Startups for Dummies: The Ultimate Guide

Grace Holden

What are startups?

The definition of startups tends to vary depending on who you ask. In short, however, startups are essentially businesses that are starting. Contrary to popular belief, small businesses and startups are not the same things. Startups are created with the intention of large growth and disrupting the market, whereas small businesses are created for a local market and don't tend to be concerned with huge growth.

Starting a startup with no experience

Who can create a startup? The answer is simple: literally anyone. Okay, maybe not everyone (I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t fully trust a four-year-old with a whack load of money and a business that could land me in debt). But if you have a passion for changing the world and an interest in being your own boss, you can be a brilliant founder.

It’s not the end of the world if you don’t have any experience of business. Some of the best founders learn on the job! However, it is a good idea to do your research before you dive straight in. This includes how to manage the finances in your startup, market and legal research and knowing how to create a business plan. You can take part in online courses, talk to other entrepreneurs or even simply deep dive into the internet. This will help you when you’re growing your startup and reassure future investors that you know exactly what you’re doing.

Networking is a really important part of creating a startup as it helps you to connect with other founders and learn from them. The startup community is really strong, and people are always willing to help others. By simply asking, many founders will be more than happy to answer any questions you might have and support you in any way they can!

How to set up a startup company

As much as we’d like there to be, there’s no one way of setting up a startup company. However, by following these ten steps, you’ll be well on your way ,

●      An amazing idea! It doesn’t matter how much experience you have in business, you can’t do anything without a great idea. Your idea should be unique, solve an existing problem and have a viable place in the market.

●      Business plan - A bad business plan can be the difference between securing or not securing investment. A good plan tells people you know what your startup needs and where it’s going to go! Talk to fellow founders about how they created their business needs and do lots of research!

●      A great team. Behind every founder and their startup is an amazing team that works hard around the clock to make the business a success. Your employees should all bring something different to the table, be that amazing social skills, great writing abilities or knowledge in an area you are unfamiliar with. Mostly, however, they should be great at working in a team, because that’s what startups are all about.

●      Funding! Getting investment for your startup is a huge step, one that requires lots of planning and discussion within your team. If you want to read more about how to finance your startup read our blog post here.

●      Cover all the legal paperwork - Before your startup gets up and running, ensure you are across every legal process there is. If possible, you may want to hire a startup lawyer who can make sure this is the case. Remember, startups can be tricky ground, and there may be things you have forgotten to consider.

●      Establish location - More and more, startups are travelling to the online space. Lots of founders prefer working remotely as they can hire team members from all over the world to work for their startup! However, if you are opening a physical space, it’s worth considering what area is the best fit for your business.

●      Marketing plan - One of the key things to remember is that many marketing practices can now be done without having to spend a single penny. Setting up an Instagram account is now as crucial - if not more - than having a website, so you mustn’t skimp out on such practices.

●      Attract customers - Getting customers to engage in your startup is much easier said than done. It requires patience and a whole lot of hard graft! Once you’ve established who your audience is, you can start building up your customer base through social media marketing, attending industry events, sending out emails and a whole lot more!

●      Plan to change - Startups are constantly changing, but that doesn’t mean you have to submit to that change. Planning for all scenarios, including when something goes wrong, will help build your confidence in your business.

●      Go, go, go! After following all of these steps, you’ll finally be ready to fly off into the sunset. Okay, maybe it won’t be all plain sailing, your business is bound to have a few hurdles, but with all your preparation behind you, you can make your startup a great success!

Startups to start

Unfortunately, no one can tell you exactly which startup you should create - that’s all down to you! However, some of the best advice we can give you is to do what you enjoy. If you are passionate about the service you offer or the product you are creating it will be a far more enjoyable and easier experience for everyone and you are far more likely to succeed!