It is a well-known fact that launching a startup is not going to bring you profits and fame immediately but, first of all, it requires a lot of hard work and taking risks. You have to be ready to handle all the demands and challenges this business requires, so you should get prepared beforehand.
Of course, there are plenty of things to take into consideration when diving into this business but let’s outline the crucial ones, which are going to help your startup launch process run more smoothly.
Thorough Market Research
Undoubtedly, providing a thorough market research is a must. You have to decide on the market niche you are going to capture and explore it in and out. Overall, you have to look from both sides – your potential competitors and your potential customers. While your startup idea may seem brilliant and innovative to you, what it requires the most is demand. So, after having chosen your target audience, you have to get to know them. Having proper knowledge about your potential customers enables building the right product for them and satisfying their needs.
Of course, even the most profound research will not give you any guarantee that your startup will be a success, but it will bring you valuable information where and on what exactly you should concentrate and whether it is really worth it.
In order to understand whether the users will like your product and whether it will create enough call for demand, good market research is not enough. You have to test it, and you can do it by creating MVP. Minimum Viable Product is a rapidly built product with only its main features, which is made for receiving necessary information about the product, how it works with the customers, and what has to be improved to make the product thriving. It can be a mockup, wireframe, prototype, landing page, or explainer video. The main point is that it should deliver the main idea behind the project and let users experience it. In general, making it to the market with MVP will help learn enough about the product, show the level demand for it and whether it meets customers’ needs to the proper extent. Learn more about building MVP in the article What You Need to Know About Building MVP
Forming a strong team
Do not underestimate the role of your team since it is not only people executing the work given. These people are the engine of your project. You do not only need an appropriate level of skills and knowledge. You need people who understand your idea, share it and are passionate about bringing it to life. What is important to mention here is a communication part. It starts with passing you vision and work goals to your employees, and goes on with regular and constant collaboration and feedback. So, you must pay enough attention to form a strong company of not only professionals of their business but also real team players.
Marketing your business
It is essential to take care of the marketing side of your startup and ensure good promotion for attracting potential users of your product. Setting effective marketing strategy and its implementation is a way to build a strong users base and your product brand.
There are many marketing instruments and techniques, which help in promoting your business and building your audience. Starting a blog will help to engage your customers with valuable content interesting to them, while email marketing will provide the chance for your audience to be regularly reminded about your activities and updates. Also, it is crucial to be present in social media channels (especially Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn), which nowadays represent the company for the customers and pose a way to get to them.
Outsourcing development work
Since forming your own in-house full-time development team may be very cost-consuming for a startup, you can go in for outsourcing. This way, you are not geographically limited and able to hire people from the location with lower average incomes than yours. It can save you from some overhead, operational, technological, licensing, and training costs. You just hire the number of people needed to execute necessary workload and pay them precisely for their work done without the need to handle the team when there is no more work to do. Besides, it gives you access to get real experts on the board accustomed to the latest technological advancements and enables you to focus on your core competence and other important issues.
Maybe your startup idea does not require a great deal of money to be brought to life, but you surely need some start capital to start the process. Funding must be done before you receive any profits; that is why the lack of money is often the reason for postponing or even stopping startup launches. Apparently, if you have enough money to cover your initial business needs, it is perfect. Otherwise, there are a few ways to get the money for your startup. You can ask your friends and family to support your business, attract investors, use crowdfunding or apply for a business grant. Eventually, when you successfully start and get your product on track, you can use your business profits for its growth.
Finding a mentor
As an entrepreneur, you will have to make many important decisions and face different challenges. But, it may be really hard to stay cool-minded and always know which action will be the best for your business. This way, finding a mentor will be a great help. Somebody who could give you advice when you ask, some new perspectives to look from, and just support when needed. Ideally, your mentor should be an expert in your industry with relevant experience, easily reachable, a good listener, and a person whose doors are always open for you. Of course, it is not very likely to find a perfect mentor with all these characteristics always ready to help and suggesting brilliant solutions. Therefore, in order to choose one, you should clarify what is the most important for you and what kind of advice and support you need from your future mentor.
As a matter of fact, launching a startup requires not only an incredible idea, but much time, effort, and thorough preparation. Paying attention and working on the things highlighted in this article should enable avoiding common problems startups face and help you on the road of creating a successful startup.
Author: Oleg Maykher
Co-founder and CEO at Exoft