Starting a business? 8 Keys to a Successful Startup
Launching a new start up can be exciting and fun! You’ve thought up an idea and feel like it might be time to launch the project for the world to see, yet you have questions or you are unsure how to increase the chances for success. While fun and exciting, launching a startup can be daunting-if you are not prepared or educated on the process. With so many new businesses being launched each day, what separates the successful from the rest is a well laid out vision from start to finish. While a strategy for launching a project is a fluid process, we identified 8 keys to a successful business startup. We count them down from 8 to one in this post.
8. Identify a need
You have an idea, but have you asked yourself if there is a need for the idea in the market? This is critical to tease our before you go forward into business planning. If the idea is not a solution to an identified problem, or a identifiable need that a consumer would want to benefit from, then it may be time to go back to the drawing board. Identifying that there is a need can be done by keying on trending issues, seeking out issues that you have found no clear solution for, or asking your close friends and partners if they think the idea would solve the identified “need.”
7. Set Goals
A project without any goals is like a taking an airplane without a destination in mind. You can take off but landing may be a bit of a challenge. Each project needs to have a good outline of goals, set by milestones towards that end goal. By setting goals you can identify if you are on pace to meet the ultimate goal. Setting goals early is important as well becuase it allows you to measure progress towards competition. Making goals up as you go can often be lead by emotions, rather than set plans and logic. So, set a few goals and goals towards the goals and track the progress you make.
6. Understand your competition
Competition is a good thing- it means there are others out there who found a similar problem that needed to be solved. A sign of a strong idea is if there are others trying to tackle the same thing. For instance, how many burger places do you see around town? And how many of those have you gone to? People like solutions and they like choices. So, understanding your competition and what their business model, structure, and strategy will help you understand what you could offer in comparison. Some folks like the iPhone and are loyal to Apple, while others enjoy the differences Samsung brings to the market. Both have a place in the market, and both go about it very differently. See what the customer wants from your competition and develop a strategy around that.
5. Gain accounting knowledge
Gaining a better understanding of accounting is an important step, as like any business, there will be a flow of expenses and revenue to manage. Keeping a basic accounting practice in place will allow the business to better understand where the core costs go, what drives the most revenue, and what would be some projections for future expenses or revenue may be. There are several systems out there to help with basics accounting for any business idea, one of them being Quickbooks. QuickBooks Training
4. Develop business plan
A business without a plan is just a neat idea. A business plan helps you turn that idea into reality. It was once said that the difference between a successful startup and one that fails is not the idea- it’s the execution. Plans help you execute this vision. A good solid plan will help you identify what are the key goals, metrics to measure success, plan for rolling out the business, ways to deliver the product, and how to best position the company for future growth. Business plans also identify gaps in the idea and highlight the needs the company has in keying in on its target niche.
3. Solidify your strategy
When looking at a strategy this can be a complex key. It is not only a strategy on how to operate the business, who will serve as what roles, and how you will evaluate milestones, but it also includes marketing/promotion. A strategy like this serves to identify the business operations itself as well as how you will get the word out, grow a consumer base, and reach your targeted demographic. It’s important to develop a form of a “vision board” to lay out the steps each task would take, who would complete them, and what timelines would be possible. Identifying what marketing steps you will take, how to evaluate their success, and looking at the return on those efforts is key to lay out in advance.
2. Choose a business name
The fun part: choosing the business name. Often overlooked, a key to any businesses success lies with the name. Identifying what the brand aims to offer, what industry or niche it will categorize itself under, and what the company represents and values is very important to pin down. A business name should be something that equally represents the brand, is memorable, and of course is not already taken! Included in the business name is the mission statement and values/proposition. It’s key to have a clear idea of what you stand for and how your name will stand out.
1. You have to WANT it.
It goes without saying (so we typed it) that with any business startup the one key element that you MUST have is a desire for it. You need to WANT this business to exists and to be successful. If you are not passionate about the product, the grind, the company, you will fizzle out fast and be left with an idea that goes nowhere. You can’t find the desire in a website, in a blog, or at a conference. It’s has to be in you when you dreamt up the idea. If you think about life with the company how do you feel? Now think about life without your idea out there. How those questions make you feel can tell you a lot about your intentions and desires to see this come to life.
While starting a business can be fun, it can also be complicated and overwhelming when you lay out all the steps needed initially. The task is possible and when the 8 key strategies are executed, you can position your new company on a solid foundation. If you need a bit more help, want to learn how to implement such keys, and really take charge of your business, come join us for our upcoming webinar where we go a step further for business startups.
You can learn more and join us HERE for our upcoming webinar in April. https://pkjconsulting.lpages.co/businessstartup/
Many businesses today rely on a trusted accounting professional to handle their accounting needs. With the various changes and complexities to accounting it’s no question there is such as demand. For some, they are still hesitant to use outsourcing as a business practice. While risky for some situations, using an outsourced accountant can be very beneficial. Let’s review some key benefits to outsourcing your accounting needs.
One of the biggest benefits of outsourcing is a team or an individual whose main job is accounting. While you may know certain laws, certain write offs, or even certain tax breaks, there is no guarantee you know all there is to know when it comes to accounting. Going with a trusted accountant who eats and breaths accounting practices can increase your confidence in doing it right.
Imagine saving money by only using a service when you need it- that’s exactly what you get when you outsource. You only need to utilize the service for specific aspects of your business. You save money by only paying for what you need while saving on not having an employee on payroll who only owns part of that role. The amount of time saved in staff time (and your time) will help with the bottom line.
Worst word you can hear: Audit. Yikes- it has and will happen to many businesses. One way though to minimize that risk is by hiring a professional who has studied and then studied again the new laws, changes, and options for a multitude of businesses. Outsourcing allows you to hire the best of the best while also increasing the chance you avoid the “A” word.
Words like “confused”, “shocked”, “lost” and “why” have been uttered across the internet when polls went out about most people’s understanding of the new tax laws that recently went into place. There are a variety of tax law changes that go into effect each year, and an outsourced accountant is paid to keep track of them all. You do not need to fear the changes when you can rely on a trusted professional who knows them.
There is something to be said for keeping up with the times. Phone books are near extinct, Blockbuster has one store left, and MySpace was just a distant nightmare. Staying relevant is vital when it comes to modern day comforts and accounting needs for any business. An outsourced professional has the most relevant systems in place to stay ahead of the curve and keep a watchful eye on your businesses needs. While a sticky pad and a well sharpened pencil may help with tax time, a professional may have a few systems in place to better track your numbers.
Divide and conquer as the saying goes, is all too true in business. By finding people’s strengths and having them execute on them helps increase any businesses productivity. With accounting needs, outsourcing allows you the flexibility to focus on other aspects of the business, and gives the role of accounting to a professional. This decreases wasted time on crunching numbers.
Last, but certainly not least is the amount of support offered by an professional. Not necessarily for emotional support, rather for technical support and guidance as the year unfolds. Business trends change, income and deductions vary, so why not talk them out with someone who knows how to manage it all? It’s wise to get ongoing assistance so you can take on the road ahead.
Whether you are a new business or a well established one, it’s not too late to consider outsourcing your accounting needs. With PKJ Consulting we would be more than happy to help you get started. If you need to ask a question or you are ready to hand over the task to, we are here to help. Simply contact us HERE to get started!