In an article written by Christopher Hann for Entreprenuer magazine during 2014, he states that when Getting Down to Basics to launch a business, you must first do five (5) things. According to the magazine, Christopher talked with several business owners, consultants, and professors to boil down the bare necessities of getting a startup off the ground. The result is a handful of "manageable" steps suggested earnestly by a popular business magazine.
In a RATS opinion, these five steps are concise and broadly discuss what to accomplish as a startup but not how. Our article is written to expound on the fundamentals of these 5 steps by answering some looming questions of how to achieve the five steps. Our advice comes from running a coworking company, managing hundreds of artists and startups, and running a successful business for over ten years before supporting and helping others pursue the same.
The five easy steps can be characterized as shown in the next graphic.
Validate your Idea is the first step cited by Entreprenuer magazine. In the article, Einas Ibrahim, founder of Talem Advisory, a New York City startup consultancy, says the biggest mistake she sees new entreprenuers make is starting to work on a business idea before confirming there is market demand. Based on this premise, a more detail market study is necessary before trying to put a face to your business idea. Many times, our coworking space (RATS) supports the market study of your idea by performing multiple launch-and-observe parties to allow new ventures to discuss and survey people as a focus group. There are several methods for achieving a market study but they can be costly for most and hence becomes a hinderance to the disadvantaged on a shoe-string or no-cost budget. "Market research proves especially critical for startups with big dreams" as reported by Entreprenuer magazine.
Shore up your Plan and Budget is the second step cited by Entreprenuer magazine. Entreprenuer magazine states that "Successful startups will expect the unexpected - and have an answer ready for it." Of course, for the disadvantaged startup that often begins with additional challenges, the "unexpected" hovers as an unsurmountable shadow. For many years, RATS coworking has been seaching for how to shore up a plan with the least resources available and in some cases, the least amount of hope for success. One possible solution to how to shore up a plan and budget is to begin constructing a blogging website (not a facebook page) wherein a new venture can discuss numerous challenges and possible solutions with the public or partners. RATS coworking offers twelve different flavors of blogs customizable to the taste of any new venture.
Build the Right Team is the third step cited by Entreprenuer magazine. For many, especially those with additional disadvantages, building a team of progressional or experienced people who can see your business vision can be daunting. Many owners of new ventures feel completely alone on the top of a rock-pile of indecision. There are several suggestions from many sources attempting to govern this feeling of lonliness, but often, the lonliness alone results in a significant drop in confidence, workflow, mindset, commitment, and economic control. The bottom line - lonliness can end in failure.
For this reason, building the right team may possibly be the most important step amidst the five steps. For African Americans, roughly ninety-three percent of businesses are single member. This me-against-the-world reality can mistakenly project an image of NOT wanting a team and a lack of desire to grow. If this is indeed the case, building a team may be the single biggest threat to the lasting success of a business. To remedy this threat, coworking with others on a regular bases who have the same interests and understands your challenges is problably the most important step a Startup can take. In this way, eventually, others persons other than yourself can begin to contribute to your dream, profession, or retirement pursuits.
Establish a Support System" is the fourth step cited by Entreprenuer magazine. "It takes a Village to raise a Startup" says Margaux Guerard, cofounder and CMO of Memi. For some, the village is many miles away from their present position in business. Many live in a business desert and they cannot speak the language of the Village. So what does a business owner do when he/she does not belong to a Village? The answer is simple - visit one as a visitor. Conferences and festivals for art is a great place to start building village because often the people attending are open-minded (a side-effect of the art) and willing to discuss new ideas. We believe striking up conversation within an art environment is the best approach to establishing a support system if you do not inherently belong to a village or family. The Complete Art Experience is an answer often overlooked by businesses except to create atmosphere. For us, art is the ideal alternative to establishing a support system.
Respond to Feedback and Refine your Model is the fifth and final step according to Entreprenuer magazine. The RATS proposed solution to this step is simple - begin your blog customized to your new venture. Blogs are inherently built to garner feedback and most business owners committed to their enterprise will inherently refine their business model.