Start-Ups are booming in our times. Starting is a difficult procedure and unknown paths to take, where many companies drop and don’t make it at all.It’s easy to say I will start a company and make it work. But the most challenging part is not running the company afterwards, but to make it happen. We have summarized some of the most important steps in order to make a startup company happen based on the infographic created by the talented Funders and Founders. Read, follow them and get prepared. This journey is going to be tough. Mistakes will be made. That is fine. You have to be prepared and make less mistakes. Trial and error is a great way to learn, but having a path to follow until launch is a must strategy to success.
What is the idea behind your startup?
Some business ideas start in order to solve a problem. Others just to fill a gap. Some other ideas are developed based on already businesses/products but become more successful due to better execution and management. If you have an idea or something bothering you, all you have to do is to write down some thoughts and think openly without any boundaries on how this issue or challenge can be solved. Take a piece of paper, bounce ideas around it, make sketches, drafts, explore solutions and consider even the silliest ones. Discussion with a friend will also help. Feel free to express your thoughts and remember that two brains are stronger that one. Brainstorming always helps.
Making a prototype is a first step to design and apply your first drafts on the idea. Try to execute in the best way possible and deliver a result as you was imagining in the first place. Perfection is not possible at this time, but having a well-developed prototype according to you demand will save you some time later.
Present the idea to 100 people.
Presenting your prototype idea to 100 people will give you enough feedback on where to focus next. Maybe 100 would be too much in some cases but is important to have a solid understanding on how people think and feel about your product, app or service. You have to listen to your audience.
Work again on the prototype.
After the first feedback from the crowd make your best and launch something that makes more sense. Study their comments, advantages, disadvantages and use them to make the product better. This is a hard step because it needs work and time to find solutions to refine the product. Feedback is the key in making the product perfect.
Find a co-founder.
Finding a co-founder is always a good idea. Working on something by yourself is always very difficult, lonely and can have bad consequences. The best entrepreneurs know very well that businesses are not built on one person. That is impossible. Remember to choose wisely your partner or partners, based on what the needs of the startup are. Every startup has to be supported by people that can help and develop it at the early stages. Proper work allocation is vital. If you are a good developer for example, what you might need is a good partner in marketing. If you are good in engineering maybe what you need is an expert in coding. Finding the right people for developing your idea is one the most important steps to take.
Register the Corporation.
As soon as you find the partner the next step is to register your corporation/company. Is time to plan the structure and the operations of the company, declare the shareholders etc. Registering the company and a name is also important. It’s a good chance to choose your business name and register your trademark/logo and last but not least you might need to register your patent as well. Intellectual property rights are very important today.
Funding and launch preparation.
It’s time to launch. Build and finalize the version 1 of your product. This is the stage where your product has to be finalized and get ready for the official release. Make sure everything runs smoothly and is tested. It’s time for the show. Finalizing and launch are very important since then you should start looking for funding. Check all the funding opportunities around, ask investors, knock doors. Make sure you have the amount you need to start and the budget to develop the brand. Looking for investors can be harsh and exhausting. It’s essential that your present a ready product to them and ready to be challenged. A good presentation and preparation is needed from your team.
When you launch you have to make sure two things.
1.Everything is up and running smoothly!
2.Everybody knows that something new is up. Make sure everybody knows that.
Follow up the users.
This is the step where you will start evaluating your user acquisition. You will review the sales. You will review if the users are coming back, app downloads, purchases and general performance of your product in the market.
Growing is not easy. Everybody admits that. You need patience and perseverance. The next step on the ladder should be to acquire your first 1000 users (or buyers). The target is to grow approximately 5% a week. This is a hard target but possible according to experts. You need to keep going for the next 4 years and have a target to get more users or grow sales. In these 4 years you will be able to tell whether your startup is successful or going to the right direction.
In case something went wrong after your initial launch and haven’t managed to grow sales or users, don’t panic. If something went wrong to your launch you may re-launch with an updated version. Iterating is part of the game. If you need motivation remember that AirBnB launched 3 times!
To conclude we would like to remind you that there is no fixed path to successful startup. Is a matter of trial and error, disappointments, challenges, fights, and things you cannot even imagine. Some will definitely find you unprepared. Remember to be ready for anything and take everything that comes along as a challenge. The journey is going to be long. Make sure you enjoy it.