January 27, 2017
Have the perfect startup idea? If you’re planning on pulling the trigger on a business venture, then you should prepare for one of the most stressful times of your life. Sure, everything’s exciting at the beginning, but founding a startup involves a tremendous amount of work.
Fortunately, startups today have all the resources they need right at their fingertips, you just need to know where to look and how to use them. Without further ado, here are the five steps you need for a competitive startup:
Before anything else, you need to get sufficient funding to mobilize your startup plans. The first thing you should try is to look for investors from work, friends, and family. If you have prior experience, venture capital firms and government programs are also occasionally looking for new ventures to invest in. If you still don’t have enough capital to get the ball rolling, you should consider launching a crowdfunding campaign through Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
Take note that a crowdfunding campaign will also give you an opportunity to validate the potential of your product. After all, investors won’t put money in your business if they don’t think it’s profitable.
Build Your Website
Having an official website is something that all budding and established businesses have in common. In the digital age, it’s important for your brand to be visible online. Not only will it help you reach a large audience, it will also enable you to build authority in your niche.
Fortunately, building a website is actually one of the fun things about running a startup. With platforms like WordPress, Weebly, and Wix, you can get all the tools you need to build a beautiful site without having to write code. Instead, you should leave those technical stuff to freelancers, which leads to the next step:
No matter how small your business idea is, you still need other people with the right skill sets to competently accomplish tasks you are clueless about. Only few startups have enough capital to pay and sustain an in-house team. That said, you should consider hiring freelancers who can work on short-term projects instead.
Invest in Security
If you value the future of your startup, then you should never underestimate the importance of online security. Studies show that about 75 percent of websites have security vulnerabilities that can lead to data loss. Not only will you lose profits, leaking your customers’ data will also lead to a stained reputation that’s very difficult to recover from.
As your first line of defense, be sure to use an updated security solution for your website. For WordPress users, you can rely on freemium security plugins in the meantime and consider upgrading as your business grows. If you’re working with a small team, implement data loss prevention strategies to further protect your business data from security breaches.
Even if you had huge success with your crowdfunding campaign, you still need to pay attention to your startup’s performance over time if you want to grow. Remember that there’s no such thing as an overnight success. You can only have a great start, but you need to work even harder to maintain momentum.
A good start is to utilize analytics tools such as Google Analytics to gauge the performance of your website in building traffic and establishing your online presence. When it comes to your site’s design, use a heat map tool like Crazy Egg to learn why your visitors leave and what you can do to make them stay.
Lastly, make sure you track important business metrics and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to monitor other aspects of your business. This includes the volume of daily sales, monthly unique visitors, and your website’s conversion rate. By tracking KPIs, you can determine whether or not a particular strategy works – allowing you to optimize or override it with a new plan.
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