Everything starts with an idea. The idea is then discussed, possibilities are researched and a dream of starting your own business becomes more practical and realistic. Probably you have researched tips and tricks on how to start a business, what to remember about in the chaos of tasks and how to, at a later stage, grow your startup and transform it into a big company.
There are lots and lots of information available both online and offline for aspiring founders. However, they all seem to be either incomplete or not honest enough. Therefore, in this article, we want to give you a compact guide on what every founder should know about before starting a business.
1) Starting a business is like having a child
If you have two children already, add your business to the group as your third kid. It is a great and wonderful thing, very rewarding too. However, with no doubt, you will feel exhausted. Moreover, be careful as you might neglect your actual kids. A company is important, but it will always be a trade-off between family and the startup. Who gets more time, more attention, etc.
2) Is founder’s life for you?
You probably underestimate how much time a founder puts into his/her startup. The plan often is to quit a normal job, start a company and, since you are your own boss, have more work-life balance. However, reality tends to be very different. A founder will most probably dedicate almost 24h a day to the startup, willingly or unwillingly. In the first year up to two years, he or she will receive very little in return – especially considering financial rewards. However, personal satisfaction and gratification will be there all along and keep him or her on track.
3) 24 hours a day is not enough
Startups are young, new to the market and inexperienced. As a result, founders often find themselves in a situation when all they can do is guess. Research is time-consuming and expensive therefore guessing is, at the particular moment, the best option. Now, guessing is obviously a roulette. If something goes wrong, there isn’t an excessive amount of time to work on the problem. 24 hours in a day suddenly seems way too little and a goal of reaching a certain milestone within, let’s say, first 6 months will have to move to 12 months. Allow yourself the thought that delay in startups in a normal thing and try to plan in the extra months you need.
4) Have your finances figured out
As mentioned in the previous point, startups often feature delays. It could be a month or two, but it might also be a year. Many founders invest all their money into the startup and do not take a salary at the beginning – only after they start to make a profit. Imagine you are the founder who is experiencing a year delay and still doesn’t take a salary. Sounds a little scary, doesn’t it? Make sure, way in advance, that you can afford things going the wrong direction.
Figure out your finances, especially considering the worst-case scenario option. You can opt for bank support, but make sure you have a good record on any credit bureaus, like TransUnion. Disputing your TransUnion credit report is always possible, so you might as well do it to be able to ask for support from banks for your start up.
5) Are you in a relationship?
Are you in a long-term relationship or do you have a family? In this case, a decision about starting up a business is not only yours but the entire family’s. Everyone will be affected. Starting with the mentioned finances, to given time and attention to your loved ones. Make sure everyone agrees with your idea. Sit down and explain to them what it involves and how the time will look like from now on so that everyone surely understands. Otherwise, your family might be unsupportive.
6) The next steps
Is it already time to go to the market? Then it’s also time for marketing. Since you have a startup, your budget is limited. The best option is to focus on online marketing and social media channels. Research what could work best, try it and monitor your success. Do not forget about SEO. Start with it as soon as possible as it will have a great impact on your future success. Try to keep it in-house and not outsource as you know best which keywords you want to bring out and control.
7) Team is everything
When looking up tips and tricks for founders, the topic of getting a great team is very well covered. However, remember also that your team consists of people who you will spend most of your awake time with. Make sure you can work but also laugh together. Moreover, at the beginning when the startup wallet is tight, consider hiring interns. For you it is a cheaper workforce, for them, it is a great opportunity to learn. You can both teach each other.