Lots of our clients are startup founders, we have 5 startups on our account, we also meet lots of fellow startupers at conferences all over the world. Not only do we have our own history to tell, but we’ve also listened to some amazing testimonials on various occasions. Today’s post speaks from our own experience. Here’s what you need to know before you start starting to start a startup.
It takes a lot of guts to start any business from scratch. Some people have great ideas and never move them forward. There’s a moment, in the beginning, when you can decide if you’re willing to take a risk or you just want to sit and watch everyone around you succeed. Braveness will help you to push your idea into the market. The first thing you need to keep in mind is that your future product that right now is only an idea, needs to be a solution to a real problem. Then, the easiest thing to do is divide your actions into small steps.
One: set up a legal company and register your future domain.
Two: Write down your thoughts for prospect purposes. Write as much as you can but be specific.
Ask for advice
Do as much as you can on your own. When you hit a wall, ask someone for help. If you manage to find a specialist that understands your needs, hire them! Whether it be an attorney, a co-founder, a software house or a growth hacker - use every connection you have to build your future team with trustworthy people.
How to hire people? Depending on your budget, you might have some problems with hiring full-time employees, especially considering additional costs (taxes, insurance). The expenses may slow down the development of your startup. Besides, from an employee perspective, startup isn’t always a good place to work because it seems unstable at first. Both sides will benefit from a flexible contract with the option to work remotely. At that point, you don’t even need an office nor extra equipment.
Test your idea
It’s also very important to confront your ideas with reality. You can start by doing a survey (try to find at least 100 people to interview). At that point, you need to strongly stand behind your idea but also prepare to be flexible. Open-mindedness is the key to success in that case. Every experienced business owner will tell you that: your idea doesn’t have to be unique, you just have to do better than the others. You need a product differentiator to seperate yourself from the already existing products on the market. You might improve something ordinary, but the improvement will make it special. Think about it before you present your idea to prospects.
Find a solution to a real-life problem
We cannot stress enough the importance of solving a real-life problem with your startup. Once you find that niche, you’re set for success. Some of the most prosperous startups to this day are: Airbnb, Instagram, Pinterest, Uber. These guys’ ideas weren’t complicated at all. On the contrary - the simpler it gets, the better. Their path wasn’t smooth - they had to risk everything, quit their day jobs, worked their asses off 24/7 but now everyone knows their names.
Last step before things kick off is combining your idea with the right technology. If you’re a developer yourself, that’s great. You can start writing the code on your own. It wouldn’t hurt to have a few more developers on board - that way you guys would deliver the product faster. Also think about testing - it’s not the best idea to write the code and test the product at the same time. It may also be worth considering hiring a software house to do the MVP for you (Minimal Viable Product - a very basic draft of your future product, often shown to investors for getting funds and prospects for testing). Apart from writing the code and providing a basic graphic design, those guys do the market research and analysis, create buyers personas, brainstorm the best functions and technologies for your product. By hiring a software house you’ll get a team of people from not only IT but also business and marketing, devoted to your project. Remember it won’t be easy to find investors without an MVP.
Find money for your startup
How to convince investors to devote their money to your startup? Well if the MVP or your business plan is convincing enough, you can propose an exchange of shares for the funds and hope for the best. Kick on every door and don’t give up.
There’s no fixed path to follow when it comes to startup funding. Some people try crowdfunding on places like Kickstarter, you can also try to take a bank loan (based on your business plan or your personal account), get your friends and family to give or loan you money with the promise of shares in the company.
Whatever happens next, you need to focus on your startup’s growth. Have fun and good luck. If you need any help, feel free to contact us firstname.lastname@example.org. We love talking to startup founders!