With so much business advice around it can be bewildering to work out, simply, how to give your start-up idea its best chance of success. Here are some of the crucial steps you need to take if you want to start up a successful business:
The key to starting well is to start. Most successful start-ups are active for some considerable time before they "launch", and sometimes more than one launch is required. If the first launch fails, determine why it failed and start planning for the next. Of course, if further market research determines that the market is not ready for your product, it may be time to focus on other projects. Which leads nicely to…
Have more than one start-up
Most successful entrepreneurs have more than one business idea, and often, they are working on several projects simultaneously and monitoring which one is performing best. Entrepreneur.com explains to business owners why you should never have just one business. The simple truth is that most start-ups (nine out of ten) will fail, so don't put all your eggs in one basket.
Richard Branson has been involved in over 30 distinctly different businesses - and this is a great reminder that just because one business might take off, you should never drop the other ideas if they are showing potential.
Don't go it alone
Paul Graham warns entrepreneurs not to go it alone - if nobody wants to join you on your new project, you have to ask yourself, why? Paul says: "What's wrong with having one founder? To start with, it's a vote of no confidence. It probably means the founder couldn't talk any of his friends into starting the company with him. That's pretty alarming, because his friends are the ones who know him best."
Running a start-up involves a lot of time and energy, which is why so many are willing to sell large chunks of their business to partner with successful business people such as Peter Jones and Deborah Meaden on Dragons' Den. If a shrewd businessperson wants to invest in your idea, it is a sure sign that you are on the right track. If everybody turns their back on you before you launch, this can be a sign of trouble ahead.
Where are you?
While some companies reach a global audience regardless of where they are based, location is still important. Major global start-ups such as Facebook, Google, Oracle, Netflix, Cisco and Tesla all started out in Silicon Valley. They went there specifically to leverage the talent and energy in that area.
Obviously, not every business can locate itself in an entrepreneurial heartland, but being placed in a central business district is just as important. Businesses that relocate from small towns and suburbs into major cities are far more likely to find success.
Local and national marketing
Assuming that you take care of the above points and your business plan has been scrutinised and approved, you should have a business ready for launch. The key to a successful launch is multi-channel marketing, which means using every opportunity: local and trade media, radio, social media, pay-per-click advertising, organic search and email marketing. Also, do not overlook your immediate local market – local SEO is still growing in importance.
However, managing a complex and interconnected marketing strategy calls for specific expertise. While some agencies can take on all aspects of your marketing, it is often better to source the skills of specialist agencies for some tasks.
Each area of marketing calls for specific expertise; many businesses fail because they expect their PR agent to also manage an SEO campaign. When this happens, budgets are wasted and opportunities are quickly lost.
The most important pre-launch activities should centre around marketing and advertising. You need to fully understand your market (ideally, you carried out market research before starting the business) and know which channels will help you reach your target audience.
In theory, every business has the potential for success; but the big question is, is the market ready for your business idea?
Sponsored post. Copyright © 2016 Danielle Haley, Director of Indy Consultancy.