You have an idea you want to start up – now what? This is our essential checklist for getting that startup business idea going.
Market research and brand conception
When you get an idea, it can be really exciting. While your first instinct might be to dive right in, it’s important to have a clear idea of the market, your audience, and what your brand represents. Start with some research to make sure what you’re pouring time and money into is a viable project!
Brand name, buying a domain and securing social handles
When you’ve got your brand name settled, it’s time to buy a domain – preferably using “.com”. Down the line, you may even want to consider buying multiple domains extensions for your brand name too. Your social handles should also be either the same as your domain or very similar so people can find you across platforms. Avoiding the use of . or – makes it easier for users to type as well. Here is a great tool for searching one social media handle across multiple social platforms for availability. We’ve also got a great post if you want to learn more about how social media like instagram can be an asset to your startup business. This post on an instagram strategy is also great if you’re new to social media.
Visualising your brand
A common misconception is that a logo makes a brand. A logo is part of a brand and with its colours, shapes and form reflects or hints at the brand’s values. On the other hand, branding is how your customers experience the company. A brand includes all the touch points your customers have with the company, from the website, blog, menus, packaging, apparel and tone of voice to company culture. Our interview with eco-friendly business owner Charlie Bowes-Lyon shows just how consistent branding can propel a startup. Strive to keep them all consistent.
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Validating your idea
Before you start a business, you should be absolutely clear about why you are doing it. The clearer you are about what you are trying to achieve, the better chance you have of achieving it. Creating a simple plan is part of that journey. It will also help you ask the right questions if you choose to work with an agency. This post goes in to detail on just what to ask branding and design agency.
Simon Sinek says it simply. People won’t truly buy into a product, service, movement, or idea until they understand the WHY behind it. So… what’s your why?
Doing a SWOT analysis will validate your idea. Define the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats associated with it. Play devil’s advocate, include everything!!! If your market research is positive, the next step is to put together a financial forecast. This will become a valuable guide when you’re up and running and is essential if you’re applying for funding… Include estimates of overheads v’s income and estimated profit and loss.
Once, you can see everything clearly, you validate whether the business is viable or not.
Keeping on top of everything and organising tips
Staying organised when things are kicking off can be overwhelming, but utilising the right tools can help you stay calm. We’ve mentioned apps like Streamtime and Asana, in fact, Andy Wright from Streamtime puts it perfectly how efficiency is key to a business organisation. However sometimes putting pen to paper does the trick. Physically writing out your to-do lists into actionable tasks and physically crossing them off does wonders for the brain and productivity.
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Whatever your startup business idea is, we hope these initial tips will get you ready for the journey ahead! We’ve a number of inspiring stories from people just like you who made their startup business happen. Also check out our previous work to see just how a branding and design agency can shape your business idea.
Feeling motivated? We have you covered! For more stories on Startups & Entrepreneurship, check out our list here.