Startup founders want to launch and become successful immediately but there is groundwork that has to be done. Certain details of a business need to be taken care of before launching in order to set a company up for success. Failure to take care of certain things can have severe repercussions in the future with some being bad enough to set the business back months. A proactive approach is required when getting ready to launch a company as taking care of details that can be managed is time well spent when compared to trying to control the uncontrollable. The following are what needs to be taken care of as well as the consequences of omitting the below.
What Type of Business Do You Want It To Be?
A founder needs to take the time to understand the differences between an LLC, C Corporation, S Corporation, and sole proprietorship. These all have different liabilities financially as well as requirements for taxes, licenses, as well as roles of shareholders. Take a look at this C Corporation vs S Corporation vs LLC Table to clarify requirements of each. A smaller home based business might want to consider something much different than a startup with millions in funding.
Understand The Costs of Running The Business on a Monthly Basis
Take the time to tabulate what it will cost to run the business on a monthly basis. This can help a founder understand what capital needs to be raised before launch or how long funding will take to run out if the company is not made profitable. Failure to do this can lead to an abrupt closure of the business due to misappropriation of funds. When compiling this a founder should plan for the worst as far as revenue and hope for the best.
Cash In All Of Your Professional Favors That You Can
A founder needs to compile a list of potential customers as well as valuable business contacts. These contacts can be former colleagues or a former client when the founder was at another company. Take the time to reach out to those connections that owe a professional favor as these rarely are cashed in. This can lead to a new customer or even an introduction that can improve the trajectory of the startup before it even launches. LinkedIn is a great platform to do this as well as see where connection have moved in their careers.
A User Friendly Website
Founders and staff at startups at time get a bit overzealous when it comes to launching their website. This can spell disaster in certain situations as an ecommerce based business having issues with checkout/multiple orders, and payment issues can be seen as untrustworthy to consumers. Test the site multiple times and allow customers to give input after launch on what can be improved. The site should be intuitive enough that a person with a limited technical background can navigate the site without any issues. Define what the business is going to utilize the website for then design around its main goal.
A Solid Marketing Strategy Formed
A marketing strategy based off of data and analysis of competitors needs to be formed before launching. Digital marketing has become imperative for businesses in all industries. SEO is paramount as ranking on the first page for a specific keyword or phrase can automatically draw more traffic to a company website. See what content has drawn the most traffic in the industry and create something that can be used as a resource for years to come. Those companies that continually create great resources for their niche can quickly establish themselves as a thought leader.
Founders have quite a bit to worry about before launching so action needs to be taken immediately. Successful startups can be immensely profitable so this is not the place to take shortcuts.