Laying the Foundations for Startup Success

startup success

When people found a new business or startup, the business model itself usually takes center stage.

Building and refining that business model can become an obsessive process, as whilst most founders start with a set of ideas and goals already in mind, these can quickly change and adapt.

In the midst of brainstorming and refining business ideas, it’s tempting to defer laying the other foundations required for startup success.

Here’s what you need to consider:

1: Branding and Messaging

Branding has always been central to business success. Consider some of the most famous brands in the world like Coca-Cola, Google, McDonald’s, Facebook, Apple, etc. They all have long-established logos, typography and brand messaging.

When you try to loosely segment your target audience, be mindful of how to brand your business to that audience. At the start, it’s prudent to keep an open mind as your clientele can develop into something slightly different from what you expect.

Color theory

Branding Color Theory Chart – some color choices make better sense than others but there’s undoubtedly some substance here

2: Productivity and Confidence

Be aware of the psychological challenges of founding a startup or running a small business as there will be some. Read our post on the psychology of startup founders here, and also read about how successful business people created huge businesses from humble beginnings. Both can provide some insight into what it takes mentally to catalyze startup success.

  • Embrace risk, but never lose sight of your plan B, backup, or contingency plans. Establishing a clear budget of capital you can afford to risk helps ring-fence your startup from your personal life.
  • Persistence is often the difference between success and failure. By remaining persistent in how you develop your processes, iterating out successes whilst addressing challenges, you can push through adversity.
  • Enjoy the process and embrace teamwork. Your co-founder and team might stay with you all the way; focus on creating and maintaining the bonds required to maintain confidence and morale. And last but never least, learn when to take a break!

3: Start Building Social Media Early

Over half the world uses social media and most people now expect businesses to have some form of social media presence. 73% of marketers believe that using social media is either somewhat or very effective, according to Oberlo.

Social media is time-intense, but automation and scheduling tools alleviate some of the strain. Learn more about social media tips and tricks for small businesses here. Social media ties in closely with branding, especially given that social media is moving towards more image and video-based formats.

  • When you create content for your blog, repurpose it for social media. Content doesn’t need to be siloed in just one channel.
  • Save time by using scheduling tools, but make sure you’re responding to comments and interactions.
  • Social media ties in closely with branding and brand messaging. Ensure that your brand is seamless across all social media accounts. Use watermarks, logos, branded hashtags, and branded captions.

Summary: Laying the Foundations for Startup Success

In a practical sense, the more bases you successfully cover early on into your business journey, the more you can concentrate on growth and scaling in the knowledge that other crucial processes are running smoothly in the background.

In a psychological sense, the peace of mind that no crucial puzzle pieces are missing from your business in its early days is very valuable.

My mother in law loves to sew.

A few years ago she asked me how to set up an online store.

She wanted to sell fancy throw pillows she was making.

I gave her very basic steps. Enough to get started (I don't know much about ecom).

A few weeks later she showed me her site. It

Everyone wants “yes.”

But they don’t wanna pay the price.

100 Nos is the price of one yes.

You can get as many as yeses as you damn well please as long as you’re willing to pay the price.

I was sad to learn that Charlie Munger died today at age 99.

What a life.

He would likely roll his eyes and argue that none of us should be too surprised, based on the actuarial tables, but we’ve lost one of the 20th century’s greatest investors and businessmen.

Chris and I

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