Want To Launch Your Startup In Just A Week? Here's How You Can Do Just That In Dubai There is now a wealth of resources out there that have drastically reduced the amount of time required to get started.

By Hans Christensen

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If you haven't ventured into the entrepreneurship world, I bet you can think of a hundred reasons why you can't. Time is probably close to the top of the list.

In reality, though, starting a business can be quick. There is now a wealth of resources out there that have drastically reduced the amount of time required to get started. It has reached the point where this time next week, your dream startup could already be running.

Here's how.

Day 1: Know your market, and build a business plan

Google: where would we be without it? If you want to gain an idea of potential competitors, find suppliers and manufacturers, or even build a profile of your target audience, then search engines are your friends. Maybe start by checking out alexa.com or quantcast.com to view the analytics and audience demographic of your potential competitors, for example.

Use what you learn to start building a business plan. Knowing what information to include in your plan may be tricky, yet this document is key for company registration, getting a bank account, and even convincing yourself that it is a viable idea.

Luckily, there are a host of ready-made business plan templates available, too. Microsoft Word, for example, has one. Download it from templates.office.com, then adapt it to your needs.

Day 2: Register your company, and get branding

Some countries can draw out registration, but the UAE is well known for streamlining company incorporation processes.

You will need to consider what type of company you are: professional, industrial, or commercial? And where you would like to be based: on the mainland, or in a free zone? If it is speed you are after, a free zone is for you. These are self-governed, so you can apply directly to them, without the need to worry about additional approvals. Here at Dtec (where I am Vice President), if you are a tech company, we can help you get your service licence ready in time for launch.

As ever, there is now a wealth of resources out there to help you make the right decisions when registering.

When it comes to branding, you might think that you need a designer or some professional software like Adobe. Maybe in the past, but not anymore. There are numerous artificial intelligence-based online platforms that let you get started with this for free- looka.com and brandbuilder.ai, are prime examples.

Day 3: Find a home for your business

It is important that you provide a formal home for your startup- both online and physically.

Drag and drop web builders make creating a website fast and simple. It is probably worth investing in a subscription to one of them to ensure you can access everything they have to offer, including hosting and frequent updates.

Here are a few you might want to consider, but there are loads to choose from:

  • Tasjeel.ae This is a UAE based platform offering everything from website building to hosting and cloud servers
  • Squarespace.com This has a wealth of templates and choices to quickly get your site going
  • Wix.com As well as many templates, it offers an easy-to-use logo builder
  • Wordpress This gives you the flexibility of doing practically everything for free, but you will still need to pay for hosting

The idea of app builders is maybe a bit more exotic. Just like their web counterparts, they make creating an app straightforward and achievable in just 24 hours. Check out appinstitute.com and buildfire.com, for starters.

You will also need a physical address for things like company registration, banking, and legal correspondence. If you have set up in a free zone owned startup hub such as Dtec, you will get an address straight away, along with access to a ready-made coworking space with plug-and-play desk and office facilities, as well as reception and meeting rooms.

Related: Why Community Is Vital To Tech Startup Success

Day 4: Think finance

I know what you are thinking: a bit late in the day to start considering where the money is coming from, isn't it? Well, that depends. Many startups go for funding, because they believe that is the only way you can possibly launch, but this is in fact not at all true.

Bootstrapping, as it is known, is the process of launching your company using only your own available funds. It forces you to find ways around challenges, without just throwing money at it. One of the biggest concerns some entrepreneurs have is finding money to start manufacturing a product to sell. However, the product does not have to be ready at launch; there is the possibility of selling before producing and crowdfunding.

You can also use this day to set up a business bank account and register for accounting software. All can be done online. For example, Mashreq's Neobiz account offers a complete online application and is specifically aimed at startups and SMEs.

Days 5-6: Get marketing, and reach out to customers

As the week begins to draw to a close, now is the time to build a marketing plan. Open the most appropriate and relevant social media accounts -Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.– and start getting the word out. Follow lots of relevant people; many will often follow back.

Check out websites like socialcrawlytics.com and spyfu.com, which let you expose the most shared content of your competitors and take a peek at their marketing campaigns. You can also begin to set up meetings with prospective customers. Some may worry how difficult this is in a COVID-19 world where face-to-face meetings are out of the question. In such cases, you can utilise applications such as Zoom and Google Meets. These applications have made potential customers more accessible than ever before.

Day 7: Review everything

That is right, with this seven-day plan, there is even a day free to take stock of everything. Check your business plan, tweak the website, talk to suppliers, and make more calls with possible customers.

If time really is of the essence, then consider Dtec. We can handle every step of the process for you, including registering your company, applying for a license or visa, and helping to outline activities. You will also have access to a nurturing, flexible working environment. This will give you more time to concentrate on the specifics of your business.

Related: You Don't Need To Be In Silicon Valley To Make An Impact In The Tech World These Days

Hans Christensen

Senior Director, Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (Dtec), Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority

Hans Christensen is Senior Director, Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (Dtec), Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority.

Hans holds a BA, an MBA, and is studying for his PhD. For the past ten years, he has led a team of managers running the largest and most impactful tech hub in the MENA region. It houses more than 1,000 tech startups from 75 nations within its 10,000 sq. m. coworking space. Dtec has helped create 4,500 jobs in the UAE and 15,000 outside the country and attract FDI of close to US$1 billion to the local economy.

Helping set the strategy for Dtecm Hans ensured that Dtec itself would be a role model of how to create a thriving, economically viable and self-sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem. Dtec’s scope of operation can be divided into six areas, with the focus on coworking, acceleration and incubation, events, venture capital Investments, one-stop-shop corporate setup services, and corporate Innovation.

Dtec is continuously bringing out new entrepreneurial programs, winning 10 awards the past years, and has been the host of award-winning programs including Intelak, the Emirates Airline incubator, Dtec’s Dubai Smart City Accelerator, Dubai Chambers, du, RIT, and Smart Dubai. Dtec is the home for Intel’s Innovation Lab and the HP’s Innovation Garage. Dtec launched SANDBOX in late 2021, which is an incubator wholly funded by DSO.

Previously, Hans pioneered incubation, running Siemen’s tech nCubator, and has founded and run three startups on different continents, raising $10 million from VCs in the process. He held several senior positions in multinational companies, including Macquarie Technology Finance.

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