Anyone can have an idea, but turning an idea into a functioning business? That’s the key to success.
If you’re launching a startup, you’ll face inevitable obstacles: time, money, and energy, to name three. However, as daunting as starting a business may be, we’ve come a long way in the past few years. Many tools are now available help move the needle without emptying our bank balances.
When I started my first business, there were no smartphones to facilitate working on the go — and there was an inevitable communication lag. There was no Etsy, Shopify, or WordPress to ease the difficulty of starting a business.
But now, creating a website is easier than ever, and with tools like Venmo, so is managing payments. Plenty of ways exist to connect the idea in your head to the wealth of resources at your fingertips. Here are six platforms to help today’s entrepreneurs create startups that will flourish:
1. Find your audience with social media.
You know this by now: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat can all help a business communicate and grow in seconds. Expensive marketing campaigns may soon become a memory as social influencers continue to gain traction.
Nearly 40 percent of people would purchase on the basis of something they saw on social. Big-name brands like Urban Decay found success by harnessing the power of the internet. Make accounts for your brand on all the major channels and start finding your audience.
2. Develop a unique brand image with 99designs.
Design is beyond important as you start finding your audience. You need a set of aesthetic elements that tell your unique story. And because it takes a person just 2.6 seconds to register a website once it’s loaded, first impressions may be everything.
99designs can help you source designers to come up with the visual basics for your brand, including your logo. This is especially helpful for startups because it allows multiple designers to send you ideas before making a bid on your designer of choice.
3. Jump-start your sales on Etsy.
You won’t know what your product is worth until you start selling it, so try a risk-free launch on Etsy. It’s not only easy, but also financially possible early in your business’s history. Not quite one percent of Etsy sellers needed a loan to launch their online stores.
Designer LeiLei Secor, for example, used Etsy to kick-start her career while paying her way through college so she could get a business degree. Her entrepreneurship earned her a National Federation of Independent Business’ Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
4. Keep everything aboveboard with LegalZoom.
The legal side of starting a business often stops entrepreneurs in their tracks. Make it easy by using a tool like LegalZoom. If you’ve just started, chances are you don’t have the funds to hire a lawyer. LegalZoom helps you draft contracts, register your business, and file for trademark, copyright, and patent protection for a flat annual fee of $300.
5. Create Content with Upwork.
Build up your business’s reputation by creating content with a tool like Upwork. High-quality content attracts seven times the site traffic of sites without it, and businesses with active blogs saw 67 percent of the year’s sales leads.
You can pick from thousands of writers and developers with a wide range of knowledge to help with any content you need, providing you with expert SEO and lead generation tips in the bargain.
6. Use platforms like Fiverr to get things done.
Fiverr offers you the unbeatable ability to “get things done” for your startup beginning at just $5, from business card printing to voiceover recording, without the pain and cost of hiring and systemizing those processes.
There’s never been a better time to be an entrepreneur. You have all the tools you need to beat the odds and turn your idea into the next big thing.
Kim Reed Perell is a widely recognized entrepreneur, executive, and angel investor with more than a decade of experience in the digital marketing and technology sector. She has overseen multiple high-profile acquisitions and received numerous awards, including Business Insider’s 2015 Most Powerful Women in Mobile Advertising and E&Y’s 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year. Kim currently oversees 500 employees across 21 offices worldwide as CEO of Amobee, which provides marketing technology solutions for leading brands. In 2016, Amobee was named one of Fortune’s Top 10 Workplaces in Advertising & Marketing and listed as one of Fortune’s 100 Best Medium-Sized Workplaces.