Starting a company from an idea and growing it to $1 million in revenue is a challenging yet rewarding process that requires careful planning, hard work, and a bit of luck. Here are the key steps you’ll need to follow to get your company from an idea to $1 million in revenue:
1. Develop a Business Plan: Before you go and write up a 40-page document, just know a business plan can be a lot simpler. Sometimes a simple 10-page deck can do the trick. The goal is to clearly articulate your plan, and if you can do this in a brief fashion, that’s not always a bad thing. A business plan is ultimately a roadmap for your company that outlines your goals, target market, marketing and sales strategies, financial projections, and more. A well-written business plan can help you secure funding, attract talent, and stay on track as you grow your business.
2. Run the Numbers: Numbers matter. Yes, you are trying to get to $1m in sales, but you also need to have a laser focus on controlling your expenses on your journey. Creating an accurate financial model can save you time and money, while also giving you insight on how much outside funding will be needed to scale your business effectively. You may find some interesting opportunities or pieces of information you overlooked when you put everything together in a financial plan.
3. Build a Team: As your company grows, you’ll need to surround yourself with a team of talented and dedicated individuals who can help you bring your vision to life. This may include hiring employees, partnering with freelancers or contractors, and seeking out advisors or mentors who can provide guidance and support. In the early stages, finding the right people is hard. Make sure you are hiring people that believe in the mission of the company and educate yourself on how to effectively leverage equity options to lure in high-quality teammates.
4. Secure Funding (maybe): Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to secure funding to get off the ground and scale up. This can include seeking out angel investors, venture capital firms, or crowdfunding platforms, or applying for small business loans or grants. If you don’t need the money, don’t take it. There have been plenty of businesses that have bootstrapped their way to $1m. But if you do need a boost, there are plenty of forms of financing available so create a clear plan about how much you need, how you will use it, and how the infusion of cash will impact your business in the long run.
5. Develop and Launch Your Product or Service: Once you have a solid business plan and team in place, it’s time to focus on building and launching your product or service. One thing we can promise is that your product or service will not be perfect (sorry). Put your focus on layering your customer feedback into your offering and get your company out to the market in an efficient way. Your best form of product/service development will be when you are selling and you get direct feedback from your customers.
6. Market and Sell Your Product or Service: No matter how great your product or service is, it won’t sell itself. You’ll need to put in the work to promote your offering and find customers who are interested in what you have to offer. This can involve creating a website, building a social media presence, participating in trade shows or events, and leveraging paid advertising or other marketing channels. The most effective way to grow your business fast is to use extraordinary marketing and leverage ways of getting to your customers in ways that are sometimes free. Having a teammate or partner that focuses on this for you will be an important piece of your business.
7. Monitor and Adjust Your Strategy: As you grow your business, it’s important to regularly assess your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your strategy. This may involve pivoting your product or target market, expanding into new markets or channels, or implementing new processes and systems to streamline your operations. Your company will change along the way. Be attentive to feedback and conduct frequent debriefs with your team to learn about potential opportunities to change and grow.
8. Validate Your Idea: Before you invest time and money into building a product or service, it’s important to make sure there is a market for what you’re offering. You can validate your idea by doing market research, surveying potential customers, and testing prototypes or MVPs (minimum viable products).
$1 million in revenue seems like a daunting number but can be achieved with the right steps in place. With a partner well-versed in the startup landscape like our team here at MAVRK Studio, you can get some perspective on how to hit these key pieces of growth. To the Moon!