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Startups 101 -The complete insight to starting your own business in 2019!

Last updated on January 10, 2019 by Dotsquares

A new year marks new beginnings, and when January hits we find ourselves setting goals that we want to achieve by the end of the year. For a lot of entrepreneurs and start-ups, this marks the beginning of a new business venture.

As a global creative design and development business, we have nurtured many start-ups and entrepreneurs to help them make their visions come to life. So as to help all the new business minds kick off 2019 with a bang we wanted to give you a “Startup 101” insight to support you on your journey!

CONCEPT

First of all what is your business? Is it an online e-commerce business? Perhaps it’s a game to help other businesses effectively keep their employees engaged?

Whatever your concept is, you need to think of how is sets you apart from the competition. With an oversaturated digital market you need to establish what it is, that your business can offer over the others. Competition is what drives businesses to move forward with new ideas, striving to be the best in their field. As entrepreneurs, we look to our competition to inspire us with ideas around “what and what not to do”.

Once you have established your business concept, and who or what is your competition, you then need to think of how you want to transform it digitally. To give you some examples…

Scenario 1

Perhaps you are a shop owner that has a physical store, but you need a website to capture those who are turning away from the ‘brick and mortar’ experience, we have come to love so much through the decades. Having an e-commerce website will help you to find new customers from different cities, counties and countries, and it will also help you to retain the customers you currently have, by providing them with an alternative shopping experience.

Scenario 2

You have an e-commerce website that has been fully operational for years but you’re finding the traffic isn’t as high as it used to be, on reflection to your competitors traffic. This is a great opportunity to also create an app for the convenience of the community of smartphone users, who are more frequently turning to apps than their browsers. Apps are known for their simplistic usability and they give each user their own unique shopping experience.

Scenario 3

You have a website and an app but now you’relooking at things more internally, something to improve the functionality of your corporate processes. Gamification is a great way to bring interactivity into the workplace.

These are just some of the examples we have seen over the last 16 years when working with start-ups, entrepreneurs and also Small to Medium Enterprises (SME’s).

BUDGET

Before you move onto the development stage, you will need the funds in place to do so, however, to make sure you have accounted for everything, you will need to plan out your budget effectively. For this, you will need to do your research and ask for estimations on what it will cost to build your website, app, game, whichever it may be. Then you will need to think about what it will cost to market your business on the various different platforms available. Once you have rough estimations of these, including anything else you need in between such as hosting and maintenance, you will then have a rough figure to try and obtain the funds you need to make your vision a reality.

FUNDING

Unfortunately, nothing comes for free these days, and starting a business in no easy task. However there are plenty of options to consider to help get you going for those who are start-ups.

Bank loan – the most common way to get money fast, however you will need a good credit score and some loans are limited to the amount you can borrow.

Venture Capitalist / Investors – Some banks will offer venture capitalists to help you kick start your business. Another option here would be to get a keen investor on board. Dragon’s Den, although it’s an extreme version for our viewing purposes, is a great way to get the funds you need, but it will mean having to give a percentage of the company to the investor.

Crowd Funding – Where you can ask a large group of people to fund your idea by donating small amounts of money, however this can be a particularly slow process.

MARKETING

Once the funds are obtained and your website, app, game is complete, it’s now time to move onto the marketing to give your brand a voice. Here are some of the marketing methods that can be used to help build an online audience.

  • Search Engine Optimisation – Specific marketing techniques applied to increase organic traffic to a website or webpage which in turn increases Google ranking
  • Pay Per Click / Google Ads – This is where you can pay Google to show your website at the top of the page. Google ads are currently the most popular form of PPC.
  • Social Media Marketing – Using social media platforms to advertise your business and connect with your target audience on a more sociable level
  • Newsletter Marketing -Using a series of newsletter sequences to retarget your current customer base, increasing your chances of more conversions.
  • App Store Optimisation – Whilst it’s a relatively new concept, applies a similar methodology to SEO wherein techniques are applied to optimise your app in the app store

These are some of the main factors you need to consider when starting a business. Should you ever need any more advice in any of these areas, then our teams of expert Project Managers, Marketing Executives and developers would be happy to advise and assist.