The key to success is by taking as much control as you can over your future. We can all agree that there’s no better way to take control than by becoming your own boss, especially in a world with so many business opportunities.
If you’re thinking about starting a company, then you are about to make the first step towards gaining more control over your future. However, you must ensure that you fulfill all the crucial requirements for a successful startup so you can make your dream a reality.
Here are five essential things you need in order to get your company off the ground.
An unique and Innovative: Product Or Service If you plan to start a company, make sure that you base it on a product that will bring value to your targeted customers. While it may be ok to enter a market and compete with products similar to yours, you will be better off entering with a unique product that caters to the unmet desires or needs or your targeted customers. As you come up with a product, stay focused on satisfying the need you have in mind. A good product is one that is simple affordable and can be easily integrated in to consumers’ lives.
Keep your product as simple as possible and do not add too many features or messages that may dilute its objective. As you design the product, always have your current and future competitors in mind. You must give your targeted customers a reason to choose your product
2. Intellectual Property Rights: While there may be no urgent need to hold the rights to intellectual property in a startup, it is still advisable to do so. Having the rights to intellectual property will come in handy when you are looking for more funding for your company at a later stage. Protecting your company’s technology will make it easier for you to win over investors and grow your market share.
Many investors protect their investment by requiring companies to protect their intellectual property. This assures them of protection in case rival companies want to replicate their technology. In addition, a business plan that has a section listing all the company’s major intellectual property will be more appealing to investors.
3. Funding: All startups need money. Before you start sourcing for funds, work out how much money it will take to get your company off the ground. Then work out how much upfront investment capital your company will need to develop your product. Find out whether you will need a large capital float or not. This will let you know how much funding to source for.
Having a working capital large enough to sustain you in between your accounts payable and accounts receivable may well be the difference between success and failure for your startup.
When you deal with the financial side of your startup, it is advisable to simplify things as early as you can to avoid snags later on. All investors will require access to your company’s financial information before they put in any money. To make this information easily available to potential investors you will need to set up a virtual data room for your company. Among many other things, a VDR will ensure that you deal with speed when sourcing for funds while keeping your data secure and under better control.
4. A good team: Starting a company in today’s market can be similar to engaging in warfare. You will need a good team of professionals behind you all the way, so that you can get your company to where you’ve envisioned. Pick a team that shares your vision and enthusiasm. Every member of your team should have a specialty or a special set of skills that adds value to your company. Someone needs to know the technical side of the product so that you can keep improving on it. Someone else needs to know the workings of the market and the changing needs of your customer. You also need people who can help you source for funding and keep your accounts balanced, among many other tasks.
5. Good timing: All markets have a lifecycle. Every opportunity to introduce something new has a rather small window before it expires. Your startup will need to consider the time you introduce your product into the market. Introducing a product too early or too late into the market will usually result into a number of problems that you can otherwise avoid with good timing.
It is easy to enter a market in the early stages of an innovation. However, entering too early can also mean that you will be taking a risk with a market that has not yet been proven. This could lead to a dead end. Entering a market too early could also mean that your investment could take years to bring any returns.
To ensure that you get you timing right as a startup, adopt a fast-follower strategy. This means that you will need to be early enough in the market to cater to a new demand but not early enough to be the pioneering provider for that product in the market.