Have a Great Idea? Here’s How to Build a StartupThe definitive 5 steps you need to take when going for a startup launch.
It might have appeared as a spark or something, you had been dreaming, for years. Well, you have the idea for a business now and plan to get it off the ground.
Once you start, the number of steps involved might look formidable. Be it market research, finding product/market fit, or raising funds for your startup, there are several hurdles to cross, before a successful launch. Yet, if you follow these 5 key steps, you will be in a definitive direction to realize the success your idea deserve.
Speak with Allies & Trusted Acquaintances
If you have an idea, and keep it to yourself, you are going nowhere. For example, you can share it with your friends, relatives or trusted associates to help and refine your vision. It works even better if the individual is a potential customer for the solution/product you propose. Ask a lot of questions: do you think my business idea has the potential? How can I realize it? Will you buy this product or pay for this service, and at what costs?
Try LinkedIn, to meet people within a similar industry. You can also use Telegram to connect with like-minded people and discuss your project feasibility. And remember that people who are not remotely related to your business might provide crucial feedback, on the basis of their purchase intent.
Getting feedback might be daunting, and at times, painful. Yet, it is one of the first steps you have to get across, before transforming your dream into reality.
Once you have developed the core idea, it is time to check the actual market expectations & competition. What are the key players that occupy a market chunk? How does your offering differ? Who are your customers?
These questions are the key to an efficient market research. Make sure not be stuck in success stories - rather, look for the ones that failed. This way, you will eliminate the chances of repeating the mistake the particular failed startup made.
Once you have identified the demand in the market, it is advisable to look for potential partners in the market. If you launch a solution for school kids, for example, what kind of schools will be interested in aligning with your product? The pattern is similar for product-based businesses. Partnerships, are necessary to deliver the initial momentum required, and grow your business.
Your Business Plan
One of the most crucial steps in the startup journey is developing the business plan. The plan can be formal or informal, but they enable you to classify the core components of your business before the launch.
The “story” of your business matters a lot, and how you frame it as per the potential investors and other potential partners, will play a major role in orchestrating the success of your startup. Your business plan must also include information on operational & financial milestones, projections, and how do you plan to scale your business over a period.
Once you have the business plan, the next step that comes is building a prototype. It will enable you to check if your vision is feasible or not.
Prototype is not just limited to MVP (Minimum Viable Product), or physical products. A prototype might be a simple website that outlines your business, which can be further used to collect email addresses from interested potential customers. Blogging might also help if there is an abundance of search queries related to your product/service.
Simply put, you don’t have to put an effort and build a ready-to-sell product. The idea here is to validate that some investors are willing to pay and help you build what you plan to create.
This phase is all about realizing your business vision and conduct a reality check if the customers would be interested.
In-line with the number of hurdles that come in before you launch your startup, funding seems to beat them all, hands down. Create an estimate of how much money you might need, going forward, and decide on how would you like to fund your startup. Some of the most well-known and trusted solutions include:
- Bootstrapped Business: Founders start with little or no external investment, expecting funding once they have some initial traction.
- Startup Incubators: Some startup incubation platforms like iPRONTO, enable your growth, with funding support, services & mentorship for your idea.
- Bank Loans: Lengthy and tedious process, with high interest rates.
- Crowdfunding: On platforms like “Kickstarter”, businesses collect micro-donations to support the growth of their startup.
In order to maximize the stakes on success of your startup, it is crucial to follow these five steps. Post that, coupled with the support of iPRONTO, your startup is destined to succeed.
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