2015 is upon us and most people are still going strong with their resolutions, but perhaps you intended on launching that start-up or starting your own business this year and are thinking just where do I start?
Come join ROC Santa Monica’s Office Hours Program-Every Third Thursday from 2:00pm-5:00pm
January 15th-You cannot afford to miss this free event and opportunity to get face-to-face feedback from an elite Panel of professionals, but also the chance to receive a Private consultation at this event! This month’s meeting will take place on the 2nd floor Board Room and will host panelists from Sheppard Mullin, Silicon Valley Bank, Tech Empower, CTO Forum, High Pressure Zone and TempCFO.
The rise of the ‘Start-up’ has superseded all economic and governmental expectations in the last 5-10 years-which wasn’t difficult to predict, it’s the direct result of supply and demand, in jobs, products, and fostering talent in America. A successful start-up is the new gold standard of excellence. Our largest and most iconic companies of the last decade began as bare-bones start-ups with no more than raw talent, ingenuity and the passion with which to kindle a business from. Apple, Google, Uber, Beats, even the all American Levi Strauss started out small, as a start-up.
It can be overwhelming, even dizzying to keep your eyes on the big picture and where you wish to go, while time traveling and shape sifting back into the every-day nitty gritty of getting things done, so without fainting from vertigo focus on one thing at a time. Knowing how to properly start your start-up is the first step on the road to black Inc. (i.e. corporate profits).
It starts with a plan, a business plan of course, but right away establish who is doing what, handling the administrative and financial decisions are the two of the most important designations to make after deciding to actually ‘start-up’ your business. The costs involved with starting up a business vary dramatically, but it’s good to have general guidelines to reference, as these may include line items you simply had not thought of before. Entrepreneur has a great generalized calculator to get you started for financial projections, which are essential components of your Business Plan. The SBA (U.S. Small Business Administration) also has a comprehensive website with multiple guides to answer many typical questions about the structuring of your new business or start-up.
While this may seem at first like an extravagant luxury that will you grow into, you need it now, it is a necessity like a name (who to write the check out to). Having a professional image, a well-equipped, reliable, or ideally impressive location and work place (even just) to hold meetings will make or break a deal. I likely don’t have to tell you, but image is everything, especially in your initial establishment stages. If you wish to be taken professionally and seriously, you must project both traits yourself to customers, investors and potential partners. Trust and confidence in your product and long term potential will not be built meeting in coffee shops with free Wi-Fi.
If you are not comfortable or familiar with applications in the Cloud, with file sharing and remotely hosted apps, or on the fly essential communication tools (such as Skype and Google Hangouts) and with the key social media platforms-you will need to invest some time into learning and becoming comfortable with a few of these. You might as well also become accustomed to change, as that is the only guarantee with the evolution of our technology today. It may seem overwhelming initially, but “relevant focus” is key. You don’t have to be an expert in all or even one application. Just learn about the technology that will be of most benefit to you and your business, once you are comfortable with that you can begin exploring other options and or learning more advance features.
Other important issues that will need to be established at the outset include an unforgettable and money making name, a bank account under that name, a web-site and business cards (or some solid form of legitimate identity representation), work on the finalization of your product, seek investors or mentors, get a business license and of course, let the IRS know what you’re doing.
Image By U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Office for Emergency Management. War Production Board. (01/1942 – 11/03/1945).