A Step-by-Step Guide to Build a Startup

startup
michael-signal@2x By Michael Signal May 31st 2021

What would it be like to work for yourself on something you love? If you can build a startup, you can make that dream a reality.

But first, you need to know how to build a startup. Then, you can give yourself the best chance of succeeding and growing your new business.

Read on to learn more.

Brainstorm Ideas

One of the most important aspects of building a startup is having a good idea. If you want to build a startup but aren’t sure of an idea, do some brainstorming.

Figure out if there are any gaps in the market that you can fill. Consider your interests and passions to find even more ideas. Then, narrow your list down to one or two ideas to research further.

If you can only come up with one idea, you can focus on brainstorming names. Then, you can figure out the best name to call your new startup.

Research the Market

Next, you should do some market research to validate your favourite ideas. You can research the market for a few potential startups, which can help you decide which one to take further.

Market research helps you learn if people need or want what you can offer. The research will show you if people find something to be a problem. That way, you can determine if something will sell.

Start with the internet as you conduct market research. Look at any competing startups to see what they offer and if they have customer reviews.

Then, use the customer reviews to further develop your idea to stand out from your competition. When you launch, you will know that you have a market ready to buy.

Evaluate the Risks

Another crucial step for how to build a startup is to determine the risks. You should determine the risks regarding your:

  • Product or service
  • Market/customer base
  • Finances
  • Team experience
  • Copycat products

Fortunately, you can manage the risks for each category. You can manage your product risk by starting with a small production order.

Doing more market research can help mitigate risks related to your customers. Lowering your financial risk may involve raising more money or adjusting your prices.

As you build your team, you can hire experts to help mitigate other risks for your startup. While you can’t avoid copies, you can obtain a patent to protect yourself against other businesses who want to copy your idea.

Discipline Over Motivation

Building a startup can be difficult, and you will need to work many hours to get it off the ground. Motivation can be an excellent tool to help at the start, but you shouldn’t rely only on it.

You will also need the discipline to help you take the time to sit down and work. Discipline is especially vital if you have another job or other responsibilities.

When you build a startup, you may need to do so during the evenings or weekends. If you can focus on discipline, you can improve the chances of working on your startup consistently and making it successful.

Consider Co-Founders

Co-founders can be a vital part of a successful startup for a few reasons. First, you can find co-founders with different areas of expertise. That way, you always have someone to ask for help with different problems.

Having co-founders allows you to split the workload as you work on your idea. You may take time off from the business but still have it grow.

If you want to find co-founders, make sure they’re as passionate about your ideas as you. Consider how much time your co-founders are willing to spend working on the idea.

Then, you can work with people who you can trust to focus on the business and help it grow. If something goes wrong, you won’t have to fix it alone.

Find a Mentor

Whether or not you have co-founders, a business mentor is a valuable resource. You can go to your mentor with questions or problems, and they may know what to do.

A mentor has experience starting and growing a business. Look for someone who has created a successful startup, ideally in the same or a similar industry.

That way, they will have the knowledge you need to move your startup forward. Meeting with your mentor allows you to get specific help that you may not get even with a formal business degree.

Focus on Speed

Co-founders and business mentors can help you improve your speed when starting and growing your startup. Being fast allows you to reach the market before your competition.

It also means you can adapt to changes more easily, so you can meet new demands from customers. If you need to update your app to fix a security issue, doing so quickly will help maintain customer trust.

Speed can be vital when it comes to technology and anything you do online. Whether you want to create a mobile app or an eCommerce store, you need to develop new products and ideas consistently.

That way, you can keep things interesting for your customers. And you won’t have to worry about being the last startup to do something new.

Create a Plan

As you finalise your startup idea, you should create a business plan. Your business plan includes a few elements, such as:

  • Business strategy
  • Basic concept
  • Your target market(s)
  • Products and services
  • Financial requirements
  • Your background in business

A business plan doesn’t have to be long or complex, especially if you will be the main person to look at it. However, you may need more structure if you plan to get investors.

Investors will need to learn about your business model to understand the investment. Then, they will decide if they want to invest in your startup. Having a professional business plan may help you stand out from other startups.

Get Legal

When you write your business plan, you may want to include legal information about your business. You should determine your business structure.

Options include a sole trader, partnership, company, and trust. Sole traders are individuals running businesses without others, while partnerships consist of at least two people running the business.

A company can protect you from legal trouble because it separates your startup from you and your personal life. Finally, a trust uses a trustee to manage the business.

Once you decide on a structure, you can register the business and register for an Australian business number (ABN). Then, you can make sure your business is legal and follows any relevant laws.

Decide Who to Hire

If you will hire employees, you should create a plan for that. Figure out what roles you need to fill and if you need the help for those tasks now.

Once you determine the roles you will hire for, you can write job descriptions. Then, you can post the job and interview potential candidates.

Make sure you look for people you can trust and who can help build a startup. Consider the experience of anyone who applies and ask as many questions as you need during interviews.

Determine Your Budget

Knowing who you need to hire leads to the next step in building a startup from scratch, which is creating a budget. A business budget tells you how much you need to make and how much you can spend.

You can research the costs of setting up a website, getting an office, developing an app, and more. Consider what costs you will have in your business and compare average prices.

Once you have a budget in mind, you can figure out how to set your prices. If you want to get funding from investors or a bank, you can use your budget for that as well.

Raise Money

Startup costs vary between businesses, so use your budget as you raise money. Consider different funding sources to help pay for expenses, especially before you make a profit.

Personal savings is an excellent starting point for business funding. If it isn’t enough, think about asking family and friends or your co-founders for money.

Venture capital firms are an excellent option if you need more money to build an app or manufacture a product. You may also want to get angel investors.

Loans are another option, but they can be expensive when you factor in the interest you’ll need to pay. Consider how many ways you want to raise money so that you can decide which options are best for you.

Build a Website

A website helps you attract customers, sell your product, and grow your startup. Even if you will operate an in-person office, you should use a website.

Your business website should look professional and be easy for people to navigate. Include information about you and your startup. If you sell products online, the website should include product pages as well.

Make sure your website copy is easy to read and engaging so that people want to read more. Then, you can use your website to convert visitors into paying customers.

Without a website, building a startup will be even more difficult. You will need to rely on other marketing methods and payment options to bring in customers and complete transactions.

Set Up a Physical Location

Depending on your startup, you may need a physical business location. Locations include a retail store, an office space, and a manufacturing plant.

However, you may not need a physical location. If you are creating an app, you may be able to work from home and communicate with others remotely.

Startups that have a lot of inventory may need a dedicated office or storage space for the items. Consider what you will be selling and if you need a physical space or not.

Develop Your Marketing Plan

As you build a startup, marketing will be essential to getting new and returning customers. You can market your startup in a few ways, such as using social media networks.

Email marketing is another excellent way to connect with people because you can target their inboxes. Then, you can reach people who already want to learn more about your startup.

However, search engine optimization (SEO) can help you attract potential leads to your website. Using the right keywords will help your website show up in search results.

Then, people can click on your website to get answers. While on your site, they may want to learn more, and some might even buy from you.

Get Customers

When building a startup, you need to focus on getting customers. That could mean having people download your app or getting sales for your eCommerce store.

As you market your business, you should share how it can benefit your target market. Cover the benefits and why your product or service is better than the competition.

Use your market research to target the best marketing methods, such as social media or traditional ads. That way, you can make sure you reach your ideal customers.

And be consistent with your marketing. Some customers may need to see your marketing materials as much as seven times before they decide to buy something.

Focus on Growth

After you begin your startup, you should keep focusing on growth. Startup growth can differ depending on your company, such as updating an app or adding new products.

Consider how you can best grow your startup in the short and long term. As you grow, try not to focus on dips in sales or other negative factors.

If your business is growing overall, then you’re on track to build a startup that will last. Any good business will have good moments and bad moments.

Successful business owners know to keep going even when the odds don’t look great. You never know when your business may bounce back with more sales.

How Will You Build a Startup?

If you want to build a startup, you can build more than a business. You can create a successful life for yourself, and you can solve common problems.

Whether you want to create a product or develop an app, your knowing how to build a startup will help set you up for success. Then, you can keep your business going for years.

Do you want to start building a startup? View our work to learn how we can help.

michael-signal@2x By Michael Signal

Michael is the creative brains of the company and he leads the UX and UI team at EB Pearls. He has experience of over 20 years in interaction design and have designed digital products for Fortune 50 companies all over the world.

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