“Fusion of gametes to produce a new organism,” is a conception. “Fusion of ideas to transcend a vision,” is start-up odyssey.
An idea for a start-up is like a seed conceived in a dream. The idea, much like a baby, embarks on a multi-dimensional, multi-faceted journey at every conceivable phase — from gestation to fruition, mounting towards beautiful crescendos, punctuating every high and low. The resulting journey is a combination of inherited trait and mutations caused by market dynamics.
In many ways, a start-up is not too different from fructifying a novel birth ensconced in the womb of ideas. It is also similar to running a franchise of a well-established firm. Visualizing a start-up is like visualizing the genesis of a beautiful life with limitless potential, albeit with myriad risks and unpredictability along the way. And, to prepare for the welcoming of your own creation, crafting a business plan draws parallel with the checklists parents prepare with earnestness and nervousness in equal measure — to welcome their newborn:
• Resources and funding
• Market research
• Anticipated roadblocks and solutions
More Than Two to Tango
A vision for a start-up is no different from an embryo that is a blend of two different sets of chromosomes. It is a perfect unison between the parents to take shape into one life form. A start-up, much like this embryo, comes alive after brainstorming of ideas between individuals of distinct cerebral traits. They work together as a team and take that elusive, long leap of faith.
Seeking the right team with good expertise and the right attitude is the bulwark of your start-up. It’s just like a baby choosing the best set of genetics from either of its parents.
A Business Plan is Like a Diet Chart for an Expectant Mother
Developing a business plan for a start-up is somewhat similar to charting a diet plan for the to-be-mother. Both need meticulous planning and constant monitoring.
The business plan needs to incorporate details of growth, broken down month-wise; all the while looking far ahead into the future. Checks and balances need to be maintained throughout. An expectant mother’s diet chart, in a similar way, seeks to include all the right nutrients, in the right proportions and right stages, needed for the future birth of her living form.
Saving for the Precious Birth
Costs of living in a family go high when a child arrives. A start-up is no different. With a business plan ready in hand, it is important to calculate an estimate of the funds required to implement the idea.
If you can predict the operational phase of your firm with a fair degree of precision, applying for a commercial loan becomes that much easier. But remember, loan repayment with interest typically begins before the functional phase. So, knowing the estimated costs of your start-up at the very beginning is paramount. Yes, one can never factor in unexpected expenses at various touch points, but you may want to accommodate those unexpected events to inflate the costs.
Venture capitalists can be involved if your start-up has been conceived on a bigger budget. They will have a share in the ownership of your firm too. For better investment of capital, approach multiple investors and, explore all options. Also, if a functional prototype of your start-up is designed and operational at this phase, the spectrum of investors broadens.
Give Your Child a Name
A child assumes its name from the gene pool of his/her parents. Similarly, a start-up’s name is decided by the founding team. As an expectant parent in this exciting journey of start up, registering the name of the firm is a crucial step up. Also, getting necessary licences and permits must be done during this phase.
Trademark is Your Child’s Legacy
As a creator of a start-up, one tends to get overwhelmed by a strong sense to protect it from the travails of the business world, and how! By giving it a trademark. After all, registering a start-up without protection is like exposing the unborn child to the vicious perils of this world.
A trademark can be a logo, a name, alphabet interspersed with shapes, monograms, words or even devices. A trademark must be unique — and be evocative of what the start-up stands for.
Once the trademark is registered, you can be rest assured that no one can infringe upon it without getting entangled in a legal predicament.
Once the start-up is live, it is time to set the pitch and aim to expand the customer base. Months of brainstorming, conceptualizing, procuring, planning and, implementing the start-up brings a closure to months of anxiety-ridden wait. Inflow of profits can be reinvested into the start-up for expansion.
To conceptualize an idea, and transform it into reality are like the first and ninth months of the regenerative process.
You do not know what the next month entails. There shall be moments of perplexities, confusion, anxieties, emergencies, impatience and, heightened stress. Upon birth though, the euphoric intensity is similar to the unbridled joy experienced after holding that precious little life in your arms - a joy that words simply fail to explain.
However, the real roller coaster ride begins now!