- 2nd Growth
In this post I will be addressing the first stage: the Start-Up. In subsequent posts I will speak-to the other stages.
The Start-Up stage is most critical as it sets the foundation and initiates the business launch. This is when crucial early-stage funding is required and must be utilized properly and prudently.
Pre-launch requirements are complicated for even the most basic of ventures. Legal, tax, and financial requisites. Physical presence (location, size, and necessary infrastructure) can, for many businesses, determine success or failure. Establishing management roles (who does what), hiring, training, establishing policies and procedures, and spawning the business' culture. These are all start-up activities.
Marketing is extremely important as this is when the business establishes its identity and initiates its branding strategy. Creating a logo and perhaps a byline is required. Both traditional and new forms of promotion and advertising must be addressed. Social media is requisite. A website is a necessity for even the smallest of companies and promotion through Amazon, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google, and a company blog must all be considered. Traditional marketing outlets, such as, ads in newspapers, magazines, and trade journals. Radio and TV spots and a variety of promotional activities, especially at launch, are required.
In almost very case, the Start-Up stage requires assistance. Capital infusion from outside sources, such as angel investors or venture capitalists, may be required. Consultation from start-up specialists and legal and accounting experts may be required. The hiring of a website developer and/or a graphic artist will be needed. The issue is: you can't do it alone. Given the complexities of today's business environment it is almost impossible to conceive, research, plan, implement, market, and launch a profit (or for that matter non-profit) entity without outside professional assistance.
Remember: the Start-Up is the foundation upon which you build the business and prepare for the next stage - Emerging. This is when you begin building the business, solidifying your brand, increasing sales, developing a solid customer base, finding the niche, and nailing-down the product and service fulfillment.