How to Go from Zero to Startup Boss Within 5 Years

It takes a great deal of preparation to build your own company from the ground up, but all you really need in order to get started is a strong idea. If you’re willing and able to plan intelligently and dedicate plenty of time and effort to that idea, success will be within reach. In this article, we’ll explore how to take your plans from an initial spark to a fully-fledged venture in under 5 years.

Think Long and Hard About What You’ll Need

What are the basic things your business will need to get off the ground? If you don’t currently have the capital, do some research into where you might find it. If you’re going to need premises, think about where they would need to be and how to obtain them. What about you? Are you fully prepared to be a business owner? Now is a great time to look into improving your knowledge and even considering going back into education to get the right qualifications. You can take out private student loans at any stage of your life in order to invest in yourself. Create a time frame for each stage of your project, being sensible and generous with deadlines. Stick to this plan as closely as possible.

Seek Assistance

Are you planning to go it alone or might you need a partner or other colleagues and employees? Try to find a strong central team of talented, knowledgeable individuals who will stay by your side throughout your startup journey.

Create a Business Plan

Your business plan should be between 15 and 30 pages in length and needs to contain everything you’ll ever need to know about your company. Describe products and services (including blueprints or images of prototypes), explain where you’d fit within the market and give an idea of your target audience. You should also mention your planned marketing approach, introduce any staff members that are currently lined up and – perhaps more importantly – set out well-researched financial projections covering at least the next three years. Your business plan will help you to apply for funding from banks or to market your company to investors.

Create Your Branding

Your company’s image is vital. We highly recommend earmarking a good portion of your budget for this purpose, as there are some very talented branding specialists out there who could make a huge difference to your success. Think about color schemes, logos, tone of voice and anything else that will help to give your company a personality.

Start to Build

Depending on the nature of your business, it may be best to start from the very bottom and work your way up – for example, you may wish to build and sell products while still employed at your 9-5 job until you’ve created enough of a name for yourself. Alternatively, you may decide to lay the groundworks and then jump right in. To do this, you’ll need to have several things already in place.  Think about how clients will be able to pay you securely, how you’re going to hire, manage and pay staff and how you’ll deal with legal matters and insurance. Each element of your business should have a set place and management process, and everything should be safe and above board. Consider everything from CRM systems, accounting resources, banking and employee contracts right down to packaging choices, stationery and uniform. Read as much as you can about the details of opening a business and ask for advice wherever you can. You’ll find plenty of help out there.

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