A startup is a new company founded by entrepreneurs based on a vision for success in developing a unique service or product and bringing it to the marketplace. Many of today’s most successful businesses began as startups including McDonald’s, Ford Motor Company, and Microsoft. Each of these founders had a vision for success. As Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO said, “Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.” Successful startup plans start with a clear vision.
Keys to Startup Success
Startup plans involve these keys to success:
- Know that the business you want to start is really what you want to do. It cannot be something that looks fun to do or that might be operated simply as a hobby. It will take determination and significant work; a real commitment to achieve success and realize your vision.
- Choose the business wisely and define it well. Determine if the business can appeal to a good-sized audience, one that can endure and grow and one that can generate money. As author Idowu Koyenikan said, “When you work on something that only has the capacity to make you five dollars, it does not matter how much harder you work—the most you will make is five dollars.”
- Research the competition to know what you will face. Decide how you will position and operate your business to be different and better.
- Develop a strong business plan that is based on strategy and supported by solid and specific tactics. Define specifically your target audience and your unique selling proposition.
- Provide enough budget funding to marketing to drive business growth.
- Provide proper funding by having enough working capital to support the needs of the business, including considerations for the flow of funds during the first year.
- Establish a solid financial footing by creating the right accounting processes and financial reporting. Get experienced financial assistance to guide your path and take care of essentials including payroll processing and tax payments.
What are the Challenges Faced by Startups?
Every startup faces challenges, some expected, and some unexpected. Solid startup plans can help anticipate and overcome these:
- Competition is right around the corner. Know that success doesn’t simply happen by accident.
- Don’t have unrealistic expectations regarding the timing and pace of getting customers and seeing profits flow.
- Make sure to hire team members that are well-qualified and that you trust. Ensure they have the characteristics that you want to have as you work with them side-by-side and that they share your vision and will work hard to achieve it.
- Choose and establish trusting partnerships including vendors, financial institutions, legal advisors, and accounting services.
- Manage finances tenaciously. Especially pay close attention to expenses.
- Utilize the latest technology including the use of cybersecurity to protect your business.
- Work hard to earn and keep the trust of your customers.
Avoid These Startup Mistakes
To perpetuate a great business, established with solid startup plans, avoid these mistakes:
- Don’t skip or shortcut the planning process.
- Don’t fail to fund marketing or market smartly.
- Don’t fail to identify your ideal customer.
- Don’t try to do it all alone.
Get Expert Financial Assistance That You Can Rely On
Contact Doerhoff & Associates, CPA, based in Jefferson City, MO for professional financial, accounting, and financial statement assistance that you can count on. Doerhoff & Associates has one goal in mind, to provide comprehensive business accounting services designed specifically for your success.