by Samantha Mehan
There should be nothing stopping your from turning your startup idea into a reality; you already have every resource that you need to get started. You shouldn’t be deterred by a lack of capital or having an incomplete physical product as they are not essential to work on the first phase of your startup.
Your most important resources are your accessible resources thatsurround you everyday. Below, we’ve put together a guide to help you source and take properly use those resources that will get your startup kickstarted.
Don’t let anything stop you, you already have everything you need to get started!
One of your most powerful resources is the internet and it surrounds you everyday; we are living in the ‘digital era’, the world relies on technology to function everyday and as we increasingly adopt it into our lives, each and every object is becoming connected to the internet. To put this into perspective, by 2020, it has been predicted more 'thing' and 'everyday objects' (wearable items, household electronics, cars etc.) will outgrow the number of computers, phones and tablets connected to the internet!
As Bill Gates said:
"The internet is becoming the town square for the global village."
The internet not only provides you with every resource you could need to start out but it's also a global space to test your idea and understand the way that your potential customers will engage with it.
Here are our top tips on the most useful ways to utilise the Internet when you are starting out.
Visualise your Idea
The first step is visually interpreting your idea; take your thoughts and ideas and translate them into imagery that will give your potential customers a realistic view of what you are offering them.
Start by Researching Colours
At the beginning it can be hard to visualise your idea so the easiest way to begin to understand your brand by researching and choosing colours that best represent your startup. Firstly, test yourself; research the most popular logos in the world and understand the emotions they evoke when you look at them. This is a concept called Colour Psychology and is keyu describes how marketing companies purposely use colours when developing their logo to evoke certain emotions whilst portraying a particular image. Look at the famous logos below:
Some Great Examples:
- McDonalds: Combining warm colours that highly contrasting draw attention to the logo. The yellow of this logo is highly visible and is considered a “happy” colour whilst the red is an intense colour that can evoke strong emotions and encourage action; a study was conducted and it was concluded that using these colours, is so engaging that it makes people hungry.
- Apple: This logo is sleek, modern and promotes the image of timeless company. The colour grey is a neutral tone that creates balance without evoking strong emotions and can represent stability.
- Facebook: is one of the most used colours on the web, blue is a calming colour however reinstates a feeling of authority, security and success.
- BP: This is a really interesting logo; the colour green represents life and renewal. Green portrays the environment and health so using green in BP’s logo, creates a positive image and feeling for the company, which would otherwise be seen differently due to the nature of their work.
Create A Logo
The internet resources to create logos are endless! Your first logo does not need to be beautifully crafted by a graphic designer; your first logo is just a placeholder. You can change it later so just get designing!
There are online stores that are completely dedicated to selling logos so use these for inspiration. We recommend checking out these online resources:
- Designspiration - A collection of images that can be searched by colour, it's a great way to initially get a feel for the way that your chosen colours work and ways that you can use them in graphics.
- BrandCrowd - A website that is completely dedicated to selling logos, you can search my industry, colour and various design elements. It's a great place to get started and understand what kinds of logos are being created in your industry.
- FreePik - An awesome website that allows you to download free graphics and vectors. Search anything and it will search it's database for graphics that relate to your search. It's a great place to find shapes, logo design and overall inspiration. The best thing is that you can download these as vectors, psd files and icons.
Create your Logo
It's completely up to you how you create your logo. Whether you like to design it from scratch or simply just want a platform that will provide you with stock shapes and imagery, there is a resource for you.
Our top 2 recommendations are:
- Adobe Creative Cloud - This is your best friend. The best thing about it is there are student discounts (yay!) and for around $15 a month you can have access to the full adobe suite. To design your logo, use Adobe Illustrator. You don't need to have prior experience with Adobe, you just need to be prepared to spend a couple of hours to learn the basics and then you will be set!
- Tailor Brands - If you aren't interested in spending a large amount of time learning about graphic design and attempting to create your logo, this resource is great. This platform gives you the ability to create beautiful logos in a minutes with lots of great controls that will help you get that first logo!
Good news, you don't need to know an extensive amount of code to be able to build a website, in fact, you don't need to know any. Depending on your skill level and your interest in web design, there are two main options that we would recommend. Before you start you need to buy your domain, you can purchase this through a site iwantmyname for less than $15 a year.
- Squarespace: The easiest and simplest platform to build websites. No coding needed, it's a simple drag and drop! Choose a template and go from there. The backend (the part where you create your website) is really simple to use and easy to navigate which is a great advantage!
- Wordpress: The best website platform there is (maybe that's a little biased...). You may think, but I don't know how to code? That's okay as you don't need to initially. You can download and purchase themes from sites such as ThemeForest which have really simple drag and drop page builders. We will admit, it's not as simple as Squarespace however it is gives you full flexibility and control of your website and also gives you the opportunity to custom code bits and pieces that you want to change. GoDaddy has web hosting for as cheap as $5.99.
When starting out, social media is your best friend. It's the easiest way to reach and engage with extensive amounts of people at once. Use social media to your advantage, watch videos on social media for business and learn about sponsored advertising.
Firstly, make sure you have your social media handles the same on every platform, initially, we recommend using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube (if applicable) and LinkedIn. Use a management tool such as Hootsuite to ensure you have consistent content to organically grow an audience. Once you have started to create a name on social media, start to look into sponsored advertising.
Facebook has great sponsored advertising with specific targeting at an affordable cost. Read about Facebook advertising platform and trial a few low-cost advertisements to understand the way that you can use it for your Startup.
Friends & Networks
Another resource that is often forgotten is your NETWORK! This is one of the most useful resources you can find when you are starting out. Your friends and networks are there to support you and the people close to you want to see your succeed.
How can you use your friends & networks as a resource?
- Test Ideas: One of the best ways to test ideas is by testing them on the people around you. Talk to your closest friends and family about your startup idea and ask for their honest opinion. The greatest thing about this is that you will find out what they think and a lot of the time you will find they have input and suggestions: don't disregard these, use these to better your startup. You can also test things with your social media networks. Once you have your landing page or some form of digital presence, post about it on your personal accounts and see the way that your social media friends and connections engage with your new startup.
- Find a Mentor: Mentors are the best people you can find when you are starting out; they have often gone through exactly what you are doing and can guide you and provide advice that is more valuable than you can ever read online. Search your networks and see if you can get introduced to people or if someone in your existing network would be willing to mentor you.
- Resources: Everyone with your network can be a valuable resource. Whether their skills can help you or whether can put you in touch with someone who would be helpful, don't be afraid to ask. Talk to people around you and find out how they can help you. You will be surprised by how many people want to help you get your startup of the ground.
Often it can be hard overcoming the initial thought of having to do everything by yourself but the truth is you don't; you just need to seek information and ask people within your network. The people who surround you are some of the most valuable resources when starting out and most of them want to help you succeed and get your startup up and running!
Yes, this does sound cliche but it's the truth. Often you forget the abilities that you already have to get your startup off the ground. The most valuable resource that you have is the ability to learn. Honestly, starting out isn't going to be easy - you will go through ups and downs and likely be working days and nights asking yourself why you are doing this. You are likely to be working in industries that you never expected to and overcoming challenges that you hadn't foreseen when you first had your startup idea.
Our key to overcoming this is having a willingness to learn.
- Self-Education: You don't need to be at a lecture or tutorial to learn. Spend at least 1-2 hours a day learning, whether that's improving a skill or learning more about business models, this is all valuable information that will save you time, money and stress in the future.
- Expand your Skills: Just because you're a creative doesn't mean you can't learn about accounting or just because your a web developer doesn't mean you can't become a fashion designer; you get the picture. Draw a mind-map of all the different things you need to do to get your startup off the ground and then list the skills that you need for each one. The more skills you learn, the more money you will save and the more possibilities you have to extend the abilities of your startup.
- Get Creative: It's simple, be creative. If you have come this far and have started to pursue your idea, you have overcome the hardest step; starting. You can be creative in all different ways; whether it be playing with design and the look of your company, the design of your product or even becoming 'creative' with your business model. Spend time each day focusing on the 'creative' side of things, don't get overwhelmed by all the numbers and business technicalities!
What's stopping you from starting now?
Take advantage of the resources above and produce a startup with low investment that has potential for high return. Engage with your target market and sell your idea the way you see it, think about why you believe this is the ultimate product that they need and get them enthusiastic!
You're not creating a small startup, you're creating a smart one.
Set yourself and join Startup Hatch, those resources above are available to everyone wanting to create a startup anytime but Hatch is a one off opportunity. Set yourself apart from others and take advantage of the support, education and networks that you will create whilst being part of Startup Hatch!
P.S. Even if you don't have a startup idea and you are just interested in the entrepreneurial community, there's still a place for you so join today!