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You’ve probably heard it countless times: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” While it’s always a great idea to think about your long-term personal goals, this adage is even more applicable if you’re venturing into entrepreneurship. Smart planning can go a long way in making your startup bankable.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that only about 25% of new businesses will last more than 15 years. And 20% of these same businesses might only reach two years. Why not give your startup a fighting chance by putting a solid plan in place? Here are some ideas to get you going.
7 tips to create a bankable startup
Select a name.
Just like your personal introduction, your business needs to be recognizable by its name. Go for simple and memorable. The right name for your business will clearly reflect what you offer and will make marketing easier. And be sure to do your homework. You don’t want to accidentally use a previously licensed name and wind up with a legal fight on your hands.
Know your edge.
Your offer is unique because you are unique. Even if you have the same product or service as another business, no one provides it exactly like you. So, what sets you apart? What gives you your edge? Plan how you can stand out from the crowd and market from there.
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Build an online presence.
There’s no denying that we live in a digital era. From social media to marketing to your business website, you need to be showing up in order to build a profitable startup.
And while social media platforms are an important way to promote your business, your website is your own digital real estate. You own it. Here are a few quick tips to help you maximize your impact online.
- Use search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to be found when potential customers search for businesses like yours. Basically, use the words your customers will be typing into the search bar. (SEO goes a lot deeper than that, but it’s an excellent place to start.)
- Make your website mobile-friendly. A large percentage of people view websites from their phones, so make sure yours is easy to read and navigate.
- Show your website readers what to do next. Your call-to-action buttons should be clear and easy to find. A confused reader does not buy!
- Show up consistently on social media. The algorithms favor accounts that are active and engaged.
- Provide valuable and relatable content on social media and on your website. You’ll position yourself as the expert in your field. And you’ll grow a following of people who know, like, and trust you.
Manage your financial systems.
From the day you start your business, you need to keep your finances organized. Plan a reliable bookkeeping strategy so you can keep an eye on your profitability. Whether you choose to track your own income and expenses or hire a bookkeeper or accountant to do it for you, you’ll never regret starting early. When you can see your profit and loss statements and other financial reports, you’ll be able to make wiser decisions for your growing startup.
Get the right people.
Your business is not an island. So, when it comes to choosing the people you’ll work with, don’t rush your decisions. As a startup, you might want to invest in a team of freelancers rather than employees in order to save money. But whatever path you take, make sure you’re partnering with people you can work well with and who can share your vision to generate a bankable business.
Know your budget.
Budgeting is an essential planning step for your startup. Taking the time to create a sustainable and realistic budget is always a wise investment. And remember, this isn’t a once-and-done thing. Revisit your budget monthly so you can adjust and adapt to how things are playing out in your growing business.
Time to promote.
A bankable startup requires marketing. People need to know you’re in business. And you need to actively let them know how you solve their problem with your product or service. There are thousands of books dedicated to the art of marketing, but don’t overcomplicate it at the start. Think about where your clients are and how you can reach them. Will you pay for Facebook or Pinterest ads? Print flyers? Get onto other people’s podcasts as a guest expert? Create a marketing plan that makes sense for your business and then stick to it. Adapt if you need to, but don’t quit. Your startup is counting on you!
The bottom line
Your startup will face hurdles. But by taking action ahead of time, you can create the business you want. The seven tips above will help you plan for, and run, a bankable startup.