So you’ve created an amazing product or service – now it’s time to turn it into a business! Here are some helpful tips and resources to consider before you head off on the road to startup success.
1. Be smart when it comes to finances.
Financing is one of the biggest hurdles any small business will face. A good way to take some of the pain out of money matters is to make a list of anything you can get free or at a reasonable rate. Ask friends or family members if they can help you – if you can offer a discount or free sample of your product in return, it could help sweeten the deal.
Here’s a great list on CNBC.com detailing 11 ways to finance a startup, including pros and cons, and real-life examples.
When it comes to running your business, getting paid and having a healthy cash flow is essential. Therefore, it’s vital that you take control of your invoicing process from the onset. Not only will this ensure customers see you as professional, it will make sure that you are rewarded for all your hard work.
At Xero accounting software, we’ve produced an invoicing guide with the some of the best methods to help businesses get paid faster.
2. Consider cloud computing.
A recent survey by Rackspace Hosting found the vast majority – 92% – of startups they talked to said cloud technology has been essential in the early stages of their development. For those who are new to “the cloud”, we’ve produced a quick and easy cloud computing guide to break down some whys and wherefores. While you do need an internet connection to work in the cloud, it has plenty of silver linings, which include (but are not limited to):
- Outsourcing IT – Using the cloud means you have less need for specialist skills, allowing you to concentrate on your core business function.
- Integration – You can choose from a wide range of applications from accounting software, online invoicing, or inventory management that will integrate smoothly with one another and provide real-time data.
- Accessibility – Data saved in the cloud is accessible from any device with an internet connection, so you can work anytime, anywhere.
- Saving on capital expenditure – Most cloud computing services let you pay as you go so your software can easily adapt to your startup’s growth.
- Security – If your data is stored in the cloud, you can access it even if your hardware is lost, stolen or broken. What’s more, most cloud computing providers are just as secure as online banking, so your data is extremely safe.
3. Set clear goals and plan thoroughly.
Establish your business goals early on and incorporate them into a business plan. Ask yourself, are your goals achievable? Are you striving for personal fulfillment? Money? To raise awareness? Use your plan to help cement your vision and make sure any collaborators, employees and investors share a vision for your startup.
Have a good team behind you. A team is only as strong as its weakest member, so there’s no point in launching until you have a team you can trust – and who can trust you.
Get legal advice in the planning stage. This will keep you from wasting precious time or money by heading in the wrong direction. If you have a friend or family member who’s a lawyer, they may give you a good rate. Either way, it’s imperative that you speak to someone to avoid making mistakes.
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