How to Start a Startup: Top 6 steps to be successful
Launching a startup is almost as thrilling for every businessman as launching a rocket for NASA. If you’re one of those who want their new business to be high above the clouds then you are at the right place.
The great start is often being seen like the half-way success. Why? Do you know the old saying: what you reap is what you sow? Starting something with the clear understanding of its workflow is important as much as planning on the way. And in this article you’ll find some tips for successful start. But first a little surprise from us – a check-list for startup growth in the future.
Of course, there are much more steps which are individual for every startup in the world. But here we’ll be talking about 6 most general and probably most important. We did our best to make you ready for everything you may face as a startupper.
Step 1: The Idea.
Everything in this world starts with the idea and your startup shouldn’t be any different. If your idea is a business idea then you need to have a business approach to it.
Every business has to start from 3 main aspects lying in its core: the problem, the solution, and its relevance.
When you’re looking for your ultimate idea, we advise you to brainstorm every option you have. We even have a really simple method for doing it which you can perform right this instant! It’s easy, it isn’t time-consuming, and you will be surprised by how effective it can be.
So, for choosing the right idea for your startup write down minimum 3 problems that come to your mind. Important: focus only on the problem itself, not on its solution. Make them short and easy to understand, and then you will be able to work with the chosen one.
For example, it can be something like this:
- It’s hard to start a business because you need to raise enough funding for that.
- It’s complicated to work with the business all by yourself because it’s too resource intensive.
- It’s hard to find enough time to rest because work can consume too much time.
Step 2: Segmentation of the target audience.
After you’ve figured out the idea, you may proceed to the second stage – the solution. Let’s take the problems we’ve written above as an example:
- The funding problem can be solved by investment-companies, so it suits you if you’re starting an investive startup;
- “The working on the business by yourself alone” problem can be solved by partners or third-party marketing/technical companies (so if you’re planning on starting a development or marketing company – here you go!);
- “I’m too busy to take a break” problem can be solved by outstaffing/outsourcing companies which can take on a part of businessman’s work.
Do you see the algorithm? Finding the solution for the chosen problems defines the whole vector of your startup growth.
After this stage, you need to determine for whom the solution of your chosen problem will be most important – your target audience.,It will be perfect if the problem you choose must be in top-5 problems of your future clients, this way you can be sure that market has a demand for your business.
So, if you’re starting an outstaff marketing company then your target audience is small companies in need for promoting. If you’re starting with a food-delivery startup then your target audience is people who don’t have time for cooking. Their main problem is the lack of time, so you need to solve this problem by quick delivery. This will be your competitive advantage #1.
Aside of this, any startup needs to be convenient. People won’t buy or use something too complicated or slow. So maybe you should consider building an app or a website for your business which will have intuitive design and high speed of work. This way you’ll be able to attract more customers and scale on the market.
And in case you haven’t figured out your idea and didn’t find the right segment for your startup just yet – we have a list of the most perspective startup industries in 2020 just for you.
Step 3: Business planning.
Now what you need is the qualitative business plan that’ll prevent your startup from failing. It may include:
- Report on the corporate budget;
- Forecasting on the forthcoming sales;
- Reports on every financial losses and incomes;
- Cash flow reports.
Business plan is your startup’s base. We know how complicated it is to create one so we advise you to have a talk with specialists. If you’re working with the development company which has an IT-consulting service you’ll be able to get a consultation about software planning, development, as well as its implementation, maintenance and creation of new versions.
Now let’s proceed to the budget planning. There’s no magical number for each and everyone, and even 42 is not your answer to the Universe anymore (leave it to Douglas Adams). For each startup in every market segment and with different target audience the budget will be unique.
But to start a business without funds is impossible. And this is the exact reason why many startups fail. You can clearly see on the chart below that main reasons for startup failure in 2020 are loss of income due to decrease in sales and issues with current or planned funding.
But even in the most unstable times it is still possible to raise funding. To learn how read here.
Step 4: Intellectual property.
Intellectual property can save your business from copycats and guarantee the security of all your business ideas. It is an important step for further scaling and moving on to the big market which is important to count on even at the very beginning.
For example, you can patent your product or register the copyright on it. The success of any company depends on quality compliance with legal rules, and this will help both to secure your business and protect it from the legal point of view.
An important element for keeping your business secure is also the NDA, which must be signed by every employee working on the project. It must be done both internally and externally. For example, with IT companies or marketing specialists.
Step 5: The client base.
Well, let’s imagine that now you have everything – the idea, the problem, the budget, the security, and even the goods you plan on selling. But you don’t have your first clients yet.
This problem can happen to various startups for 2 reasons: not high enough level of marketing or the absence of the client base. In some cases, building a client base from scratch may be an impossible task, and the quality marketing can save the situation. In other cases, when business is based in a big market segment you may find people who are potentially interested in your services.
But the best way possible is to make your client service and product offering attractive to the customers. Find the feature you can turn into your forte, and promote your startup basing on this competitive advantage.
It can be really beneficial for scaling your business, and here is where you can read more about it.
Step 6: A reliable partner.
You’ll have to count on yourself in many aspects, but not all of them. For example, if your startup needs a technical solution (an application or a website) you can delegate this task to the technical partner.
The most important for your startup is to be:
- unique: repetitive ideas become uninteresting to the customer and they will try to choose the best one;
- flexible: if your websites or apps are slow/outdated, people won’t stay there. The quicker your IT-solutions work the more customers you get;
- reliable and scalable: a trustworthy startup attracts the customers’ attention; and the more customers, the faster you’ll be able to scale.
An IT partner can transform all the clients needs into the unique custom software. This means that your startup’s competitive advantage will be multiplied by quality of technical capabilities. In addition, you will always have a chance to use MVP to test the software effectiveness. And if something needs to be improved, you’ll always have a chance to create new versions or add new features.
If you follow these few steps you’ll be able to build a startup that will become successful sooner or later. Better soon than late, right?
Find something that your target audience needs most and work this way, basing the promotions and main corporate values on the clients needs.
Don’t forget about your own analysis and intuition (and don’t make decisions by the gut feeling), then the luck will be on your side.