Startup Day 1: What to do to hit the ground running

entrepreneurStartups

Firstly, it’s important to recognise that you have achieved a massive milestone. You’re celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit and planning to create your own startup. It’s not an easy feat and takes excellent planning, conceptualising and consideration from all angles. However, now you’ve come this far, we’d like to use our expertise to guide you along the way and make sure that you hit the ground running with some clear and concise steps. At The Startup CFO, we want to share our expertise to guide you through these exciting processes.

1. Forming your company properly with expert guidance

At this stage of your process, an important management consultant and expert coach is important in order to be able to fully create and register your legal company in Spain or elsewhere. Finding the perfect guide will ensure that you don’t have to jump through too many hoops in order to find the right legal guidance, complete the necessary paperwork or be left wondering which institutions you need to approach. At The Startup CFO, we can provide you with all of these services and more, making the most of our track record to give you the professional backup you need to take your idea forward and use your own business flare.

2. Understanding the environment: Market validation

We can’t emphasise enough how important this point is. Networking is absolutely essential in the business world and more so when planning and valuing your startup. You heard us right-don’t wait around for anyone to knock on your door. It’s fundamental that you start contacting people today and delving deeper into your sector and immerse yourself in everything related to your industry.

  • At this stage it’s important to meet people, to speak to people (even if that’s on Zoom rather than in person) to chat about what they do and try to get a grip on the industry that you have chosen to specialise in.
  • Start looking at your target audience and identify potential customers. At this stage, it’s worth asking yourself a set of key questions:
  1. Who is my exact target audience right now?
  2. Who can help me to reach them?
  3. What’s my USP (Unique Selling Proposition) to attract that audience?
  4. How can I meet those people and talk to them now? What do they need?
  5. How can you expand your idea or brand to capture a wider audience?
  • Make sure you speak to other entrepreneurs who come from distinct sectors. If you limit yourself to your sector, you’ll find you might have a small pond in terms of the information you can truly fish. On the other hand, by speaking to a broad range of businesspeople and startup founders in general, you’ll find a much wider range of opinions and knowhow.
  • Keep updated with what’s happening in the business world in general. Consult local and international magazines relevant to the languages you speak and the languages of the audience you are targeting in the markets that you are aiming for. Listen to podcasts and take crash courses on pitching on YouTube and Spotify.

3. Start seeking funding for your project now. Don’t wait around

As we mentioned above, speaking to other entrepreneurs will certainly allow you to make contacts and network. However, there’s a further benefit to increasing your presence in local business communities. Other entrepreneurs will be able to give you an in-depth insight into options for funding and investment in order to be able to better finance your project. These individuals may be the key to opening the door to contact with investors and a range of Venture Capital firms. After all, it tends to be significantly more effective (as a rule of thumb) to get talking to investors through a respected contact who has done business with them before and can vouch for your idea or has at the very least heard your pitch.

4. Get used to and comfortable with pitching.

Although it can sound cliché to say it, the classic elevator pitch really does work and is an activity that should become second-nature. An elevator pitch is a concise speech targeted at a potential decision-maker in which you give a summary of your business idea and the problem or need you aim to resolve. The term elevator pitch was coined from the idea of the opportunity one might come across in an office travelling from the ground floor to an executive company (in this case maybe we could even say Venture Capital Firm) to transmit their idea to the right person in an extremely short amount of time. Nowadays, we’re all familiar with the concept of TV programmes which have become extremely popular like Dragon’s Den (UK, Ireland) and Shark Tank (US, Latin America, Australia) where startup hopefuls pitch to demanding “sharks and dragons”.  Let’s take a look at some recommendations:

Elevator pitch tips for investors

  • Be concise and get straight to the point
  • Don’t show off- celebrating your knowledge and talent is different from showing off and it stands out
  • Make sure you respond to a problem or need
  • Remember your USP
  • Your goal should be making your pitch memorable and realistic for the investor

5. Keep an open-mind and be flexible

It goes without saying that pivoting is fundamental for entrepreneurs. It has certainly become another one of those buzzwords in business, but what does it really mean?. Pivoting is often a process and refers to the natural journey often taken by entrepreneurs in really finding their niches.

It involves challenging assumptions and jumping into new territories in order to explore potential markets and audiences while keeping an open mind in terms of changes that might need to be made.

On a final note

Be prepared to change your ideas and evolve. We’ve been forced to live through many changes which have sparked creativity despite their unpleasant nature and business always requires a mind open to change and evolution. It’s important to remember that your customers need to buy your idea. It’s much more important that they like it and it might be necessary to tweak your concepts or completely turn things around. At The Startup CFO, we are here to guide you.

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