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5 Things Every Startup Needs to Invest In

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Words: Peter Minkoff Photography: Supplied

Launching your own startup is one of those careers in life that are very similar to going pro in sports or becoming a big movie/pop star. Even if you do everything right, no one can guarantee you any success. There’s a lot of luck involved—it’s a “right place, right time” sort of situation. But besides luck, you also need to stay committed to your project and push through all the ups and downs. 

Starting your own business in this turbulent economy is hard, but far from impossible. Here are the top 5 things you need to invest in before you can even hope your startup will become a big success: 

Quality team

Most startups try to limit costs, so they choose to skimp on staffing. Usually, there are only founders present and one or two employees. It doesn’t really matter how many workers you have, but what is important is their quality and whether they can cover all the important areas of your operation. For instance, if you’re in the software development niche, do you have a good engineer to handle operations? Invest in a quality team that will expertly handle the technology and market you’re catering to. 

Location

One thing is for sure, real estate is not cheap, especially when you include all the costs of utilities, upkeep and insurance. According to research, up to 10% of all sales of small businesses go towards paying rent and related costs. So choosing the right location is key if you want your expenses to be worth it. 

Online locations (defined by domain name) are cheaper, but still require investment and careful planning. You want to acquire a website name for your business that describes your product and purpose so that it shows up in search. This way, you can reach people who don’t know you exist. 

Technology

In order to maintain high levels of security and potential for future growth, you need to invest in the following technology. Firstly, you might need to invest in password management and SSO tech. If possible, you should rely on SSO+2FA, but if not, all members of your operation should use an 8+ character complex password. 

Next, having mobile device management solutions will give you a lot of access control, inventory management help and device encryption. If you’re dealing in software development, you also need version control software. 

Together with version control, you also need a quality cloud infrastructure provider. It’s important to invest in a good configuration of your cloud to keep it safe and secure. It’s very easy to rely on AWS management experts that will provide you with scalability, cost, continuity, security and compliance benefits. If you lack skilled cloud solution architects, having some help in this department will ensure smooth operation.

Brand presence

Your brand needs to be present and known to customers even before you have a product to sell. This will get you closer to customers, beta testers and other people who can collaborate with you throughout the process of product development. 

There are ways you can build publicity without spending too much money. Firstly, you can maximize your online presence with the proper use of keywords that identify your startup. Also, you can target your customers by using blogs, social media websites and directories like Yelp—these are all free or very cheap. Secondly, you can spend time with customers on blogs, forums, Facebook groups and other places where people interested in what you’re selling spend dwell, and join the conversation and try to build a relationship. 

Social skills

If you happen to have contacts with people in high places (in terms of both their position and investment budget), that’s a great sign. However, if you don’t, make sure to invest a lot of time and money in leveraging your network and look for opportunities to spread your network and add powerful people to it. Having the ability and skills to form new professional relationships and maintain existing ones is key to every startup’s success. 

Even the best business plans with innovative ideas can fail if people at the top of the organization don’t make good investments. But if you invest time and money into these abovementioned elements and products, you have a lot to look forward to. 

 

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