How to get your Startup Started

You can’t map out every process, document and fine detail before you start. There comes a point when you just have to take that leap of faith and get started.

Start by Starting

You start by starting. Yup, you read that right. It’s that simple. Especially true in the startup world, there comes a time when you just have to jump in and get started where you are.

Don’t misunderstand, planning and Process are essential. They are the backbone of good business and always will be.

“Strategy without Tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without Strategy is the noise before defeat”

Sun Tzu

But there is such a thing as “death by planning”. Over-planning can be just as crippling to a startup or new venture as “Under-planning” can be. “Over-planning” doesn’t necessarily mean too much planning has happened, but rather that too much time has been spent on unnecessary detail, delaying market entry and/or activation.

The secret to getting ahead is getting started

Mark Twain

As a Branding Agency, we are usually the first stop for new business ideas or products that need to prep themselves for the market. So we have experienced first-hand how great ideas and concepts can miss the market gap or simply never come to life. There is a fine line between planning and over-planning. You want to have your research done and your action plan laid out before you start. That’s good business practice. What you don’t want to do is procrastinate.

Your startup runs the risk of losing its edge while you wait

The world doesn’t stand still in the time that you are busy planning. We are living in a world where more startups and new products are being launched all the time. You are no longer just competing against local entries, but against a global market place that never stops moving. And so you run the risk of losing your edge while you wait. Worse yet, someone else could be launching a startup business just like yours while you are caught up in planning your processes and documentation. You learn by doing You can’t map out every process, document and fine detail before you start. There comes a point when you just have to take that leap of faith and get started. It’s only by getting involved in your new business that you can start to see what works and what doesn’t. Having a mind-set of adapting and learning as you progress is more powerful than the ability to research and plan. But the one can never substitute the other. You need to plan and research but also be willing to adapt and learn. It’s a balancing act.

But How do you start?

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

Francis of Assai

The only way to get started is to get started.

The End Goal

The first step is to make a decision and set a goal. Decide what you want and stay focused on your goals. You have to let the end goal be the ultimate influence in every decision. Your end goal is your lighthouse, your guide, and the thing that ultimately defines your process.

The Business Plan

Write a simple business plan – but don’t expect to stick to it. You can speculate and prepare to an extent, but you don’t really know what your challenges and roadblocks are going to be until you come to them. When things change, they change. Don’t sacrifice your business for the sake of the business plan. Your plans and processes have to evolve with your business, not restrict it.

Make like Nike

The next step is simple: Just do it.

Start by doing whatever is necessary to begin. Whether it’s placing an order, hiring a venue, calling an agent or making an appointment to see a branding company, just go out and do it. The only way to start is to start.

Say “I do”

Be 100% committed. Just like a marriage, you have to be 100% committed to make it work. You and your new business need to get to know each other. Commitment allows for failure to have a positive result, aka experience! If a new project is going to have any chance of success you have to have an “all or nothing” attitude towards it. When you are committed to something you find a way to make it work. When you aren’t, you don’t.

What can you do Today?

Do what you can. The next step is to do everything possible to make your business work. Don’t worry about the things you can’t do. Start by doing what you can do.

Break it up into bite sized pieces. The chances are, unless you have millions to pour into a startup, you won’t be able to unroll all your plans at once. You will need to break up your business plan into small, manageable chunks and tackle them one at a time.

Listen to your clients and watch the competition. You need to keep an ear to the ground. This is how you provide the best service or product, by adapting according to feedback. Make sure you keep an eye on what people are saying about your competition too. There is no reason why you shouldn’t save yourself some expense and learn from their mistakes.

There will always be pro’s and con’s to everything you want to do. The important thing is to begin. Start by doing what’s necessary and then what’s possible. You will quickly find yourself achieving business goals that once seemed insurmountable.

Featured Image by photogrammer7 from Pixabay

Originally written for and published by Magnetic Creative on Oct 15th 2016.

Written on behalf of Etienne Bruwer