Start It Up: Get Your Startup Off and Running

 All you need now is a way to get it to the people. A driving force in the American economy, startups bring out the best in innovation and competition, startups are the advent of growth.

But success is much more than an idea. To see the light of day, ideas need sound backing. So, just what are the best practices when it comes to getting your startup off the ground? From dream to inception, startups are exposed to tons of variables, it’s essential to be prepared to face them.

Success is More Than an Idea

99% of best practices are steeped in common sense. However, it’s easy to get so focused on one idea that you develop a kind of tunnel vision.  Let’s discuss a few essential steps that will help us establish some clarity.

The most important thing? Keep an open mind. Commit to identifying paradigm blinders. That’s what happens when you get so consumed with your vision that you stop seeing the possibilities. Understand that the success of your venture depends largely upon your ability to adapt to the moment. 

Now that you have an open mind…  Draw on every particle of excitement that lives in your idea, grab a pencil and write it down. Don’t worry about the structure, that will come later. Just draw on the energy that got you here and define what you want to do.

Intent is Everything

Start with the idea, What spawned it? Why is it groundbreaking? Take what you’ve written and create a mission statement. A mission statement will function as an amazing anchor, it establishes intent, and intent is where it all starts.

Now, make some goals. A classic formula for goal setting is the SMART approach. Super effective, the acronym goes like this:

  • Specific 
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant 
  • Timely

Look out! You’re working on the bones of a proper business plan. As you continue the process your plan will get more definition, so keep it handy and be ready to adjust. 

Next stop? take a look at your team. If you are flying solo, consider the skills you have and the ones you need to get your brand moving. It’s a good time to consider possible collaborators. Whether it’s operations or support, identify what it is that you bring to the table and what you might need. 

Pull out that business plan again and add your observations. This will become part of what we call a situational analysis. That’s the portion of your business plan that identifies strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

You’re Not Limited to Your Bootstraps

If you haven’t already, think about funding. Even in tight economic times, there are always folks out there ready to invest. Keep an open mind, this is not a dead-end. 

Maybe you’re launching with personal finances. Don’t worry if that’s not an option, there are lots of ways to find startup investors. Friends, family, venture capitalists, and angel investors; be creative, get that rocket off the launch pad.

Digital marketing firms and other incubators are great tools for brand-boosting. One of the quickest ways to draw attention to your project is to hire a marketing professional to bring investors to you.

Your story is almost complete. It’s time to create the ‘pitch-deck’, a slide show that brags on what you are offering. It’s your sales pitch! By now, you should know it by heart. You can tweak as needed, there are curveballs at every turn. 

In the end, it comes down to definition. Clarity is a gift that a few of us possess, but all that is needed to achieve what we want. With so many different elements in play, launching a startup may seem simple but it’s easy to lose sight of the destination. Take a few steps in the beginning and light up the path. After all, the brighter the light, the more attention you will attract.

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