An idea is typically the start of any business. But several people with great ideas have let their ideas go to waste just because they do not know how to build a company from the ground up. This is why starting a business goes way beyond just having a great idea.
Building a business from the ground up is not child’s play.
It requires a lot of hard work, planning, and determination to scale through the numerous challenges and setbacks you are bound to encounter.
The good thing is every thriving business you see today all started from the ground.
Someone spent their time, resources, and sweat to get that business to where you see it today.
It did not just magically spring up from nowhere; even those multi-million-dollars businesses you see today were initially built from the scratch by someone.
Do you know what this means?
It means that if these people were able to build a thriving business from the ground up, then you can do the same too.
This is not to say it will be easy.
No, it is quite the task and you will encounter difficulties that will make you want to give up.
But you can do it if you set your heart to it and follow certain guidelines and tips.
Luckily, this is what this article is all about.
Below, some of the most important tips that will help you build your company from the ground up will be discussed.
1. Know and Understand Your Why
The first thing you need to know about starting a company from the ground up is not how much it will cost or the steps you need to take to register your business.
No, it is knowing and understanding why you want to build that company.
What is your biggest motivation to do this? Why do you want to do this?
These are the questions you need to ask yourself so you can understand the purpose behind this big step you want to take.
Now, most businesses are mainly profit-oriented, but then, your reason for starting a company should not be “So I can make several millions of dollars”.
Rather, it should be something more concrete, something more important and intentional.
Knowing and understanding why you are starting a company can be what will differentiate your business from the other businesses in your industry.
It can also be the greatest source of motivation that will keep you going when the going gets tough.
So, make sure you find out the why behind your action before you start building your company.
2. Ensure Your Business Will Accommodate Your Why
Once you understand why you want to start a company, you need to ensure that the business model you are considering will fit the why.
For instance, let’s say you want to start your company because you want more time to travel around the world.
In this case, you need a company that you can operate from anywhere in the world and would still be able to cater to your lifestyle.
So, you need to take your time to figure out the kind of business that you can do that will suit this lifestyle.
Your lifestyle should not be built around your business.
Rather, your business should be built around the kind of lifestyle you desire.
Once you start building your lifestyle around your business, you may end up building a company that won’t cater to the reason why you even wanted to build a company in the first place.
3. Create a Plan for Your Company – How to Build a Company from the Ground Up
At this point, you most likely have a clear idea of what type of company you want to build.
You know what services and/or products you want to offer and you have an idea of how everything will work.
But you can’t just stop at this.
You need to go to your planning table and make plans for every aspect of your business including your expenses, budget, and profit.
You need facts, and in business, that translates to numbers.
And you can’t just make up numbers, they have to be real, well-informed, and properly researched.
Don’t make assumptions about anything; instead, take your time to research it and have factual information.
Make a plan outlining every expense you expect to make within 6 months or even a year.
Have revenue estimates and set realistic timelines for important things like your product launch and so on.
Just ensure your plan has numbers.
This is because, if it does not, you may not move forward as fast as you should.
You may spend a lot of time reacting to events.
Numbers will give you a definite goal to pursue and hopefully attain.
Aside from doing your research and making plans based on them, you also need to document your plans.
This is typically known as a business plan.
The following are some of the things you need to do when planning your business.
Evaluate the Business Idea – How to Build a Company from the Ground Up
A very crucial thing you have to do when building a company from the ground up is to assess your business idea.
You need to be sure that the idea you have for your company is feasible.
Evaluating a business idea will save you the stress of investing your time, money, and resources in a venture that is not worth it.
There are several steps to take and things to do when evaluating your business idea.
Some of the most important ones include:
Identify and Assess the Target Market
This is the first thing you need to do when testing the viability of your business idea.
You need to figure out those that will patronize your business.
But you need to change your mindset when assessing your target audience.
You don’t have to think like the person selling, you need to think like a buyer.
To identify and assess your target audience, you need to ask yourself some important questions like:
- What market gap is your product/service going to fill?
- How exactly is your product/service going to fill the gap?
- What makes your product/service better than that of your competitors?
- Will people be ready to spend their money on the product/service you want to offer?
You also need to find out important information that will help you know how, when, and where to reach your target audience.
If you are unable to reach your target audience, then you won’t be able to advertise and eventually sell your product and/or services to them.
You need to find out important information about them including their age, ethnicity, occupation, gender, location, income, educational level, marital status, and so on.
Knowing all of these will help you know more about your target audience and whether or not your product and/or services will appeal to them.
And if your product and/or services won’t appeal to them, you can use the information you gathered to tweak your offer to ensure it suits their needs.
It’ll also help you figure out the best way to reach them; that is your marketing strategy.
Assess Your Competition
You also need to check out the competition in the industry/niche you have chosen for your company.
Evaluating your competition will help you know more about the industry and make an estimate of the profit you will make from it.
It will also help you find out the weaknesses and strengths of your competitors.
This will help you see the competitive edge you have over them and how you can better compete against them.
Your competition can be divided into 3 categories; you have direct competition, indirect competition, and substitute competition.
Direct competition refers to other companies that are offering the exact services or products that your company wants to offer and catering to the exact target audience that you wish to cater to.
A perfect example of this kind of competition is Dominos and Pizza Hut.
This is because they both offer the same product (pizza) to the same clientele.
Indirect competition on the other hand refers to companies that offer similar services or products as the one your company wants to offer.
For example, an indirect competition for Pizza Hut is McDonald’s.
Both businesses offer similar products in that both pizza and burger fall under the same category (snacks).
Yet, these products are not the same, they are merely similar.
When you know your competitors, you need to find out some necessary information about them.
Find out the services and products they offer.
Do they intend to expand their business or scale it down?
Since when have they been operational and how do the customers see them? Do they have negative or positive customer reviews?
Evaluate the Business Financial Viability – How to Build a Company from the Ground Up
When analyzing your business’s financial viability, there are certain important questions that you have to answer.
- How much do I need to start my business and make it profitable?
- What are my initial expenses?
- What are the expected ongoing expenses?
- How do I intend to fund my business?
- What’s the expected revenue and when will I achieve it?
- How do I intend to keep the business afloat before it starts generating profit?
Knowing whether or not your business is financially feasible will save you lots of trouble down the road.
You may feel bad when you discover your business idea isn’t financially feasible.
But it is better to discover this now when you are yet to invest your time, resources, and money into it than to find out later after all of these things have been spent.
When you have figured out all of these, you need to make plans for the unexpected as well.
Surprise expenses may pop up and if you do not have a plan for them, you may find yourself struggling when they come.
Remember, all the figures you have at this point are merely estimates.
They may cover everything and they may not.
So, it’s best to add extra “cushion” to them to avoid being stranded on the way.
But just how much extra cushion should you add?
Well, there is no accurate reply to that question.
Some people may say “double your estimates” and others may even ask you to triple it.
But ideally, ensure you add at least 50% of the entire estimate made.
4. Build a Great Company Culture
You can be the most hardworking and intelligent person, but even these attributes won’t be enough to help you build a company from the ground up all by yourself.
Agreed, at the start of the business, you may need to do most of the tasks by yourself.
But this does not mean you won’t need help once your company becomes profitable.
You will need to employ people along the way.
And you can’t just employ anyone if your target is building a thriving company.
You need to attract and employ the best minds and talents out there.
But doing this might be difficult, especially if you are in a competitive market.
One thing that will likely help you draw in the best minds though is great company culture.
Discourage toxic workplace behaviors like bullying and every other vice that will discourage people from working with you.
Ensure your employees don’t get burnout by removing everything that can lead to this.
Also, make sure you give your employees the necessary incentives and perks that will keep them motivated.
All in all, just ensure you create a work environment that people will love spending their time at.
5. Build a Strong and High-Performing Team – How to Build a Company from the Ground Up
Another thing that will determine the success of your company is the kind of people you employ.
This is why you have to take your hiring process very seriously.
You should know what you want in your employees and ensure you do not settle for less.
Also, ensure you do not employ people based on sentiments; rather hire based on merit.
Make sure every candidate passes through every stage of the hiring process and performs excellently before you employ them.
You should also not be afraid to let go of an employee if they are not performing the way they are meant to.
It is not easy to fire someone, but keeping an unproductive employee at the expense of your company is the last thing you want to do.
Taking care of an unproductive employee should be done as swiftly as possible so that bigger problems will not be created.
6. Establish Your Brand – How to Build a Company from the Ground Up
Branding is a very important aspect of business that you should take seriously when building a company from the ground up.
Branding is simply your company’s identity; it is what people see and even feel when they think of your business.
It can go a long way in determining how potential customers perceive your business.
This is why you need to be deliberate with it.
So, take your time to work on your company’s logo and color.
This is what people will think of what they think of your business, so you do not want to mess it up.
Your branding should be unique and also relate to what your company is all about.
7. Develop Your Marketing Strategies
If you want your company to be successful, you need to put a lot of effort into marketing.
People have to know your products and/or services to buy them.
Unfortunately, despite how important marketing is, a lot of startups tend to ignore it or skimp over it.
And then they end up regretting this move in the long run.
This is why you need to be deliberate when it comes to the marketing aspect of your business.
Your brand awareness is very important.
Luckily, in today’s world, you do not have to spend a fortune on your marketing campaign and it’s all thanks to digital marketing.
Ensure you have a company website.
Grow your company’s digital footprint by posting articles on your blog and social media platforms.
Figure out the marketing strategies that will best suit your business model and leverage it to get the awareness your company needs.
Also, map out your marketing strategies in your business plan.
8. Set SMART Goals – How to Build a Company from the Ground Up
You need to set future goals for your company.
This is important because pursuing and achieving these goals will help push your business forward.
But it does not just stop at setting goals.
The goals you set for your company also have to be SMART; that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
9. Get Partners – How to Build a Company from the Ground Up
Remember, you can’t build a business all by yourself.
You need all the help you can get.
So, aside from employing competent and reliable people, you also need partners that will help your business grow.
Your partners can be financial partners.
They can simply contribute to your company’s funding.
They may also bear the cost of the business including the loss and profit.
You can also partner with your competitors especially, these companies that cater to the same target market as you but they do not offer similar products/services as you.
So, you can partner with them and send business their way while they send business your way.
You can even come up with incentives that will make customers patronize both businesses.
For instance, customers can get a discount whenever they shop from both companies.
Conclusion on How to Build a Company from the Ground Up
Building a company from the ground up is not a day’s job.
It might get overwhelming and very challenging.
Your emotions can be all over the place and you may find it difficult to stay focused and strive toward success (visit here to learn more about managing your emotions).
But this is where determination comes in.
You need to stay determined even in the face of challenges and setbacks to ensure you achieve your goal of building a company.