Unless you were living under a rock, you must have heard this word ‘StartUp’ plenty of times and pretty much everywhere. A startup is an idea/company started by an entrepreneur which is later developed into a scalable business. Startups are usually found by one or more entrepreneurs. It is, to put it in simple words when a business is in its first and early stages. Entrepreneurship and startups have become one of the most chosen career paths in India. Many people are now investing their time and money into developing a certain idea and venturing into startups. Which has resulted into India currently being the third-largest tech- startup hub in the world.
Startups in India saw a trend from around 2014, the development and work around technology, data and the internet just blew up with the birth of many new ideas and startups. It is currently home to 34 unicorns (a privately owned startup valued at more than 1$ Billion) and 52 soonicorns (soon to be unicorns by 2022). If we go on to count the total number of startups launched in India, there are more than 55,000. Out of the 55K, 3.2K startups have raised $63 Billion in funding till 2020, according to reports. Apart from this, India is constantly showing more hunger for new ideas and technology. It is just a great time to be alive as an entrepreneur.
This field of career is enticing enough to get anybody interested but many people don’t know how to go about starting a startup. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur and have with you an awesome startup idea, then we are here to tell you how to go on about it.
If you are keen on starting A startup it is likely that you might already have an idea that you want to pursue. But before putting yourself out there and making any hasty decisions you should invest enough time to research. Anything well researched is a treasure on its own. So take your idea and study all about it.
The first thing to get off your research checklist is to check if there are any existing ideas which are similar to yours. If yes, how is yours different? What are the leading brands in this field doing? Differentiate your idea from theirs, as in which aspects of your idea set it apart from the ones which already exist. This is crucial to build a clear vision and purpose of your startup. After this comes the next question you must be ready to answer: Why? Well, for some of you it may have been so that the idea came into mind because of the reason. It may have been that you saw a solution for something and were ready to act on it. If it is not the case for any of you then find out why you want to work one this idea and build this start up. Being clear about your vision and why you want to venture into something is really important. This clarity will be really beneficial for any entrepreneur in the long run as well as the foundation of your business. Research will be of great help in various aspects of your startup so don’t hesitate to dig deep.
● Pick a Name
The research you do would help you a lot in giving your Business a name. A name plays a very important role in any Business, you would want to pick something which isn’t already in the market, which is apt and easy to pronounce because you don’t want the name to scare away potential clients/customers and investors. What would you like your business to be called? Although the name of a business totally depends on its founder/owner it wouldn’t be a bad idea to give a name with certain meaning. The one that maybe represents what your business stands for, your business ideology or mission. Once you give meaning to some words it helps people connect with you and gives them an idea of what your business is about. Also try avoiding names that might limit your business in future. To start off you can short list five names and try that out in the market during the earliest phase of your business to see which one gets a positive response.
● Build a Website
The next best thing to do when venturing into a startup is build a website. A website is one of the most basic and essential things when starting a business these days. A website will be your introduction and one stop centre where your possible customers/clients, business partners, investors and rest of the industry can learn about your business and what you have to offer. While building a website many business experts suggest going for a domain .com rather than .net or any other for that matter. It is so because com in (.com) stands for commercial; it indicates that your site is a commercial site and that works best for businesses.
● Gather Resources
The next big step is definitely gathering resources. First and foremost you would need a solid infrastructure since it is the foundation of any business. A firm workplace equipped with all the necessary network infrastructure and other basic essentials of a functioning business. Another important resource obviously would be Human resources. You can’t leave out people required to perform various tasks. Having said that, the number of human resources required also totally depends on the type and size of your startup. If at the beginning, the work can be performed by you alone then you can totally rule out this factor. But if your startup does require various expertise then you can hire people on the basis of the need. Remember you don’t need a whole army to start a startup, just a few dedicated people who will get the job well done can give you productive results.
● Make a Business Plan
Once you have everything in place you can start working on your business plan. To write a business plan you must ask yourself a few questions: What is the main vision of your business? What are some short term and long term goals of your business? How are you going to support your business financially? Answering these questions will give you a business plan which talks about your goals, the vision of your business, development timelines, budget, monetization of the business, talks about team, target audience, structure and every other little aspect of your business. A business plan is one of the most essential tools of a startup because it deeply carries and presents the idea of your whole business. It is basically a document that you show to your potential investors. Overall the whole paper gives you an idea of what steps the company will take, how it will execute, where it is headed and how it is going to make a profit.
● Financial Foundation
No business can start or run without finances. To go ahead with your startup you need a capital and the whole structure of your business will be based on that capital. Before setting up a fixed capital, it would be better to calculate the cost of your startup. Do the math and approximate how much is it going to cost to start and run your business before you bring in any investors or make profit for that matter. To calculate the cost of your startup many financial experts suggest to follow a very known Break Even Point Formula;
BEP = Fixed costs/ (Average Price – Variable Costs).
This helps you determine the minimum profit your business must achieve to keep it running. To keep your finances in check, know the strengths and weaknesses of your startup i.e study all the data regarding the cost of developing your product, product pricing, profitability etc. For startups the best way to bring in stable finances is by funding and there are various funding options such as investors (especially Venture capitalists), crowdfunding, business loans and business grants. Reach out to VCs and pitch your startup with the business plan you made and increase the potential of being funded.