Some predict a wave of startups will come crashing into the market as COVID-19 weakens its grip. Furloughed workers or those who were made redundant have had the time to nurture their entrepreneurial spirit and think: “That’s it, I’m starting a business.”
While the new market may be a tricky one to navigate, the basics around getting your startup off the ground remain the same. Here we share our tips for starting right.
Realise the power of brand
Venture capitalists understand that roughly a third of the value of a business lies in the equity of the brand. Make sure your plans and budget take this into account and show how your brand will help you to meet your business objectives.
What’s in a name?
Well, everything and nothing. Your business name informs the first impression you give prospective clients and investors, so it’s not a decision to be taken lightly.
Finding the perfect name for your startup can take months and is extremely subjective. Mistakes to avoid include choosing a name that’s hard to understand, spell or pronounce. And one that’s too prescriptive, generic, long or short. Confused yet?
Look, names like Google, Apple or Uber are strange and were unlikely to have been agreed on by a committee, but they work. So, while your business name is important don’t beat yourself up over it.
Remember you’ll find plenty of conflicting advice out there. The key points to hit are memorability, ease of spelling and being descriptive enough that it gives an indication of the product or service your startup sells.
That said, it does pay to get it right first time
Although changing your business name after filing legal paperwork and setting up your digital properties isn’t impossible, it’s an unnecessary cost you’d rather do without.
With that in mind, it’s worth noting that human short-term memory can typically store between three and five bits of information. So, when considering a business name, five words should be your maximum.
Going for something shorter will also make applying your business name to website domains and social media handles easier. Standard advice when choosing a domain name is to stick to 15 characters or less.
Think of your brand as a person
When building your brand, imagining the sort of person it might be is always helpful. The way it speaks gives you your tone of voice. The way you dress it up gives you your identity. The way it thinks gives you your values. And, collectively these give you your personality.
Find your story. Make it authentic.
People relate to stories. When penning your own startup story it’s vital to make it authentic and personal – or as we say: make it true and make it you. What’s been your journey? Why did you decide to do what you did? Why should the world care? Answer these three questions and you’re halfway there.
Craft a brilliant elevator pitch
Once you have your story you need to condense it, and then condense it some more. If you can’t tell your story in a couple of clear sentences, then you can’t eloquently sell what you do.
Now then, we didn’t want to bombard you with bucket loads of advice and so this is only the first instalment of our startup basics blog. Make sure to keep your eyes on our social channels for the next chapter.
In the meantime, if you can relate to what you’ve just read and could use a hand in getting your startup off the ground, you know where to find us.