12 Steps to Success for Your StartUp

 12 Steps to Success for Your StartUp

The essential check-list for every new business to ensure you don’t
become a start-up statistic.

It can often feel like everyone else has their careers mapped out, their
journey into professional success well underway; starting from the
beginning is a daunting prospect, add a new business to the mix and the
word ‘overwhelming’ isn’t strong enough.

In these unprecedented times, more people than ever are using this
opportunity to reflect on ‘what they want to do’; at this time of crisis
many people are losing their jobs, so it’s an opportune moment to change
direction, adapt and build a business.

Here I have put together a 12 step guide to help you navigate creating a
company, whilst ensuring you maintain a sense of self and purpose.

1 – Mindset

You don’t need to be great in order to start. Faced with the immensity of
creating something from scratch, people find any excuse to postpone the
next step of taking an idea and bringing it to life. This all starts with the
thought process, the confidence in oneself to take the plunge. Like with
many things, it seems scary and overwhelming facing the enormity of a
new challenge, but don’t wish you’d done it already and regret. Just go
ahead and make the decision today, if it wasn’t done yesterday, why not
now.

2 – Knowing yourself

You’ve done the hard bit, you’ve thought of a new idea, product or
concept, but how do you start the process of bringing it to life? Every
business is created because their purpose resolves a problem or answers a
question, but how can you help someone with your business if you don’t
understand the person you want to become from the journey? Who you
are is as important as what you want to achieve, people often want to
have more and do more; however, these are impossible without being,
connecting with the highest level of yourself. In this way, you can
understand what you want to achieve before you recognise how to
achieve it. Remember, Be, Do, Have.

3 – Know your vision

As you get to know yourself, your true being will create a higher purpose
for careers goals. From this purpose, a moment of realisation occurs and
this is your vision. Creating the bigger picture is a challenge, where do
you see your business growing, what are your ultimate goals? People are
often scared to think about things on a larger scale or imagine too far into
the future to escape disappointment; but if you’re not scared, you’re not
thinking big enough! To avoid being overwhelmed by scale, decide your
vision and break it down into smaller goals, this allows for the optimism
of quick success whilst attributing to the big dream.

4 – Knowing the why

What drives us? It is vital to recognise why we are doing something, what
motivates us? Money, fame and success are not enough to stimulate you
or maintain a successful company. Every start-up is born from a concept
which either resolves an issue or answers a question, creating a formula
that fills a gap and meets the needs of a desired customer. It is one thing
to grow interest in your business idea, however retaining customers is as
essential as capturing them. Sharing the story of your drive is a great way
to connect with your consumers and put purpose behind your product.
Not only will it allow for your business to become identifiable from its
competitors, it ensures you maintain the drive and passion to grow your
vision into the future.

5 – Become more creative

Knowing who you are, and the purpose of your vision, makes you unique.
Start-up success isn’t just about following a ready-made formula dictating
proven strategies to be implemented. Learning and adapting from these
competitor success stories is key to maintaining individuality and
imagination. Using ample amounts of creativity and innovation, you can
encapsulate the best strategies into your business formula, as well as
create some of your own. Research is essential at the start of any business
venture. Analysis of similar business concepts and taking the most
successful role models aids in building a strong initial vision from proven
examples. Lessons from previous companies combined with your
personality means you don’t have to do all of the inventing; you can build
on those tried and tested models and insert innovative and creative ideas
to make your own mark. Practical actions:

6 – Build a website

Having an online presence have never been more important, 71% of
people (according to Forrester Consulting) start their journeys using a
search engine to discover new products and services. Creating an
absorbing website is essential, it should look appealing but mostly inform the user, highlighting who, why and what you are. When creating a web
presence, ensure you are relevant to the consumer, but also make sure
you are visible to begin with. Employing keywords throughout your
website in text, headings and images will help you appear in front of the
right people.

7 – Include in an opt in page

A website alone is not enough, without an opt in element, such as email,
it’s more difficult to track lead generation from the source. Data
collection should always be front of mind when creating new information
hubs for your company, at every stage a customer should be driven to
sign up for an email or newsletter, building your client base and allowing
you to access them throughout their customer journey. Useful tools such
as ClickFunnel and InfusionSoft help to build your sales funnels (see
point 12) and design your conversion metrics.

8 – Go out into social media Social

Going out into social media Social media has become a key platform for
businesses to communicate and connect with their consumers. Like opt in
pages, social media can build your email list and increase reach to
potential customers. Social media management tools such as Hootsuite
and Buzzsumo help track conversions and maximise SEO. Visual content
has become one the most engaging forms of marketing, customers are
increasingly seeking snackable content on social channels, which draw
them into the brand story. Social media can also help produce user-
generated content through shares, comments and likes, increasing sales
and brand loyalty.

9 – Create content

Without selling your brand story, how are customers going participate
and connect with your brand? Customers no longer engage with
marketing that makes them feel like they are being sold at; they want to
be in control of how and where they consume information. Successful
content not only promotes products it builds relationships, positions you
as an expert, develops trust and increases loyalty, content can come in
several forms, such as: – Blogs – Videos – Whitepapers – Infographics –
Social media – Email newsletters Each piece of content serves an
individual purpose and combines to achieve a goal, this can be both long
and short term; results may not be measured in immediate sales but
through engagement and interactivity. A combination of content formats
allows strategy to span a customer’s journey and communicate at every
touch point, a mixture of informative pieces alongside promotional and
user generated content supplants the brand within the journey.

10 – Hire a bookkeeper

Stay ahead of most start-ups and think money early doors. When starting
a business, people often skip detailing their financial business plan, it is
essential to start your entrepreneurial journey knowing the process of
finances and where your money needs to go. You can either do this
yourself or hire a bookkeeper, get to know your numbers to ensure you
make the right calculations and decisions with sales. Be aware that if you
trade internationally, rules may vary with things such as VAT and tax, so
make sure you have these discussions and do your research ahead of time
to avoid costly and potentially legally turbulent issues.

11 – Don’t wait to start thinking about how to make money

Don’t wait to start selling, making money as you grow is the best way to
build your start-up. Many new business owners are nervous to spend cash
before they’ve made any; however, this is vital if you want to build a
customer base and create a viable product or service from the beginning.
Once you have vision you can immediately test the water, you earn whilst
you build the business and gain essential customer feedback. Growth and
change are simultaneous, making adaptability and innovation part of your
businesses core attitude and a fearlessness part of your personality.

12 – Create a sales funnel

Your customer base, created from sales, followers and sign ups, helps to
build business from warm and prospective leads. When an audience has
shown an interest through interaction, you can use your sales funnel to
ensure the customer journey is successful and engaging, emphasising the
balance between growth and sales. Build your funnel from the beginning
to ensure you are using all the data you have collected effectively.

Conclusion

When starting a new business, it can be tempting to dive in headfirst
without checking how deep it is. Building your own company is an
exciting and busy time, make sure you approach decisions with a clear
positive mind, driven by your vision and utilise some of the best forms of
communication. This will help keep you ahead of competitors and front
of mind for your customers, which will in term ensure longevity for your
business.

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About Mirela Sula

Mirela Sula has worked in media and education for the last 20
years and has speaking experience all around the world. Her
background takes in psychology and counselling, journalism,
teaching, coaching, women’s rights and media training. Mirela is
CEO and the founder of Global Woman Magazine and Global
Woman Club.

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