Be an Entrepreneur
There have been an endless amount of essays, books, articles, speeches, and courses discussing “what makes an entrepreneur.” But the truth is, if you start a business, you are an entrepreneur. You don’t have to have a set of characteristics -- you just have to want to own a business enough to actually give it a go and, most importantly, persevere at it.
Future-Proof Your Idea
No matter how brilliant your idea is, it has to be future-proof. What was a good idea in 2017 may not be relevant anymore in 2018, let alone 2025. You need to think about the viability of your idea in the long run if you want your start-up to last.
Oberlo has compiled 30 growing industries that show no signs of slowing soon, from phone cases to wireless earphones, each of which would be a great industry to launch a startup in. If your idea doesn’t show up on this list, don’t worry, but do some research about the state of the industry before investing more time into it; Entrepreneur has some great tips for doing this.
Know Your Competition
Why is your idea better than anything that is on offer? Make sure you are 100 percent confident in the answer to this question before moving forward. Experience in the industry is one of the best ways to have this knowledge, but if your idea concerns an area you don’t have personal experience with, you need to talk to people who do.
First, determine what need your product or service is fulfilling. How do you know this is a real need people have? Then, look up who is currently filling that need. Remember that these may be indirect competitors -- companies that do not offer the same product but an alternative that satisfies the same needs to the same audience.
Find the Right Funding
There are many ways you can choose to fund your startup. Choosing the best one for you is a matter of analyzing your needs, financial situation, and personal preferences when it comes to borrowing money. Here are some ideas to consider:
- Savings - If you have enough savings to launch your venture yourself, this can be a blessing, as you can start without owning anything to anyone. However, you may still want to leave some savings for a rainy day and borrow a smaller amount to start.
- Personal Loans - Do you have friends or family members who can lend you the money? This usually comes with less pressure than a formal loan, but many find this a recipe for disaster. If you do so, follow these rules to avoid souring your relationships.
- Bank Loans - The traditional bank loan is still a good option for many startups.
- Crowdfunding - The internet has allowed for dozens of crowdfunding and investment platforms to pop up, through which the general public can invest in your ideas. This can seem like easy money at first, but it comes with responsibility, and it’s important to understand the pros and cons involved.
- Small Business Funds - There are plenty of other funds, nesting programs, and grants for entrepreneurs. Do some research to see what works for you.
There is, of course, much more to launching a startup. Your idea has to be great, your team has to be committed, and many circumstances outside of your control have to also be right. However, these tips are a great place to start if you want to ensure that the things you can control are done right and that you have a great chance of making your startup a success.