Start-up roadmap

Starting your business can seem overwhelming, and while every business is not established the same way, it’s good to have a certain step-by-step plan to help you kickstart your business into a reality. Writing a plan for your business makes it also much more likely for you to actually start doing something about it, but it doesn’t have to be an extensive, all-inclusive, 40-page business plan. While that doesn’t hurt, sometimes it’s more appropriate and time-saving to utilize what’s called the 1-page business plan. The following information should be answered in a single A4 in a structured manner, to help you visualize the steps that need to be taken in order to establish a startup.

  1. Start with the idea

Every entrepreneur needs to have an idea before starting a company. Figure out what’s missing in the market, what could be produced more cost-effectively, what the customers want, if can you solve an existing problem, and so on.

2. How to make money with it

Businesses need to make money in order to survive, so figure out how to profit from the idea. Develop a business model, a description of how your business makes money. Are you going to sell a product, lease a software, create a marketplace for goods, or create a subscription based service, for example.

3. Study the market

Next, it’s important to know who are your competitors. What are they selling and for how much? Who is buying their products and how much are they willing to pay? Write down a list of all the players in the market to see if the market is saturated or if there’s still room for improvement and identify current customer behavior.

4. What is your competitive advantage

Next step is to figure out why would the customers choose your product, instead of buying from your competitors. What is the unique benefit of your service, is your product considerably cheaper than competition, or perhaps, it appeals to a whole new market.

5. How to reach customers

Knowing your customer isn’t enough, you also have to know how to reach them in a cost-effective manner. You don’t want to use your marketing budget to advertise to people who aren’t your target customers, so once you figured out who is your customer, study how to effectively pinpoint your advertising to your target customers only.

6. Validate your idea

Once you have found people who like using your product or service, your idea has been validated. However, that doesn’t mean it’s perfect, so it is important to continuously improve your product or service. If you have no customers, maybe it’s time to change the service?

Once you have all of the information above in a single A4, you are ready to start pursuing your idea!

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