The Ultimate Checklist for Launching Your Startup

9 in every 10 startups fail.

Sure, the study that unearthed this shocking statistic was done back in 2014, and the numbers might have improved a bit. But what hasn’t changed is the fact that establishing a startup that will morph into a huge corporation is a task of herculean proportions.

To give yourself every chance of success, you need to lay a solid foundation. If you don’t, all you’ll have is a house of cards, which will come crumbling down at the slightest touch.

In this article, we’re telling you how to launch a startup that won’t fail. Read on!

Have a Viable Idea

Every great company began with a noble idea.

Look at Amazon, for instance. It’s founder, Jeff Bezos, wanted to make it easier for people to buy books. Today, the giant online retailer not only sells books, but also literally everything –and it just hit a $1 trillion market valuation. Similar stories can be told of Apple, Google and others.

This proves that the first step to launching a successful startup is to develop an idea. Not only an idea, but also an idea that solves a pressing problem.

If you don’t have one, it’s time to hit the whiteboard. Brainstorm and write down any ideas that come to mind. Once you have a list, start evaluating their viability.

One effective way to test the viability of a potential business idea is to study the market. Are there established companies founded on a similar idea? If yes, what is their market dominance? You don’t want to jump into an already crowded or overly dominated market.

Another way is to bounce the ideas off your closest friends and families.

After settling on an idea, consider how easy or difficult it will be to bring the pieces together and transform it into a service or product. Are there existing technologies that’ll help you build the idea into something tangible?

Take Care of the Legal Aspects

Did you know more than 3,000 patent infringement suits are filed every year?

It’s rational to assume to a lot more infringements go unreported, because many startups don’t have the money to A) protect their intellectual property by acquiring patents B) pay lawyers to pursue infringement cases.

This is why startup founders must take steps to protect their ideas before launching.

Creating a company is usually the first legal thing you need to do. Think of a name that best embodies your idea or vision, and then head over to your local authorities and register the enterprise.

Next, patent your idea. This involves creating a prototype of your product and filling an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

The process of creating a company and getting a patent usually involves a lot of procedures and paperwork. If you don’t have prior experience doing these tasks, it’s best to hire a business lawyer to help you. You’ll save time and money, and importantly, you’ll keep your focus on the ball.

Get the Capital

You need to raise enough (more than enough, in fact) capital when looking to launch a startup. You don’t want to run into cash flow issues after opening your days. Plus, one of the reasons many startups fail is poor cash flow management.

So, how do you get the capital? Let’s explore the options.

Out of Pocket

If you have some windfall stashed away in a bank, use it to fund your startup. Yes, you risk going completely broke should the startup fail, but look at the bright side of things. You’ll have complete control of your business. Nobody will tell you how to spend the money. A total boss.

You can also request for financing from some or your rich friends and relatives. When going this route, be sure to treat the money as a commercial loan. Draw contracts detailing repayment terms and other conditions.

Take Out Startup Business Loans

Given the state of the economy, it’s unlikely that you have enough savings to fund a startup. Most of your friends and relatives are also probably living paycheck to paycheck.

Enter startup business loans.

There are loans designed for entrepreneurs. As long as your business plan is viable and accurately details your financial needs and projections, you can get the loan, even if you have bad credit. Learn more about these types of loans.

Equity Investors and Angels

Do you watch Shark Tank?

Then you certainly know you can give up a share of ownership in your startup in exchange for a certain amount of capital. Startups with a high growth potential are especially attractive to equity and angel investors.

Other avenues for raining capital include crowdfunding on platforms such as Kickstarter and applying for government grants.

Set Up and Office and Grow the Team

With the capital secured, you’re ready to set the wheels rolling.

Find an ideal office space and hire a financial manager. This professional will help you allocate the funds accordingly – like determining how much money should go to research and development. Thereafter, expand the team gradually. Bring in product development experts.

Keep in mind that your startup doesn’t have to fill every position. There are tasks you can outsource. Instead of hiring in-house sales and marketing specialists, for instance, outsource the functions to a sales and marketing agency.

That’s How to Launch a Startup!

Entrepreneurship is an exciting, yet challenging journey. Exciting because of the endless possibilities, challenging because of the hurdles you have to overcome.

Learning how to launch a startup will help you reduce the hurdles, or at least face them confidently. And, never stop learning. Keep tabs on our business resources to stay ahead of the curve.