Most entrepreneurs have the right idea or concept when it comes to launching startups but it can be daunting being new in a market. Certain things must be in place before the big day.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail, so you either sink or swim.
Find the industry or sector that fits your thought style and abilities, with a specific problem you want to solve. Carry out a lot of research. In Harvard Business Review, Joan Schneider and Julie Hall state a lack of research as one of the major reasons for half-launched products and services. While preparing, try not to be involved in everything in that sector all at once, hone your focus and have a particular goal.
2. Go Shopping
Seek advice from as many experts as possible in your industry. There’s no way you know it all. Pick their brains, accept constructive criticism and feedback because it is important. You need advice in picking your brand name, marketing strategies and tactics, and other things that at first glance, give customers a basic idea of what you do. They are more experienced and have significant insight in the industry.
Contact existing successful experts both in and outside your industry. Make notes of who can ultimately become a mentor, contributor, influencer, investor, promoter etc. and how they can help your new business.
3. The Competition
Scope out your rivals because a competitor will eventually emerge. Visit their stores, branches, websites just to further understand what they have to offer their current customers who you’re trying to win over. Your aim should be to become a better version of your competition and discover opportunities to create better services. Your intended market is probably already saturated and you need to uniquely carve a niche for yourself. There’s something they lack that you can make up for. The little things count. You’re striving for authenticity, functionality and most of all profit.
This is a recurring factor that cannot be overlooked. Know the audience your startup will cater to. If you don’t know and understand who you’re selling to, then who’s buying? This is not limited to age, gender or race. It also includes social and economic status, relationship status and parental status.
5. Hiring Goods Hands
Remember! No man is an island, so you can’t do it all alone. You need competent hands to grow your company. A startup, no matter how small would require staff. Employ capable people to handle certain aspects. Though you might not have a lot of money to pay, but if your startup has potential, they will stay and in the long run, reap the benefits.
6. Test Drive.
While your ideas need to be clear, simple and detailed, try to figure out if your startup idea is good or great using the Lean Startup methodology which is – Test, Review, Iterate.
A typical scenario is when you go to a car shop, wanting to buy a new car. After inspecting the interior, engine, admiring the exterior and design, you still have to know if it actually works. It’s not enough for it to be beautiful or a luxury automobile, it has to be functional. So before you pay, you take it for a test of speed, response time, durability and other qualities you look for in a car. If it doesn’t fit the profile, you don’t buy. Treat launching a startup as seriously as buying a new car that is still useful in the near future. See if it actually works before driving it out into the open market, because frankly, once the car is out of the lot, there’s no going back. Return policies never helped anyone.
Don’t just assume that you’ve covered all the basics. Everyone wants and needs a great service because it speaks for itself. You may consider a pre-launch buzz but it could make or mare your startup. Truly, it might give you the necessary awareness needed and your company is on your way to revenue, but if your startup is not great, it might kill the seed before it even germinates.
In all of these, one can easily understand the lessons to be learned for every entrepreneur trying to build a successful startup.