How to Create The Perfect Business Roadmap for Your Startup Business

If you’re an entrepreneur building a business from the ground up without committing 100% of your energy and an unshakeable determination, there’s no easy way to say this but... the probability for success is quite slim

Limited cash flow, lack of workforce, inadequate knowledge of your business, and a potentially precarious business model are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the challenges every startup will have to overcome. 

So, should you just pack up your dreams and spend the rest of your life thinking about what could’ve been? 

Of course not! You’ll just need better preparation.

Where do you start?

There’s nothing better to help you hit the ground running than carefully crafting a business roadmap.   

What is a business roadmap?

Often confused with a business plan, a business roadmap is an overview of how your business will execute your long-term goals and business strategies; it is also more straightforward - key objectives for different departments, a timeline of what’s expected in a given month, quarter or year, being open to changes whenever needed, and other elements to help turn your business plan into reality.

Why is it needed?

For startups, a business roadmap is more than just a suggested need - it’s absolutely essential for success.

For budding entrepreneurs, it will:

  • Allow for earlier identification of any weaknesses
  • Make it possible to enact more strategic decisions
  • Provide a clear direction moving forward to help scale and grow the business 

For employees, it will:

  • Keep everyone motivated to achieve a goal
  • Hold everyone accountable 
  • Encourage communication and collaboration
  • Facilitate more organized workflow 

How do you create a perfect business scheme?

The success of any startup business will rely heavily on hard work and perseverance, especially when things don’t go as planned. Success is never a guarantee these days, but if you take the following steps below, you’ll significantly increase your chances.

1. Settle on an idea and research all there is to know about it

It’s easy to have ideas. Executing them to perfection? A totally different story.  If you’re thinking about starting a business, you’ll need to do extensive research before making any impulsive purchases.

When conducting your research,  you’ll need to first identify a solution to a need in your preferred niche - it helps to know that you already have a target market eagerly waiting for you to open your doors. 

Some of the reasons customers may be willing to pay more for your offering is because of a ‘must have’ feature, making their lives easier.

Solving a need also helps you be unique in your niche and be open to growth; it can be risky to go out and show someone a product or service they’ve never heard of before, but if you make it in such a way that it’s impossible to replicate, your business will thrive in any situation. 

You can think of it this way:  would you rather present an undesirable solution to your customers, or find a more convenient method to solve their current obstacles?  

2. Invest in talent

A problem most startup business owners face is thinking they have to micromanage everything, when in reality they should focus more on their strengths. Some say building the right team is just as crucial as building the perfect business roadmap, and we’d have to agree. Having skilled, motivated employees to make up for your weaknesses or take away the headache of minor tasks and responsibilities will help you achieve your business goals much faster. 

As Karan Mohla, executive director and head of consumer media and technology at Chiratae Ventures India, once said: “The best founders figure out their strong points and play on those strengths, whereas they overcome their weaknesses by hiring the right people.”  

Pro tip:

Don’t limit your team to people in your local area, be creative when hiring - experiment with a remote team or hybrid setups. This gives you a wider pool of talent to choose from and will help you save on overhead costs. 

If you’re worried about how you can effectively communicate with them every day, you can always use different project management and video conferencing tools to monitor their productivity and keep them up-to-speed.

3. Build a strong presence on social media

More than 4.48 billion people have at least one social media account. If that alone won’t convince you of building a strong social media presence, we’ve got you covered. Here are more statistics on the importance of social media for a business: 

  • 64% of consumers say an online video influenced their purchase. (Tubular)
  • 97% of consumers and online marketers report that video helps customers understand their product. (Wyzowl)
  • 44.8% of people use social media to look for a brand (Datareportal)
  • More than 50% of consumers have made a purchase on at least one social media platform (Hubspot)

In summary, if you don't have a strong digital marketing strategy, nobody is going to hear about your business. 

After seeing all that data, you’re probably eager to make an account across all the social media platforms, right? Even though creating an account is free, don’t jump the gun and make the mistake of immediately creating accounts across every social media platform out there; they can be exhausting to keep active and may only lead to the creation of subpar creatives and social media campaigns. Instead, identify where the majority of your target audience is and focus on that platform, at least to begin with.

So, what is the use of building a social media presence? 

  • Increase brand awareness and visibility
  • Connect directly with your customers
  • Keep your customers updated with your latest products, services, and policies
  • Increase business leads and sales
  • Increase traffic to your website   

Having a strong presence on a social media platform will also make it easier for you to gauge the success of your marketing strategies - all platforms will provide you with comprehensive metrics and data to see which posts and social media campaigns have been working and which to ditch.   

4. Have a backup plan

Even if you do everything right, you have to be prepared for unforeseen events. Having a backup plan will protect your business and allow you to have a safety net in place to make you more comfortable taking risks.

You don't have to overthink this process. Having a back up plan can be as simple as backing up your business data or making minor changes to your products and strategies.

Does this mean you’re anticipating failure? No. But you also have to realize, people make mistakes - don’t bet all your chips on one draw when there are some things you just have no control over. 

Summary

When you’re thinking of creating a startup business, preparation is everything. Take time to learn all about your business and be patient; things may not go initially as planned, but if you stay the course and craft a perfect business roadmap, you’ll have a lot less to worry about.

If you want to learn more about how you can build a successful startup, these 6 must-read articles will help.

“I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.” - Jeff Bezos

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