons from your mistakes and learn how not to make them again
Conclusion by Peter DeCaprio:
Starting up a business is not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination. It takes time, persistence and above all else – courage. The road to success might be challenging but the satisfaction you’ll have when reaching your milestones will make it well worth staying the course.