Are you building your Startup?
Startups are the lifeblood of our economy and innovation across the globe. They create jobs, new products, dreams, and disruption. They are led by entrepreneurs who work hard to bring their ideas to life. Often overshadowed by failure, they persist and can change the world. We feel that entrepreneurs are heroes that need to be celebrated, and more importantly, supported by a community of fellow founders. It would be great if the process were easy, but it’s not. We’d like to help change that.
There is a lot of information and resources out there but we want to some of them in few bellow important process and steps each and every startup should consider:
Solve an important problem
Take a look around at the products and services you are currently using and surrounded by. Why are they there? Well, it’s because they are solving a problem or filling a need you would otherwise be experiencing.
This is how all great inventions and startup businesses are born – from a problem or need. Consider this the first question on your startup litmus test: “What problem does my startup or idea solve, and how painful is that problem?” Think critically about this question, as an honest assessment may save hours, days, weeks, months, or years of your time.
Validate your solution
Let’s say at this point you’ve finished step one and determined that your startup idea solves a painful problem. How valuable is that solution? Will people pay for your solution or product?
Ideas are great, but they don’t make money. Businesses make money. Once you can validate that people will open their wallets for your product or service, then you have a business idea. It just makes sense. Before you pour your hard-earned cash and even more importantly, your time, into a business, you should want to know that the business would make money for you.
How to validate? Validation can come in several forms, and ultimately your metric for success is your own decision. Read about Lean Startup methodology online. There are plenty of resources online you can check.
In the world of business and startups, traction is king. Traction is a startup’s claim of validity but it is harder for physical product comparing to Tech-base startups to get traction. You need to visualise your idea and make a prototype so people see what you already imagined and then you can claim that traction from people's interest. So for this step, you need to start developing your product and make a prototype. So you can approach your potential customers or investors.
Art of selling
One of the worst outcomes your startup can realise is finding out people aren’t willing to buy your product after you’ve spent significant time and money building it. One very good way to avoid this outcome is to market and sell your product before you even have anything built. It may sound counterintuitive or even dishonest to try and sell something that doesn’t exist, but it can be done without lying or failing to provide value.
For a startup founder, there are generally few hard assets to show off or pitch besides your vision for the future. If you want to sell someone on your vision, it has to be a grand vision of future potential and possibilities – something employees and investors can get behind. Working for or investing in someone who has poured his life savings into an idea simply in the hopes of it someday paying off is not compelling – your vision of what the company could be is.
It is important to remember at all times that no one is as familiar with your product as you are. Often, entrepreneurs fail to remember this because they spend all day every day thinking about their product, and to them, it is easy to grasp. So having a well designed and built prototype would be very valuable.
In reality, showing your product to someone else for the first time is like selling fire to a caveman. Though they can see that it is new and impressive, they have no idea what it is they are looking at. It is up to you to break it down into a way that is both a.) easy to understand and b.) exciting.
Startups are generally expected to have a handful of key pitch assets. A lot of them are built around the same basic content but presented differently for different situations. Make no mistake, having a business plan is a great asset, and if you have it, be sure to keep it handy for investors should they ask. If you have it available, it is recommended to still lead off with your elevator pitch, executive summary, and pitch deck to pique someone’s interest before handing them your full manifesto.
Define your customers and market
It is common for entrepreneurs to believe their product is of the perfect use for everyone, but in reality, almost all ideas have certain customer demographics that really drive sales. It is important to find out what those demographics are and who those customers are so you can market your product or service effectively and also build your product features around them. If you try to market your startup to everyone, you waste both time and money. The key is to identify a niche target market and go aftermarket share aggressively.
Funding your startup
The unfortunate reality for most entrepreneurs with an idea is that money is often a prerequisite. And, often especially for physical product startups, this need necessitates outside sources.
Despite the wide array of funding sources, there are three general categories: Bootstrapping, Debt, and Equity. In recent years, crowdfunding has become a powerful source of funding for both bootstrapping and equity techniques too.
Build your product, build your business
Now it is time to go further in the process and build your final product, manufacture it and start your business. Do it right, do it carefully.
Don't do it alone
As mentioned, there are a lot of steps involved in the startup process, and it can be overwhelming to try to take care of everything yourself. Seek out a good co-founder or professional assistance so you can be assured that certain elements of the process will be in capable and experienced hands.