Build a Startup from Scratch
No matter what your passion is, we are living in an age where we can turn our visions into reality. There are endless markets all over the world, in fact a market for every personal and professional interest.
But too often we allow ourselves to be dissuaded by potential negatives and instead stick to playing it safe and going for the 9-5 job instead.
The truth is, as long as you effectively plan and remain attentive to your business model, strategy and fundamental operational processes, the chance of your business succeeding is incredibly high. Below will take you through how to build a start-up from scratch and answer any questions you might have about what you need to do:
Identify the problem you’re solving and create a business model that’s viable.
Your potential business could be anything at all. No matter what your professional goal is, the key to turning your passion into profit is knowing and capitalising on how your offering provides a new and better solution. Existing competitors have already created solutions and effective business models. Document all your research, look at start-up and production costs for your materials and equipment, and compare your costs to what realistic potential earnings you could make. The next step is to create a viable business model. That is, one where your revenues will always exceed your total costs. Most businesses make a profit between 18-24 months of operation, with exceptions to the rule. As long as you enjoy what you’re doing and the see the value in your vision for yourself, your target audience and society, you are very likely to succeed.
What you have right now is enough to begin a business.
In Australia, there are more than 40 companies founded every hour. People can outsource so many elements of starting and operating a business that barriers to entry for sole traders, Start-Up’s and SMEs are a fraction of what they used to be. For many retail and creative businesses based primarily through eCommerce models, you’d simply need to rent or purchase a domain and set up your own website that accepts payments and invest in digital media marketing. For brick-and-mortar stores, the process will be slightly more complicated as it may involve renting a space or venue. It is highly recommended that brick-and-mortar businesses adapt a partial eCommerce model to reach a larger amount of consumers.
Your business is your baby, and it needs constant attention.
Step one to legitimising your business, outside of choosing a name, is treating it like its own entity. Your business should have an official website, be represented across social media channels, and have its own contactable email address for enquiries and customer service. When you own a business, it’s something you’re responsible for always. You will see it through all types of challenges and great successes. You will experience every learning curve, milestone, lesson, and you will grow with it. After about 6 years, the foundations of a business are sturdy, and profit Is being steadily generated. The earliest years of running a business is about round-the-clock accountability, dedication, and finding opportunities for growth and improvement. The good part? When you’re doing what you love, it feels nowhere near as much like work.
Pour your energy into ensuring your offering is flawless.
Customers can sense good value. In fact, extensive consumer behaviour research finds that consumers cognitively have ‘consideration sets’, where they narrow down their purchase options based on brands they know and trust. They will naturally compare your offering to every other similar product or substitute available to them. If your vision, idea, or product is truly unique and provides great value, customers will perceive this, going towards creating brand loyalty for your business. However, competition is rife in contemporary global marketplaces. You don’t need to invest all your savings to ensure your offering is flawless; it just needs to be reliable, trustworthy, and effectively marketed.
Be proactive with your marketing efforts and develop a well-evidenced strategy.
You need to identify who you’re targeting, why, and where you can reach your audience. The most common method of marketing today is through social and digital media. Social media includes Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, LinkedIn and Twitter. Digital media encompasses YouTube, websites, digital video, video games and web pages. There are almost 1 billion users on Instagram.
Be proactive in building internal and external stakeholder relationships.
Every business encompasses internal and external stakeholders. Start-Up internal stakeholders include the founders, owners, managers, and employees. External stakeholders would be customers, suppliers, partners, vendors, shareholders, creditors, the government, and the wider community. A significant contributor to business success is building relationships and trust with a wide range of groups that your business may interact with or potentially affect. Having the support of external stakeholders can provide you with capital, support, and reputational benefits. It seems universally that the quality of a business’ relationships with its internal and external stakeholders determines a significant amount of its success or failure. You should develop your brand’s identity by aligning your business with your values, vision, and ethics. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is also a largely contributing factor to consumer perceptions, in a world where businesses are expected to engage in sustainable initiatives and abide by ethical practices. Your business should demonstrate elements of social causes, in order to build relationships.
The truth is you don’t need all the resources of an up-and-running company; you only need to harness your own initiative, use what is available to you at the moment and begin forming business relationships. All companies start from square one, and not all of them had much to work with. Let this fact give you hope and inspire you to make it work, one day at a time, with what you have at your disposal. Your efforts are cumulative and if you invest consistently in your vision, they will pay off.
By Rob Schafer – founder | chairman of mnm institute