It’s essential to understand that every situation is different when it comes to getting a startup off the ground; however, there are some commonalities. We spoke to Josh Melick, Co-Founder & former CEO of Broadly.com, about some of those things. This is not a complete list of steps by any means, but it does provide an outline of the fundamental items that every startup should consider before their company launches into the world.
Here are eight things Josh says you should do to get your startup up and running:
1) Have Your Business Idea Funded or Bootstrapped
The best way to get a business off the ground is to have it funded. There are two ways this can happen: either you receive funding from investors, or your company can bootstrap it by itself–not monetizing its product at first and instead focusing on getting users.
2) Have a Contingency Plan in Case Funding Is Slow
Ideally, funding will come in quickly. However, that is sometimes not the case. If you are bootstrapping your business, it’s crucial to have a contingency plan so you can bring on staff and begin building even if there is no money coming in.
3) Have Access to Capital Through an Equity Partner or Strategic Investor
Many companies have trouble with step one or step two, so they turn to their equity partner or strategic investor for help. This is an extremely common solution that can be used in most cases.
4) Make Sure You Have Personnel on Staff Who Are Compatible with Your Company’s Mission
It is important to make sure you work well with your employees, especially in the early stages of your company. You should be able to trust them with important tasks and delegate significant responsibility to them.
5) Know That Startup Life Is Not for Everyone
Not everyone is cut out for startup life. If you’ve ever worked for a corporation or an established company, you know how things work. However, when it comes to a startup, it’s like the Wild West. You might have difficult co-workers, and nobody will tell you what to do; there is no long-term security, and everything you work on could be abandoned at any moment as the direction of the company changes.
6) Determine Whether or Not You Are Ready for Startup Life Before You Quit Your Job
It is possible to begin working for a startup while you still have your job. This way, you can learn what it takes to run a business without the risk of leaving your steady paycheck. You can take that knowledge with you when you are ready to strike out on your own.
7) Know That Things May Go Slowly at First
Many startups don’t take off right away. It may take six months to a year before the company becomes profitable or secures enough funding for significant growth. You have to be ready for this, so you are not caught off guard. Also, if things are slow at first, that doesn’t mean they will always be that way, so you have to keep a positive mindset and stay motivated.
8) Never Stop Networking, Even if You Think Your Company Has Reached a Point Where It Can Afford Not To
Always be networking. Make sure you connect with as many people as possible–especially those who could help your company grow. Then, when the time comes to raise money or hire employees, you will have a strong network of contacts to draw upon.