A successful business is often the result of months of planning and preparation. It is possible to get your startup off the ground in 90 days with intense focus, hustle, and the right approach. Follow this timeline to launch in three months or less.
Validate your idea
Thoroughly test your business idea before sinking time and money into it. Research the market pain point you intend to solve. Survey potential customers on their needs. Outline your core products/services, target audience, operations, marketing strategy, and projected financials in a comprehensive business plan. This will evolve but provides direction and structure upfront. Detail all the startup and operating expenses you’ll incur, including development, inventory, equipment, contractors, promotion, rent, insurance, and more. Research real prices. Build your startup budget to understand how much capital you need to launch and where you can cut corners initially.
Set up legal structure
Choose a business entity that makes sense based on liability, ease of setup, taxes, and other factors. It is possible to form a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation. Begin forming your chosen entity, get the required licensing, and open business banking accounts. Convey your competitive differentiators, personality, and values. You can start simple now and refine it later. Creating brand awareness begins immediately. Set up your physical or virtual place of business. Get proposals from contractors, suppliers, and vendors. Buy insurance and any needed equipment and software. Establish your production/service delivery process and customer service approach.
Create a minimal viable product
Determine the minimum viable version of your product or service to validate the concept with customers. Simple is best to start. For example, test your explanation of one menu item if you’re opening a restaurant. Get feedback to improve upon. Start developing your professional company website to have an online presence – using Squarespace, Wix, or another DIY builder for cost savings initially. Bring on a small number of first employees who fill skill gaps like developers, sales reps, or operations. Outsource other needs through contractors and freelancers to conserve costs. Move cautiously before your revenue is consistent.
Refine product and pitch
Incorporate feedback from initial customers into tangible product improvements. Refine your elevator pitch so anyone can immediately grasp your business purpose and differentiators. Update marketing materials accordingly. Resolve hiccups slowing you down. Implement more automation where helpful. Document processes so new hires can replicate success. Efficient operations allow you to scale. Bring on more team members as needed to meet operational and growth demands. Leverage your network and employee referrals to find candidates who fit your startup culture and are excited by early-stage ventures. Optimize SEO with relevant keywords. Strengthen online profiles and listings. Publish videos and blogs to drive traffic. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly. Implement loyalty programs like rewards points or purchase-triggered discounts to incentivize repeat business. Offer gifts or exclusive perks to VIP members. Make existing customers feel valued.
Set up e-commerce
If selling products, get your e-commerce website operational using a platform like Shopify. Promote your online store through marketing initiatives so you can sell anywhere, anytime. Make the buying process seamless. Distill your business purpose and offerings into a compelling 30-second pitch. Refine how you convey your differentiating factors. Be able to quickly communicate why you’re worth buying from. An elevator pitch is invaluable for networking. Hitting the three-month mark is a perfect opportunity to look back at wins and lessons learned so far while planning the next phase. Celebrate milestones achieved. Set specific goals and new metrics to work toward in months four to six.