So you had a great idea for a new startup that’s going to change the world – that’s fantastic! You’re probably thrilled to get started and want to do everything at once to make your business as successful as possible. There’s a lot to do, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed very quickly. Don’t worry – we’ve broken the whole thing down into five keys to startup success that will help you get up and running quickly.
1. Get Your Ducks in a Row
The first thing you’ll want to do will be to tell everyone you know about your business idea – resist the urge for now. People are going to have lots of questions about your business plan, revenue model, and much more. Spend some serious time thinking about how all this is going to go, working closely with a trusted advisor if you can. Plan out a budget, forecast your revenue numbers, and develop a strategy for the next several years. While you may not have all the answers right now, putting what you do know down on paper will help you organize your thoughts and make you look more squared away to potential customers and supporters.
2. Share Your Idea With a Few Close Friends
It’s still not quite time to shout your idea from the rooftops. The last thing you want is for someone else to claim credit for your idea and steal it for themselves, especially before you have all the details worked out. You should, however, share your idea with family and friends that you trust. Be open to their feedback and adjust your business plan accordingly. They’ll be able to see holes in your logic or potential pain points that you just can’t because you’re too emotionally invested. It may be painful to hear them point out all the flaws with your idea, but it will be worth it in the long run.
3. Prepare for Growth Now
As your business starts to get off the ground, now is the time to prepare for the meteoric growth you hope to achieve. Think about what your business will need to grow rapidly and put processes in place that will scale. For instance, does your social media strategy consist of you getting on Facebook and sharing a post whenever it’s convenient for you? Invest in a scheduling tool like Hootsuite or Buffer so your posts can be published even when you’re not around. Consider a project management tool like Trello, Asana, or Airtable to help keep your team organized or try out a communication tool like Slack to keep everyone in the loop.
4. Start Promoting Your Business
Okay, NOW it’s time to tell everyone! Once you’ve got the key processes in place and your business idea is secure, it’s time to start marketing and bringing in customers. Find out who your customers are and how best to reach them, then focus your efforts in those areas. For example, if your target market is purely on Facebook, don’t waste time posting on Twitter. You only have so many hours and so many dollars – spend them where they will make the most impact.
5. Be Smart About Funding
In the very earliest stages, you’ll likely be bootstrapping much of your startup’s growth. As supporters start to take notice, you’ll probably start receiving offers for funding. Consider each offer carefully and don’t become starstruck by large dollar amounts. Many investors will want a stake in your business in exchange for their financial backing, and you don’t want to slice up your business too much or give ownership away to investors whose values don’t align with yours. You still can and possibly even should entertain and accept funding offers from investors who want a stake in your business, just be careful.
BONUS: Find a Credit Card Processor You Trust
While you’re cranking through these five keys to startup success, don’t forget to find a credit card processor that you trust to help you manage your payments. At 360 Payments, we’d like to throw our hat in the ring. Give us a call at 1-855-360-0360 or drop us a line on our website. We’d love to show you why we’re a different kind of credit card processor.
PS – Your business needs a social media strategy. Here’s why.
PPS – Keep an eye on these metrics as you’re ramping up your business.