“Good ideas are common – what’s uncommon are people who’ll work hard enough to bring them about.”
– Ashleigh Brilliant
What is a Start-Up?
Everyone has heard of the great rags-to-riches origin stories of Facebook, Microsoft, and even Google. These business giants were not always at the top of the food chain. Like every other dinosaur, they once started as babies struggling to run.
These babies are called start-ups, the beginning stages of any company. This is the point in time where they are acquiring funding, business partners, models, equity, and essentially just starting out.
The art of growing a start-up is so vague and complicated that several businesses are dedicated to this. In fact, certain television shows such as Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den show how cutthroat the quest for funding is.
According to a blog by the co-founder of NP Digital 71% of businesses fail in their first 10 years, making this an extremely risky business. Even Neil Patel (Co-founder of NP Digital) himself highlights the importance of nurturing a good start-up.
Nurturing the Business Baby
As mentioned, several businesses, blogs, documentaries, and even television shows are dedicated to the growth of start-ups. This is because an idea alone is not powerful enough to stand against the real world. It requires care, understanding, and help.
A great example of a partner for growing start-ups is a startup marketing agency. This is a company dedicated to providing exposure and serves as a helping hand through the early stages of development.
Among the questions answered by these agencies are:
- How much should a startup spend on marketing?
- What makes great marketing?
- How can an investment benefit us in the long term?
Marketing, Branding, and More Marketing
Having the greatest invention the 21st century has ever seen is useless if it isn’t seen. A great startup needs a reputation and proper marketing. A great product is just as important as how the product is presented.
Proper startup branding comes in many forms, from giant billboards to publicity stunts. Getting the brand out there is crucial to the success of a startup. In order for a brand to be relevant, it needs to be discussed by the masses.
Almost all of the educational materials regarding startup growth continuously mention marketing. Other than getting the name out there it is also paramount that the good name is maintained.
Many companies can be seen to reach drastic measures to keep the brand name clean. Plenty won’t hesitate to let go of a founder if it is for the sake of the company. With great startup branding comes great trust and power.
The Importance of Business Models
Following the startup branding comes the business model. If you have a stage to present and nothing to present, then the opportunity is wasted. Different business partners are attracted to various things. One factor that is constantly mentioned is a good business model.
A great business model discusses how your startup will evolve over time. This may include company values, goals, and what the business is at its core.
Business models are literally what separates one company from another. It tells the people what this brand wants to achieve and how it will do so. This is often the priority when it comes to business plans.
A great plan will lead to stable growth.
Sustaining the Startup
Having a company with a business plan is already a solid step. Now you need to be able to sustain this brand. It is a business after all, and these things have costs. One of the crucial requirements in growing a successful startup is acquiring funding.
Where can you Secure Funding?
Most startups begin with relatives, friends, or venture capitalists. Anyone to provide the initial capital. Investopedia discusses the basics of startups as well as the various investors.
There are plenty of ways to attain the initial funding, but each comes with its own risks. Banks for example present a certain type of loan for startups with low interest.
Achieving funding and connections is what television shows Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den are all about. Other than providing the necessary capital for a business, such opportunities allow businesses exposure and letting them hit two birds with one stone. Entrepreneurs present their start-ups with the hopes of “sharks” investing in their ideas.
They are called sharks due to the cutthroat nature of businesses.
What is Crowdfunding?
A new trend for startups is crowdfunding. Unlike the common methods, this doesn’t reward investors with a share in the company or an interest fee in the future. Crowdfunding involves a group of people that simply believe in the company and want to see it succeed.
Crowdfunding is often achieved with a great business model matched with proper startup branding. This is the equivalent of being a people’s champion and having “ordinary folk” support you in their own ways.
Money can come from many places and this is a great struggle with startups, there are so many options and each with their own risks. Growing a startup is like playing chess, having to weigh each move against the consequences.
Picking Your Team
Now you have a product, a means to share the product, and a method to continue with the product. Next on the demanding checklist is the employees. This includes the co-founders and everyone surrounding you.
Businesses are no playground and being blindsided in this field isn’t uncommon. Multiple CEOs have mentioned the importance of surrounding yourself with good people you trust.
Other than betrayal, people that belong to your brand also carry the responsibility of reputation. A scandal or an arrest could forever tarnish the brand’s name. Once again, this refers to the importance of great startup branding.
It All Comes Full Circle
In the world of up-and-coming businesses, every little aspect affects another. The main struggle of growing a startup is growing each area simultaneously.
Like taking care of a real baby, you can’t forget to provide it with proper sleep, food, water, and shelter. If you can successfully satisfy these criteria then your startup will be on the steady rise.
Growing a startup is no easy feat. There are heaps of requirements that all need to be met. The number of opportunities out there can also be petrifying.
A successful startup doesn’t happen when you grab every single opportunity out there. It is about grabbing the crucial ones that will help your brand in the long term. Remembering the basics of success is branding, business models, funding, and a good team to have your back.