Start Ups – Grow Your Idea
Big ideas start small. If you’re reading this on any Apple device, for example, you may not be aware that Apple’s two founders started out as garage-based hobbyists who – just for fun – produced a machine dubbed ‘Bluebox’ that could place free long-distance phone calls. Spurred on by success of this project, the pair attended a computer club to discuss ideas with like-minded peers. Thanks in part to these computer club meetings, they soon set their sights on producing the world’s most powerful and user friendly personal computer. Had the Apple founders instead attended a motoring club in search of inspiration, we could now all be flying to work in antigravity iCars (but the battery still probably wouldn’t last all day).
The point is that your story will have many twists. Becoming a start-up is a hurdle in itself. If you think that you could be mid flight over that hurdle, read our top tips on how to avoid a crash landing.
It’s time to move off the drawing board and put pen to paper. An idea will remain an idea until you establish your concept. How do you do this? Simple, you need a mission complete with a milestone timeline and strategies to achieve incremental goals. Sounds complicated. Start by deciding on individual roles – even if you’re doing all the work yourself. Set out tasks within a workable weekly schedule. This can be altered later – it’s easier to amend a template than to start fresh at each turn.
- You have a product or service. But your set up is basic. Your scope is small. You couldn’t cope with huge demand at the moment. But you need the money to grow. So how do you get to the next step? The answer is funding through investment. To get funding you need market validation – something you can show for yourself that allows you to place a value on your business. Start with a website. A landing page will do for now, where people can check you out and register their interest. Contact a marketing agency. They will talk you through your options, including paid social, paid search, and SEO. Don’t worry if that means nothing to you at this stage. It will do soon. The important thing to remember here is that online buzz is invaluable in securing investment.
Unless you were lucky enough to be born into money, you’re going to have to make your case for funding. But first you’ll need to show why any potential investor should consider your request. To do this you need a scalable business model with estimated yearly returns. This is calculated using your price earnings ratio and your yearly earnings after tax. Find out how to calculate the value of your business here. Once your numbers are in order, decide how the investment you’re looking to secure will be used to scale up your business. All done? Great. Now read this excellent article on how to find an investor, and prepare for rejection. Lots and lots of rejection. But always remember, JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected by 12 publishers, and Colonel Sanders was waved away by over one thousand restaurants refusing to stock his Kentucky Fried Chicken. And they both did alright.
Making it as far as securing an investment is massive. You’ve convinced the big players. Well done. Now the real work starts. Your plans will branch out exponentially depending on the terms of the partnership with your investor. One thing to bear in mind is that you will need property. From business park suites and industrial estate warehouses, to retail, restaurants, and shopping centers, speak to the experts for advice and guidance on securing the ideal commercial property that works within your budget. Read more about commercial property and set your sights on the move that’s right for you.