How To Start A Start Up ?

We are almost at the end of may and weather is starting to get hotter by the day.   This weekend in particular felt hotter than previous weekends.   Temperature is almost same as last weekend but I am feeling it bit hotter.   May be  its because of Facebook.   Company has created hundreads of millionairs in bay area and things are really starting to get hot around here.

When we hear stories like Facebook, an entrepreneurial sitting in us may ask “how to start a start up like Facebook ?”

Start up like Facebook means a very successful start up.  How do you do it ?

Ingredients for a good start up and well known.  You need good people with great skill set, make something that customers actually want and do it with least amount of money possible.   You don’t need to invent something new or come up with super cool idea.  You just need something that is much better than what’s currently available.

If formula is well know than how come we do see IPO’s like facebook everyday ?

I recently met with a CEO of one of the leading franchise in United States who invited me to consult on their marketing strategies.  After carefully listening to my ideas he commented that ‘I also have lots of ideas but we often fail to implement those.”  This reminded me of a phone call couple days with a CEO of a leading restaurant owner in Fremont.   He made a similar comment.   I meet with many business owners and CEO’s of small and medium size companies and all of them have great ideas but they either fail to implement their ideas or invest in wrong ideas.

Truth is the failure is usually due to lack of implementation.  Some fail to put the right people in right place, some spend time, money and energy on wrong product and some spend so much money doing it that they go brook  long before they can become profitable.

Recently example of such failure in  Silicon Valley was Solyndra.  They picked the wrong product and spent millions of dollars in tax payer money only to loose it all within months of initial government back funding.

How do you get the right people in right place ?

This one is probably the most tricky part.    People involved with in your company can be your relatives, friends and they may or may not be the right fit for the job.   Do you keep running the show with them or do you find the right person for the job.

Common solution is to keep the friend or relative until company becomes profitable.   This strategy may work if you only have couple people in wrong place and they are not providing substantial amount of support.   However, most companies will fail if they continue on this path.

You need to find the right place for right people.

Building something people will like ?

This is what we call market research.  Find the answer before you spend thousands of dollars.   We are living in computer age and you can research almost anything.   You can hire professionals like Fixtro to do the market research for you.

Gather all information you need before your start.  Some people even call this a feasibility study.

Doing it for as little as possible ?

Should you open office in Stockton CA or San Jose CA ? Should you travel or do video conferencing? Should you hire employees or consultants?  There are probably hundreds of decisions you need to take to cut the cost on daily basis.   Good CPA or in house financial consultant can help you cut cost.

Some new business owners cut corners instead of cutting cost.  Having a good CPA can help you avoid such mistakes.   Good CPA can also help you keep most of your earnings in your pocket instead of paying it in taxes.

Ready to start a start up ?

You can contact office of Sanjiv Gupta CPA for tax and company advise and you can talk me to for business research and marketing.


Why Your Small Business Need A Website ?

This is a very simple question that I often ask to my clients and end with various answers.  This one simple question allows me to open conversation with my clients and find out the real purpose of their site.  Clients often know what they really want but have a hard time nailing down the reason why do they actually want a website.  Here are some of the most common answers:

  • Provide information about our company
  • Provide our contact information
  • Make it easy for customers to find us
  • Well – my competition has one
  • Want to improve my sales.
  • Want to capture sales leads
  • Want a web presence

All of these are great reasons but before you can answer this question you need to define three things.Who are you ?

  • Who are you ?
  • Who are your customers ?
  • Who you want to be ?

Let’s say you are a Business Attorney and your customers are small businesses who seek advise on small business legal issues and you want to become a leader in your local community when it comes down small business legal issues.  You want to be know as “go to’ person for all small business legal issues.

Now all of you small business owners have a pool of referral you get from your past clients.   This pool is often mistaken for market leadership.  Market leadership means that when average Joe thinks about small business legal issue, he thinks of you.

Truth – this is the key reason why you need a website.  Your website will tell your potential clients who are you and who you want to be.   Moreover, your site will relate directly to your audience and also tell them who they are.

Little confused ? Let me explain.

Small Business Attorney website should clearly explain what is it that he or she does.  Most small business owners get this section right but this is only 20% of the puzzle.    Next peace of pie is to explain who your customers are.  This can be done using “vertical” section in your website.  For example, Attorney should identify 5 or 6 major industries he or she serves.   Attorney may include Real Estate, Medical, Finance, Manufacturing as verticals in website.  Each vertical should include direct reference to common problems attorney solves on regular basis.  This will help potential customers relate to this site.   Use of descriptive images, titles and other material can be very helpful.

Now comes the hard part.  Most small businesses totally ignore the fact that you also need to clearly explain your vision on your website.  Moreover, website should also show how this business is moving towards achieving this goal.

  • Does this attorney goes to local business events ?
  • Does this attorney knows about the local business problems ?
  • Do other people talk about this attorney involvement in community ?

Website can use tools likes video, blog, audio, power point, press release, and newsletter to inform visitors about your engagement with community.   Your customers are your business life line and they deserve to know how you are moving towards your vision.

Now you know the theory behind the existence of your website.   But if you would like some help planning, implementing your online and print marketing than you can contact me directly at 510-709-4030.   My name is Deepak Sharma and I am in charge of help small business grow their business.  I work with Fixtro as IT Manager and available to consult for any IT and Marketing projects.  You can also visit us online at