Launching a startup: It is easier than you think
If you had to take a guess about how many startup companies there are in the United States, what would you guess? According to Inc., 27+ million entrepreneurs are running startup companies in this country alone.
Yet with America's "bigger is better and biggest is best" mentality, it seems more would-be entrepreneurs are intimidating themselves out of launching companies. As of 2016, the Washington Post reported that the number of American startups launched annually is now falling.
Yet starting a new company remains a very achievable dream. A "startup" company is small by design until success indicates otherwise. It doesn't ever have to become huge to be successful (in fact, as successful-startup-gone-huge Uber has proven, sometimes growing bigger isn't better!).
In this article, learn what you really need to launch a startup company.
Where Every Successful Startup Begins
Every startup begins with someone's good idea. But what makes a good idea startup-worthy? As Entrepreneur points out, a startup-worthy idea is an idea that no other company is pursuing adequately based on potential need or demand.
Another way to look at this is that every startup begins with an unsolved problem. Maybe other companies are trying to solve it, but the result is far from satisfactory. You have an idea for how to solve that problem or meet that need/demand better than the others.
This is where every successful startup company begins.
What a Startup Needs to Succeed
Of course, you already know that actually pursuing that great idea takes more than just the idea itself. There is the big picture idea, and then there are the brass tacks steps to get there.
Here are the essential elements your startup will need in order to have its chance to shine:
1. Excellent timing
The timing of a startup’s launch can have a huge impact on its success. If you have ever noticed how often two movies about the same theme launch at the same time and only one becomes a box office success. Similarly, if Uber and Ola launch in a country at the same time there is obviously going to be immediate competition. But doing the market research and timing your launch can pay dividends and even make or break your startup.
While you may not know what your competing startups are up to, you can time your launch for the most advantageous market and personal conditions.
2. A detailed budget
Starting a startup is not just about having a chunk of change to play with. It is about knowing exactly where each penny is going, and why, and how far it will stretch and what you will do when you need more.
This is called a "business plan," and every new startup that wants to succeed long-term should have one.
While you don't need a lot of ready cash to launch some startups knowing how to get seed funding is crucial for most startups. If your idea takes off, you will probably need extra funding above and beyond your initial projection in order to realize your idea's full potential.
Knowing your funding options like crowdfunding, short-term loans, investors and sometimes even personal funding can do it - is an essential part of staying the course until your startup graduates to become a successful small business.
4. Patience and discipline
Sometimes everything goes according to your plan. But more frequently, nothing goes according to your plan.
You must have the patience and discipline to keep at your dreams and keep reworking your vision until it grows its own wings. You may have to go to the drawing board several times to refine your startup idea based on market research, competition and your product prototype; this is all part of the learning of the startup journey.
5. Mad networking skills
It is the rare startup that succeeds in isolation. It only takes one leader to come up with a worthy idea, but it will likely take a team of talented supporters to get that idea up and running. You may need help with financing, marketing or advertising. Knowing which areas you need help with and finding the right people is half the battle won in a startup.
Arm yourself with these tips as the basis for launching your startup. It is not as bad as you think; with some planning and teamwork, your startup too can be off the ground. At the least, you will never regret pursuing your startup dream and idea.