We all have something about which we are extremely passionate, something we love more than almost anything else. Often we look at it as only a hobby, a pastime. But why do we stop there? Why don’t we go that extra leap to turn a passion into a potentially thriving business? Most success stories in the world of Entrepreneurship start with a love of something (usually more than just money – though that’s also certainly lovely!)
The answer here is complex, but basically it all boils down to fear. Most of us are (un)content working a 9 to 5, dreaming of doing what we love as opposed to what we’re actually doing. Why? Because it’s safe, because it seems as close to a guarantee as possible. We’re afraid of it not working out, of it ruining our passion, of it costing too much.
But we’re here to tell you that it can happen, that passion is one of the key elements to a successful startup in any industry. Passion is, in fact, the one necessary element to a successful venture. There’s a reason that passion and dedication are what every Venture Capitalist and Angel Investor look for before funding an operation.
Of course, passion isn’t the only thing an entrepreneur needs to launch a successful startup. There are the tools needed to survive in this world, including a business plan, a website, and a support network. For nearly two decades, SDI has helped turn passions into successful business. We know what a startup needs to survive and, more importantly, grow in a modern economy.
A Business Plan
So let’s start low tech, with a tool that business since the beginning of time used to help figure out exactly what their business needs: a plan. A properly made business plan is composed of 3 elements:
It is always important to understand the market, the competition, and of course, the target population. It not only helps you nail down what exact problem you have; and of course what exact solution you need to succeed.
2. Organizational Structure
Communication has been the downfall of more than one startup and even well-established businesses. Creating a clear hierarchical structure from the get go let’s people know where they stand in your organization, to whom they report for what actions, and alternative routes of communication, if necessary. Having this established before you even launch will prevent future problems.
3. Goals and Growth
Startups often struggle because they fail to outline concise goals. More than that, many startups fail to establish what counts as a successful completion of a goal. IT may seem a bit like you are putting the horse before the cart, but this is more important than you might think. This is especially true if you want to get funding from outside sources, as most VCs and Investors want to know this information.
We understand this is a lot and, unfortunately, this is only scratching the surface. For more on how to create a good business plan, contact our startup experts.The Website
As most people know, a website is roughly comparable to a physical store. It’s the face of your business, it’s where your customers peruse your wares and/or services, and it’s where you usually collect payment for said wares and services. In other words, you want your website to be beautiful, robust, and secure.
Website design is one part science, 1 part art, and 1 part intuition. The best designers utilize the “User Centered Design” (UCD) method. UCD means exactly what it states: designing entirely from the perspective of the user. UCD has shown clear results in our own research, with improved visitor to user conversions, better engagement, and, ultimately, more money in your pocket.
2. Robust Code
Code is what makes your website a website. There’s literally no way to describe web development without talking about programming. So, it’s important to hire a top notch development team that can make your website as awesome as your business. Whether you decide to build a website using a CMS framework like Magento or WordPress or go from the ground up, make sure to thoroughly vet your developers!
3. Security and Encryption
Good security is a combination of good code, common sense, and, quite simply, luck. Closed Parameters, SSL Certification, and User Permissions are examples of good code (contact our security experts for more). Common sense is harder to nail down, but basically boils down to not clicking on every link that gets emailed to you. Luck is even more broad, but the idea here is that there are literally millions of websites. Most will go not only unhacked, but not even noticed by malicious entities. Are you unlucky? That’s where good code and common sense come in. Hackers can’t get in if you don’t leave an opening.
There is a lot more than just passion that goes into a successful startup. But passion is what lays the groundwork for everything else. More to the point, you can hire a business, design, programming, and security experts. But passion is the one thing you can’t outsource to other people.
Got a passion you would like to turn into a successful business? Give us a call at 408.805.0495/408.621.8481 – or click to contact us!