Developing an idea can quickly turn into an obstacle for entrepreneurs. In this file, we detailed the steps to take in order to create a start-up and to penetrate your market in the right way.
- A strong idea to stand out
- Surround yourself with the right people to create a start-up
- Knowing the market inside and out
- Taking the next step with the business plan
- Finding funds to create a start-up
- Getting support to launch your project
- Choosing the right legal status to limit the risks
- Getting rid of administrative procedures
- Getting known and increasing your visibility
- The right digital tools to create a start-up
What have we learned?
1. A strong idea to stand out
Business start-ups in France are on a roll! Their number has thus increased by 17.9% in 2019, according to Insee. On the start-up side, the French Tech movement counted 1,498 new “start-ups” in the same year, which came to strengthen the workforce. The start-up nation model continues to emulate, and it’s probably not going to stop anytime soon.
Creating a start-up means offering yourself the possibility of carrying out your project and developing innovative products or services to penetrate a targeted market (preferably one that is growing rapidly…). One objective in mind: the development of the company and the realization of the project, if possible in a limited time.
As a new entrepreneur, you must therefore start looking for a relevant economic model for the creation of your structure, also called business model. Above all, you must keep in mind that you must stand out from the competition, in other words, bring your added value, which distinguishes you from the mass.
To achieve this, you need to flesh out your idea. Behind every start-up creation, there is indeed an idea, which only needs to be developed before being presented to the public. But to do this, you need to have found THE right idea. Before rushing into anything, ask yourself if your idea meets the specific needs of your target audience. Above all, make sure that your team’s proposal concerns a sufficiently large number of potential clients to be viable.
2. Surround yourself well to create a start-up
Social capital to define, steps to take, installations to plan and to find… It is difficult to launch into such an adventure alone. On the other hand, joining forces also involves risks. A “bad partnership” remains one of the three most frequent reasons for failure for a start-up. Hence the need to choose your partners carefully to avoid disappointment and slow down the growth of your company.
You must be able to establish a relationship of trust with your associates to lead your company on the road to success. It is therefore still time to ask yourself the right questions: do you share the same values? Do you think you can agree on the objectives and stakes for the creation of your project? Remember also that investors will be very interested in the role and complementary skills of each partner present in the establishment.
In order to protect your organization, it is highly recommended to draft and sign a “shareholders’ agreement“. This essential step will allow you to define the relations between the partners at the time of the creation of the start-up. Many clauses and details can be included in this document. Here are some of them:
- Appointment clause of the company’s manager.
- Conflict resolution.
- Profit-sharing plan.
- Non-competition undertaking.
- Distribution of capital shares.
Finally, note that the number of partners present in the start-up will have an influence on the choice of the company’s status (see point 7 on this subject).
Guide to support startups
Becoming an entrepreneur is not an easy thing to do and the administrative side does not make the adventure any easier. As a factor of success, support not only helps you to develop yourself as an entrepreneur, but also allows you to train and to progress on the globality of your project. Discover the tricks of the trade for entrepreneurs and startups!
3. Know the market inside and out
Before thinking about creating a start-up, you will have to test your ideas to verify their relevance. Indeed, it is useless to launch a business if no customer is likely to show up for your product or service… This is where the famous market study comes in, which will allow you to test the viability of the idea and adjust your company’s offer, if necessary.
First, you will need to gather as much information as possible about the key sector you are considering: size, current regulations, etc. You will then need to identify potential customers in the sector and understand their expectations, with quantitative or qualitative studies. Individual interviews, behavioral observation in a key environment, questionnaires… The choice is vast. Don’t forget to complete your quantitative study by analyzing the competitive offer, so as not to follow in the same footsteps…
Finally, keep in the back of your mind the opportunities offered by the Lean Startup method and the MVP (minimum viable product). The principle? Agree to present an “unfinished” product or service to carefully selected customers. Their feedback will allow you to validate or not your initial assumptions. Presented with a minimum of available functionalities, this minimum viable product offers your start-up the possibility to save time (and money!) by avoiding the risk of presenting a finished product that does not correspond to your customers’ expectations. Simple and efficient.
Identifier les opportunités avec l'étude de marché
L’exploration de marché, ça nous connait chez Vianeo et lance ton Idée ! Incontournable étape dans la création d’entreprise, la réalisation d’une étude de marché est perçue comme chronophage mais permet de s’assurer de la valeur de notre solution et de l’existence des besoins du marché. Elle peut donner des réponses lors de la création d’une entreprise, de nouveaux produits ou de services.
4. Take the next step with the business plan
You must now succeed in making the kind eyes to investors and other business angels who might be interested in your organization. There is only one way to do this: writing a solid and complete business plan, which presents your project in detail, clearly and concisely. This document will help you draw up a roadmap for your ambitions and convince partners to participate in the adventure.
Each document is unique. Nevertheless, it should include some essential data on the development of your project:
- The executive summary. It should summarize your business plan in broad terms. It is the moment to reveal your strategy to your future suitors.
- The presentation of the company and the team. Detail in this part the skills of each member of the group. You will have to show that you have chosen complementary profiles to develop your idea. Don’t hesitate to go back over the background of your partners to support your point.
- The business model. Here you must detail in detail how you plan to make your turnover.
- The presentation of the product or service. Prove that the creation of your start-up meets a real need.
- The market study. Show that you know perfectly the stakes of your sector and gather all the information collected: offer/demand, targeted customers, regulation of the activity, competition, opportunities…
- The marketing strategy. Objectives, tools… How will you achieve your goals? Unveil your approach to investors.
- Finances. Here you must prove that you are realistic in your forecasts. Describe your financing strategy and present a projected income statement and balance sheet.
- The evolution of the company. Here you can project yourself and explain how you see the future: recruitment of new partners, growth in France and Europe,…
Note that you will also have to include in your business plan the status you have chosen to create a start-up.
5. Finding funds to create a start-up
Armed with your precious sesame and your good will, you must now start looking for financing for the creation of your start-up. If it is possible, as a partner, to ensure a share of self-financing to start the hostilities, external solutions are strongly recommended to limit the risks for your team.
We have listed some of them for you to shop around:
- Fundraising. Investors enter the company’s share capital. They receive shares in return.
- Crowdfunding. Also called participative financing, this method consists in collecting funds through platforms accessible on the web. The investment can then take different forms: donations, participation, etc.
- Loan or bank loan. The manager of the structure will have to guarantee the company’s debts.
- Investment fund. The principle: companies in your sector invest capital in your project. The banks can propose this type of financing.
- Rental. Also called leasing with option to buy, leasing is used to allow you to acquire a piece of equipment at the end of a defined rental period.
It is also possible to receive a “helping hand” to create a start-up. Exemption from contributions/taxes, allowance… Numerous financial aids for business creation are indeed available, depending on the status of your organization:
- The ARE ( Allocation of aid to the return to work). An entrepreneur defined as a job seeker can benefit from this unemployment benefit.
- ACRE (Aid for the creation or takeover of a company). This is a partial exemption from social charges. Click here to learn more.
- The French Tech grant. Offered by Bpi France, a public investment bank, this grant can reach 30,000 euros to help you finance an innovative product or service proposed by your start-up.
- Financial aid paid by the Regional Council.
6. Get support to launch your project
It’s not uncommon to be a little lost during the startup creation phase. To remedy this, you can choose to integrate a startup incubators to get you on the right track. More and more widespread in France, this type of structure offers many opportunities to young entrepreneurs for the growth of their company.
Incubators support start-ups before, during and after the creation of the company. They very often offer entrepreneurs the opportunity to benefit from training on how startups work (or how to grow their business and develop their idea). How to choose a startup incubator.
The incubator can also provide the company with premises to set up its activity, in exchange for a share in the start-up’s capital, for example. It is also worth noting that the organization can help your young team to successfully overcome the administrative and legal steps (see points 7 and 8). Click here to understand how incubators work, what they do and how much they cost.
Being successful in a call for proposals can also open doors to support you in the creation of your start-up. Training organizations, technopoles or public banks regularly propose this kind of events on their websites.
If you succeed in standing out, you will receive many advantages: hosting of the organization, help in purchasing various equipment, access to the organizer’s facilities, coaching sessions, subsidies… A quality support that can be decisive for the development of your start-up idea! Make sure you target the offers in your sector before committing yourself.
Reveal your talent as an entrepreneur !
Do you secretly dream of entrepreneurship and business creation ? Do you want to launch an idea or a project that is close to your heart ? You have every reason to believe that your idea has value. Find on this page a summary of what it means to "Become an entrepreneur" and dive into the entrepreneurial adventure by validating one by one your assumptions and by confirming your market.
7. Choosing the right legal status to limit the risks
As an entrepreneur, you have to decide what legal form your start-up will take. And the least we can say is that the task is far from being obvious… We propose you a small overview of the main forms of company available, to allow you to see a little more clearly :
- The simplified joint stock company (SAS). It is particularly recommended for creating a start-up. It remains the preferred legal form for start-ups. Its advantages: the absence of a minimum amount of share capital, the liability of each partner limited to his contributions, a certain freedom to draft the articles of association,…
- The single-member simplified joint stock company (SASU). With a functioning identical to the SAS, it is intended for the entrepreneurs who launch out solo in the adventure.
- The Limited Liability Company (SARL). This type of operation has a few advantages. For example, the manager can benefit from the general social security system. On the other hand, you must take into account the fact that you will not be able to create several categories of securities with a SARL.
- The Limited Liability Company (EURL). It works on the same principle as its neighbor, the SARL, but for a single partner present in the company.
- The Limited Company (SA). It must be composed of at least seven partners, with a starting capital fixed at 37 000 euros. The complexity of its operation makes it a form not recommended for start-ups.
We can only advise you to get in touch with a legal professional before making the final decision, to find the solution that best suits your project.
8. Get rid of the paperwork
Before going out to find your customers and “make money”, as they say, you have to go through the formalities to stay in line and complete the creation of the start-up. Here are the essential steps to follow before you take the plunge.
- Draft and sign the company’s articles of association. Think of calling on a lawyer to facilitate your work.
- Deposit the contribution representing the share capital at the bank.
- Deposit a complete file at the CFE (Centre de formalités des entreprises).
- Publish a notice in the pages of a newspaper of legal announcements (regional or departmental press title, authorized to publish this kind of content). This step is mandatory to create a start-up.
- Register the structure with the RCS (Registre du commerce et des sociétés), depending on where your head office is located. You will also have to renew the operation with the Trade Register.
- Receive the famous KBIS. This document will formalize the legal existence of your establishment.
9. Get known and increase your visibility
Now it’s time to extend your reach and bait potential customers by leveraging social networks. Start by listing the platforms where you want to create a page for your startup (Viadeo, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram,…). Then build your brand and refine your style through your publications, in order to generate engagement and develop your community.
Also keep in mind that web opportunities do not stop at the borders of social networks. It is possible to contact prominent bloggers and other influencers who could share the good news: the creation of your baby. Two criteria to choose them well: their sector of activity and their audience.
Finally, it will also be essential for you to market yourself to specialized press titles to increase your visibility. Think of writing a press kit in due form for journalists.
10. The right digital tools to create a start-up
“The entrepreneur found himself at a loss when the time came to create his company.” It is not always easy to build your professional success on a daily basis when you don’t have the right skills. Many tools are available on the web to allow you to correct the shooting and to consider the development of your start-up in a serene way. Here are some of them (but there are many others):
- The Vianeo platfom. Ideal for project leaders, our digital platform gives you access to many tools to develop your market strategy, validate your assumptions and define your action program.
- Google Analytics. Offered by the web giant Google, this tool gives you the opportunity to analyze the audience of your website and collect valuable information (interfaces used by Internet users, demographic data…).
- The Name App. You have finally found a name to create a start-up? Now you have to make sure it’s available. This is what this application proposes, which scans the domain names and social networks available on the web.
- mon-business-plan.com. Are you struggling to concoct your business plan for the growth of your start-up? This tool developed in France can help you to realize it, step by step. It even offers an integrated task manager.
- Slack. This platform allows you to plan your tasks and interact efficiently with the rest of your team. All your communication flows are thus grouped in a single interface.
- Trello. This manager helps you organize your project and business ideas in lists, maps and charts to save you time.
- Buffer. Because you can’t become a community manager overnight (it’s a job), this application allows you to plan your posts on social networks and to quickly consult your data: comments, views,…
- Mailchimp. You need to create a newsletter for your start-up? The Mailchimp emailing service is very easy to use. You can create your templates directly online and enjoy an automatic management of your subscribers.
Top 20 des outils pour entrepreneurs
De nombreux logiciels et applications sont disponibles sur la toile pour vous aider à monter votre projet. Nous vous avons sélectionné une vingtaine de services en ligne pour que vous puissiez développer votre business en toute sérénité. Comptabilité, création de devis, étude de marché pour business plan… Ce ne sont pas les outils qui manquent !.