Queensland is fast becoming a mecca for early-stage, high-growth companies.
Queensland is fast becoming a mecca for early-stage, high-growth companies.

How to start a startup

Queensland is fast becoming a mecca for early-stage, high-growth companies.

Off the back of an increase in funding from the Queensland Government's Advance QLD program, and the Brisbane City Council's commitment to support startups and scaleups in their latest budget, the sky is the limit for founders looking to create a global company from our own backyard.

Getting the basics in order however should be every founder's first goal. Typically, early-stage, high-growth ventures fail for three reasons.

Firstly, they underestimate the resources required to get traction and run out of money. Secondly, startups who start with a solution in mind, rather than a group of people with a problem, struggle to find product to market fit.

 

BDO director of startups Marc Orchard.
BDO director of startups Marc Orchard.

 

Lastly, startups fail when founders don't realise how hard it is to get a brand new idea to the point of critical mass. All of them have a financial and strategic component, which is a lot easier when you have a trusted adviser.

When it comes to pitching for co-founders, first hires and investors, there's a number of things to remember. Founders looking to attract co-founders, first hires and investors need to understand their most important asset is their future vision for the company. The business model needs to make sense, the problem needs to be something that you are passionate about, and the solution needs to be something that excites the co-founder/first hire/investor about the future of the company.

If you have those three things, you are on a pathway to success.

So what is some advice for startups looking to scale into global markets? Scaling a startup company is one of the hardest things you can do in business. Statistically, the most likely way for a startup to grow and exit is to partner with, or be acquired by, a larger company. It makes sense then to keep your 'end game' in mind from the start, and prepare your business for this type of partnership from the beginning - even if you decide not to.

That way, you will have the systems, processes and financial rigour in place to make sure that no matter the outcome, your business model serves you and the other shareholders in the business.

Marc Orchard is BDO's director of startups in Brisbane.


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