Setting objectives for your startup: Key startup milestones

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How objectives can help your startup

Objectives can be an important component of keeping on track. When starting a business there are often lots of important areas – each fighting for attention. There is a danger that a number of these get a disproportional amount of attention – potentially to the detriment of other areas. Setting objectives can help avoid this situation – helping you keep some level of awareness on the multiple different areas that you need to be developing.

Common early startup objectives

Obtaining financing

One of the most common objectives of startups, and particularly those with substantial early-stage costs or expecting to take many years to generate predictable earnings, is the need to obtain financing. Depending on financial needs, this is likely to be a staged objective, potentially obtaining some initial investment to allow early-stage developments, before seeking further financing to allow expansion. 

Launching your product

Another key objective common in startups is the desire to launch a product or service. Getting an item to market is a key milestone and a critical component of organizational success. While the timing for this may vary between firms (with some companies potentially needing several years of development before able to get a product to market), having a product launch at some point in your objectives is key to ensuring that you actually get your product to market. 

Building a customer base

Beyond launching your product, it is important to be developing and growing your customer base. You likely will need a marketing strategy for increasing awareness of your product and convincing customers to buy your items. 

Hiring key employees

Another common objective for startups is to hire key employees. While some founders opt to run their business alone – the solo entrepreneur – for many opportunities you will need to hire others to bring in the expertise that you need to develop and grow your business.

Becoming profitable and cash-positive

A final objective common in startups is becoming cash-positive. This is the point where your business is generating sufficient income that it is able to grow without the need for external finances. The money that you are receiving in a given month is exceeding your outgoings, reducing the need for further investments. Reaching this point can take the pressure of needing to gain outside investors – an activity that takes substantial continued effort.

Final thoughts: Make sure to celebrate meeting your objectives

Objectives can be an important component of keeping on track. When starting a business there are often lots of important areas – each fighting for attention. There is a danger that a number of these get a disproportional amount of attention – potentially to the detriment of other areas. Setting objectives can help avoid this situation – helping you keep some level of awareness on the multiple different areas that you need to be developing.

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