So, you have done the initial research and started building up strong evidence that there’s a need for your business. Now you need to create convincing arguments that your business will be a success in order to get others to buy in to your enterprise.
To get your business going and make sure it’s a success, you need to get the interest of several groups of people including customers, potential staff and investors.
In order to get customers to buy in to your startup company you need have a market sample who you can talk to directly. This is so that you can engage with your potential customers and understand if they see a need or a desire for your product or service. By having a real discussion with a segment of your target market you can get a true understanding of what your potential customers need and want. This puts you in a very advantageous position for bringing out a winning product and it’s great evidence in support of your product when presenting to potential investors. The size of the segment should relate to the size of the target audience, and obviously the larger your sample the better.
When setting up our startup company, we spoke to a sample of small local stores to find out their opinion on our product. On reflection, we should have tried to speak to a larger number of stores and have a more detailed discussion with them about what they could afford, rather than just discussing what they needed and wanted from a mobile product. This would have put us in a stronger position in the long run.
To get investors to believe in your company you need to build a compelling argument for the need for your product or service. This is done by answering the questions I raised in part one of this series and by building strong evidence for a need or want for your enterprise from your target audience sample.
After collecting evidence to back up the need for our enterprise, we created together a presentation explaining and describing our business plan and worked hard on our preparation and pitch. We used prezi to create the presentation, which is an online tool that help you to create interactive presentations that can excite your audience and are a little more dramatic than the usual PowerPoint. We presented our pitch to Bristol University and two external investors working with Oxford University. Our presentations went well, and the preparation we did helped when we came under heavy questioning during both events. We were successful in one of the pitching events, and were able to raise some cash to start our enterprise. This winning pitch was to the Bristol student committee. Now that we had some cash to start our first startup company, we had to find staff to help get things going.
Before we advertised for job openings, we had to decide what jobs we needed to be filled. To make this decision, George (my business partner) and I reviewed our skills honestly, looking at the skills we each had and the skills we each lacked, and the skills we wanted to add to the company. We did a few things to advertise the positions we had available in order to get staff on board. We used the university’s careers service to help us recruit people and we found them to be very helpful. We also used Basecamp, Twitter and enternships websites to help publicise the jobs we were offering. There are many different ways to do this but the most important thing is to make sure the message goes out in the right network of people so that you can find the right people to work with you.
After all our hard work, we succeeded in getting eight applicants for two positions!
In the next part of this series I will discuss how to put a team together and how to prepare your enterprise to be ready for the ‘first day of work’.
- Part 1 of 4: In the beginning, where do you start a startup? (thestartupmagazine.co.uk)
- Part 2 of 4: How do you get others to buy in to your business? (thestartupmagazine.co.uk)
- Part 3 of 4: how to prepare your business for the first day of work (thestartupmagazine.co.uk)
- Part 4 of 4: Now start running your business (thestartupmagazine.co.uk)