Do you belong among those, who want to try something different, try something of their own? A successful business is no easy task and to kick off your own startup as a first step can be daunting indeed. We have prepared a few steps, in which we will guide you through the many aspects of getting a startup of the ground and the various tools and resources which may help you on this path.
How to start a business from scratch?
Ready to turn your entrepreneurial dreams into reality? Starting a business from scratch can be challenging but rewarding. In this guide, we’ll explore the essential steps to launch your venture successfully. From idea validation to creating a solid business plan, let’s embark on your journey to entrepreneurial success. Let’s get started!
Looking for inspiration to fuel your entrepreneurial journey? Dive into our captivating article on the “10 Most Profitable Small Businesses.“
1. Idea Generation
To start your own business, you first need to find a problem that needs solving. Ideally, a problem which penetrates every-day life and bothers a lot of people. Try to find solutions to these problems and you’re well on your way.
Helpful tool for Idea Generation: GERM.IO
Too many awesome ideas die in lost notes and cleaned up whiteboards. Germ.io lets you capture every eureka moment and helps you execute it. Never lose the big picture of your idea, starting from logging the “aha” light bulb moment that can occur at any time. Germ.io gets you on the road to creating actionable ideas, helping you define all the how’s, what’s and why’s you need to get going.
For many, the big one. Creating a catchy, easy-to-remember and NOT taken, registered or trademarked is a great feat and indeed, can spell success or failure for many projects. Think hard and plan ahead.
Helpful tool for Naming: LOGO.COM
Logo.com’s business name generator is a powerful tool that provides innovative solutions for businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals seeking to create a distinctive and memorable brand name. With its intuitive interface and vast database of words, phrases, and creative combinations, the name generator enables users to generate unique and compelling brand names in just a few clicks.
Whether you’re starting a new venture or rebranding an existing one, Logo.com’s name generator offers a diverse range of options to suit any industry or niche. It takes into account factors like target audience, industry keywords, and desired tone, helping users create brand names that resonate with their target market. With Logo.com’s name generator, the process of naming a business becomes an exciting and efficient journey, allowing users to unlock their creativity and find the perfect identity for their brand.
3. Domain Names
Try to plan the domain name and your brand’s name simultaneously as many domains today are taken or held for buy and sell purposes. Your domain name does not necessarily have to be exactly the same as your company’s name.A great option is to use a company name generator to create a unique and imaginative name and domain for your business.
Helpful tool for Domain Names: NAMECHEAP.COM
Namecheap.com is a premier provider of domain registration services, celebrated for its affordable, reliable, and user-friendly platform. Ideal for startups, Namecheap offers a vast array of unique, industry-specific domain names, coupled with a seamless registration process. The platform also provides additional services including domain transfers, privacy protection, and 24/7 customer support. With Namecheap, startups can secure a memorable and impactful digital identity without breaking the bank.
Another important one. Your website’s loading speed, reliability, and security hang on good hosting, so no cutting corners here. Research the providers in your area and on a global scale to get a feeling for what the general offer is.
Helpful tool for Hosting: GODADDY.COM
GoDaddy.com is a world-leading web hosting provider, known for its comprehensive digital solutions perfect for startups. Offering a range of hosting options, including shared, dedicated, VPS, and WordPress hosting, GoDaddy combines robust performance with user-friendly features. Its 24/7 technical support and advanced security measures ensure seamless and secure website operation. With additional services like domain registration, email hosting, and a website builder, GoDaddy serves as a one-stop digital solution for startups.
Whichever website builder you end up going with, it is important to remember that your website should accommodate all visitors, including those with disabilities. Once you create your site, you should therefore test it for accessibility, using a website accessibility checker.
5. Market Research
Although market research is in the first five steps of startup life, it actually accompanies the side of each and all steps along the way. You constantly need to keep a clear overview of the market, of your customers and digital marketing trends, to be able to keep up and offer only the best and only what the people want.
Helpful tools for Market Research: GOOGLETRENDS.COM
Google Trends is a public web facility of Google, based on Google Search, that shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages. The horizontal axis of the main graph represents time (starting from 2004), and the vertical is how often a term is searched for relative to the total number of searches, globally. Below the main graph, popularity is broken down by countries, regions, cities and language.
6. Forms & Surveys
How to get that valuable feedback from your clients and/or customers? Surveys of course! Nothing simpler than making a smart survey and posting it on your website, Facebook page or even sending it via a newsletter to your subscribers.
Helpful tool for Surveys and Forms: SURVEYMONKEY.COM
SurveyMonkey is the world’s largest survey company, helping customers collect over 2+ million online survey responses every day. Create a survey of your choice with a few simple clicks, then share it with your target audience.
7. Mockups & Wireframing
Whether you’re building a website, web app or mobile app or just project overviews, do it simply and visually stimulating. Adding “clickable” links and buttons can go a long way in pre-testing your ideas. The following tools can assist you in this process:
Helpful tool for Mockups and Wireframing: ZENFLOWCHART.COM
Zenflowchart is ultimate visual communication tool. Simplify complexity with our platform’s intuitive flowchart and diagram creation tools. Software offers a user-friendly interface for clear, effective communication, from mapping workflows to illustrating ideas. Elevate your visual storytelling today.
One of the big ones(not that the other ones are unimportant of course). Design is in everything. Not just visually, as in, how we see anything, but also how it works and how we interact with it. Design can make or break any grand idea because let’s admit it – we all love things that work and look good. Using design, you can make use of the effect which certain colors and shapes have on people. The layout of all elements and even the typography have this effect too, so make good use of it. Don’t forget to create a creative logo for your customers.
Helpful tool for Design: CARTOONIZE.NET
A visually captivating presence is key to success in the competitive world of startups. Colorcinch is a revolutionary photo editing tool that empowers entrepreneurs to elevate their branding effortlessly. Thanks to its intuitive interface and AI-powered photo effects and editing tools, Colorcinch enables even the non-designer to craft eye-catching graphics, crop & resize, recolor images, add overlays, remove & change background, and more.
Already reached the development stage? Everything planned out? Company name? Domain name? Design? Well, get to work! Or – in the case that your not the “developer type”, hire someone who is and hope they will fulfill your vision. Just make sure you’re using the right tools:
Helpful tool for Development: CODEFRESH.IO
Codefresh offers a complete development environment in the cloud, that accelerates the time required to build great cloud apps. It’s accessible from any device and browser, and allows teams to collaborate on their code, deploy and monitor apps – all from a single, intuitive and fresh interface.
This one goes hand in hand with the previous step – while you’re developing and of course after you’re done, you have to deploy your code. Sure, you can do it manually using any FTP software, but why not make it easier and deploy straight out of your development environment.
Helpful tool for Deployment: GITHUB.COM
The GitHub platform is widely known by the coder community, provides powerful collaboration and is the best place to share code with friends, co-workers, classmates, and complete strangers. Over seven million people use GitHub to build amazing things together. With the collaborative features of GitHub.com, their desktop apps, and GitHub Enterprise, it has never been easier for individuals and teams to write better code, faster.
For startups, finding the proper people is essential since it shapes the company’s culture, drives creativity, and forms a cohesive, effective team. The proper people provide knowledge, enthusiasm, and flexibility to overcome obstacles that will help the business succeed and expand. On the other hand, bad recruiting choices might result in conflicts, decreased production, and waste of resources. Choosing workers who share the startup’s goal is essential to building a solid base for future success.
Helpful tool for Hiring: LENSA.COM
FastTalent is a recruitment software that helps employers instantly promote open jobs to millions of job seekers across the US. The product is launched through Lensa, a job search engine that helps millions of job seekers find the right talent through its match-making system. With FastTalent, hiring companies can purchase single ad postings and represent Lensa’s first fully e-commerce solution for employers to find the best candidates for open roles.
12. Social Tools
Nowadays, it’s all about social networking – digitally of course. There’s a wide range of social networks that your business can and should use, whether to present yourself on more platforms or to support your customers. This should naturally be done with analyzable goals and targets, which need to be tracked and managed.
Helpful tool for Social Media: HOOTSUITE.COM
Hootsuite is the world’s most widely used social relationship platform, with more than 10 million users in 175+ countries. Use Hootsuite or choose from other Hootsuite alternatives to manage your social media programs across multiple social networks from one integrated dashboard.
13. MVP(Minimum Viable Product)
The MVP theory hasn’t been around that long but startups are employing this strategy as it is very cost-effective. Create a minimum viable product or service, give it to the people and see what they do with it and think about it. Collect valuable feedback and then modify the product accordingly, instead of wasting months and years on developing something that is already “perfect” on launch.
Helpful tool for MVP: QUICKMVP.DEV
QuickMVP uses a super simple technique to help you validate a new startup idea in literally 5 minutes. It’s the only software that combines a Landing Page Builder with a Google Ad Creator in one tool. If you’re looking for something simple, this is the right place for you.
Remember how we talked about market research? This is the continuation of that step. How you handle the marketing of your startup, is how you handle its whole image and the message you want to bring across to your customers and/or clients. Communication, support, visibility, branding….we could go on, but if you really think about it, everything is marketing. The following tool can help you – in some ways – to achieve your goals:
Helpful tool for Marketing: MAILCHIMP.COM
MailChimp helps you design email newsletters, share them on social networks, integrate with services you already use, and track your results. It’s like your own personal publishing platform. MailChimp also offers a variety of plug-ins for other programs. Utilizing an open API, Mailchimp allows you to integrate it with PayPal, Google Analytics, Shopify, and more.
15. Early Users
All ideas need proper testing, for some, you need a lot more people than your team can probably offer, so what do you do? Hire beta-testers of course. These early users, whether paid or not(in case of friends), will make sure that you know about every little bug, as well as visual or functional problems well before you officially launch your product. If you don’t have access to bigger groups of willing people, try these platforms to find your perfect testing team:
Helpful tool for Early Users: BETALIST.COM
BetaList has previously covered startups such as Pinterest, IFTTT and Mailbox before they launched and made it big. They provide pre-launch startups with their first hundred users. Their aim is to help startup founders better understand their customer through qualitative and quantitative research so they can make sure they are building the right product for the market.
Who doesn’t like a good presentation? And who doesn’t NEED a good presentation? Not everyone likes making or even watching presentations, but we can assure you, that a startup will need at least a few of these in the course of building itself up. Investors and other potential partners will need to see what your idea is all about and you need to deliver the message with style and elegance. Create creative presentation background templates to engage your target audience. If you’re not a Powerpoint fan, try these web tools:
Helpful tool for Presentations: SLIDEBEAN.COM
Slidebean is an easy-to-use, web-based platform for building presentations. Their interface takes your content and it automatically formats it to create a great looking result. If you share your presentation through Slidebean you’ll be able to track who saw it, what percentage of the content they viewed and how much time they spent on each slide, making it ideal for tracking investor activity.
Also you can prepare effective sales and business pitch presentation using pre-designed pitch deck templates.
17. Product Demo
It’s all about presentation. Using today’s various methods to bring your audience a sneak-peak of your product can be rewarding. Take a look at the tool that we picked out for you:
Helpful tool for Product Demo: VIDEOSCRIBE.COM
VideoScribe is pure magic. Whiteboard-style animations, without the need of technical know-how. As a part of your marketing plan, create videos, tutorials, add illustrations and bring them to life if you want to. You can use it on your PC and Mac and as a mobile version with a limited set of features for your iDevices and as Android and Kindle Fire apps.
Ready to launch? Ok then, but where to get that crucial traffic you need to drive to your site? Various registries and directories can be of service for that. Go out there, look around and submit your website/app/service/brand/name/whatever to as many possible places as you can within the scope of your industry.
Helpful tool for Launching: BETALIST.COM
BetaList.com is a renowned online platform specifically designed to showcase pre-launch and newly launched startups to a community of early adopters. It presents a unique opportunity for startups to generate early interest, gather user feedback, and create buzz around their products before full-scale launch. With a user base that’s passionate about innovative solutions and new technology, BetaList offers startups a head start in establishing their user base, refining their offerings, and driving their growth trajectory.
After launching your product or service, you need to carefully study how users react and then adjust accordingly. Google Analytics is a good start, bud many users need tools aimed at more specific niches.
Helpful tool for Analytics: CRAZYEGG.COM
Thanks to heat maps and scroll map reports you gain from using Crazy Egg, you’ll be able to read your websites visitors like a book. See where people are clicking, on which sections of your site they stay for the longest and much more. The behavior your users show can have crucial information for you.
20. Customer Support
We can not stress this one enough. Customer support can actually make or break any kind of business. Do not under any circumstances underestimate this subject or your users will never let you forget it. Think your customer support strategy through and then, really be there for them using the channels you’ve decided on. The one’s we picked out for our series are among dozens more, so don’t be afraid to try them all out and see what suits you:
Helpful tool for Customer Support: ZENDESK.CO.UK
A cloud-based customer service software solution, Zendesk lets you centralize all your customer conversations so as to not lose track of anything. Zendesk is used by organizations in 140 countries to provide support in more than 40 languages.
21. Project Management
Every project has to be managed in a cost-effective and simple way. More and more teams are operating from different places in the world, but the tools we picked out for you are as much helpful for teams operating under one roof:
Helpful tool for Project Management: NIFTYPM.COM
Nifty allows you to stop switching between roadmaps, tasks, docs, chats and other tools. You can set goals and timelines by setting a visual timeline for your big-picture goals and build team alignment by automating progress as tasks are completed. There is also a free plan that allows you to get started with 100 MB of storage space and 2 active projects.
22. Collaboration and Communication
Inside your team, you have to be able to communicate every issue in a direct and simple manner and be sure that a task is carried out when it supposed to. Are there tools for this? Yes they are:
Helpful tool for Collaboration and Communication: PODIO.COM
Podio is our personal favorite here at Billdu. We use it to keep track of all issues that each team-member has been assigned and what the state of said issues is. Podio users create workspaces to collaborate with specific groups of people and get their work done using Podio Apps. Anyone can build their own Podio Apps – using drag-and-drop, without a single line of code.
Level up your startup’s productivity with powerful productivity tools. From project management software to collaboration platforms, these tools streamline workflows and boost efficiency. Discover the top productivity tools tailored for startups and unleash your team’s full potential.
Helpful tool for Productivity: EVERNOTE.COM
There aren’t many people who haven’t at least heard from Evernote. Tired of your old simplistic notes apps? Evernote pushes the note taking business to a new level wit it’s digital workspace. Evernote works across all your devices and synchronizes every piece of information you entrust with it.
24. Financial Management
In the fast-paced world of startups, financial management plays a crucial role in ensuring long-term success. Effective financial management allows startups to allocate resources wisely, make informed decisions, and navigate the challenges of scaling. From budgeting and cash flow management to strategic financial planning, mastering the art of financial management is essential for sustainable growth.
Helpful tool for Financial Management: BILLDU.COM
When it comes to running a business, effective financial management is key to success. Keeping track of expenses, invoicing clients, and monitoring cash flow can be a complex task. That’s where Billdu software comes in. Billdu offers a comprehensive solution designed to simplify your financial management processes. From creating professional invoices and managing expenses to generating insightful reports, Billdu streamlines your financial tasks, allowing you to focus on growing your business. Discover the power of efficient financial management with Billdu and take control of your business’s financial health.
25. Feedback & Bug Tracking
Not a single product or service has remained the same from their start. Constant adjustments and modifications based on feedback from your users is a must in every industry. You and your whole team can’t possibly hope to find every little bug hiding in your system, nor seeing your work from the perspective of every one of your users. So let them tell you what’s wrong, and how to fix it.
Helpful tool for Feedback and Bug Tracking: DOORBELL.IO
If you’re looking to collect feedback from websites and mobile devices alike in one place, Doorbell is for you. Javacsript, iOS and Android SDK’s are available for setting up Doorbel in your application or use their API to create your own client. Doorbell is integrated with popular services like Pivotal Tracker, Trello, GitHub, Sprint.ly, Asana, Jira, Highrise and Lighthouse.
Opening your own shop online can be both daunting and at the same time, an exhilarating experience. Digital products are on the rise as well as physical products sold online, so if you want to sell, nothing stands in your way.
Helpful tool for Shop: GUMROAD.COM
Gumroad is a robust online platform that empowers creators to sell their work directly to their audience. This could range from digital products such as ebooks, music, and software, to physical goods, with an easy-to-use interface and a minimalistic approach to e-commerce. By offering a suite of tools including payment processing, file hosting, and marketing capabilities, Gumroad has become a favored choice for creators worldwide to build their business independently.
You can also use popular gumroad alternatives to sell your digital products.
We hope you’ve gained some interesting insights and tips. We also hope to see you open shop in the near future if that’s your plan.
For a startup, having invoicing sorted out is a must. Please have a look at our iPad invoice app and/or proceed to our Advice article on essential parts on an invoice.
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