Starting your own company is risky, challenging, and scary, but more than anything else, it's a rewarding experience. When times get tough, sometimes you need to rely on a bit of craftiness to make life work. To learn what it takes to get your first business off the ground, we asked fifty founders to tell their stories.
There were three common first steps:
Nearly all founders noted website creation as a core piece of their brand launch. Most founders mentioned researching their market, product, industry, equipment, tech, and personnel required to launch their company, what those things would cost, and where they'd get the money from (often citing friends and family as contributors). Finally, every business needs clients. Many founders again turned to friends and family as their first clients, others used SEO, ads, partnerships, and direct outreach. A core thread of many success stories is incorporating the best possible customer service they could muster in addition to listening to feedback for product improvements.
That's all you need to get started: a website, some money, and a customer. For help coming up with your big idea, see our idea generation guide. For help finding your first customers, try multivariate testing with digital ads.
For all fifty founder stories, click sources below.