Preliminary assessment, business plan and the team. We’ve come up with 3 tested solutions for the key stages of a start-up. Such a business is like a circular travel, elliptical at some point. To find real advice you must ask yourself what these things might mean: failure, trial run, risk, fundraising, competition and target market.
1.”Where No Man Has Gone Before”, or market research.
Do you want to build your own satellite or fly a drone without the human element? Start meeting your future clients in the most unusual places. The key point of your business plan, the one catching investors’ attention, is a thorough market and competition research. They need to be sure that your vision is scalable.
- Many startups fail because they do not achieve product-market fit.
Get out of your lab and go to environmental protests and campaigns, attend painting and piano workshops, go skiing. You’ll discover that Generation Y is driven by the need to express themselves. They want methods and mechanisms to support their desire to impact the society, to help others.
- Learn the difference between price and value.
Be a path breaker and make the offer your competition didn’t: the means for early-adopters to get focused on their real purpose.They are willing to pay for the right tool that will simplify their job centred on meaningful work.
2. Raising money: relatives and friends, venture capital, crowdfunding, angel investors.
- Have you created a prototype of your product? A visual sketch to show how the services provided work?
- Did you make noise about it: Facebook, Twitter, emails, blogs, TV, celebrity endorsement, events? How do you test the popularity of your product among people? Do you have a database of early-adopters?
- Is your prototype functional (at least partially)? That’s what investors want to see before rejecting or not your pitch and project. They’ll help with marketing and product development if there’s a glimpse of scalability.
- Keep it simple, make it real: business plus marketing plan, executive summary, ways of monetizing the product, info on target market and competition.
- Be bold, but don’t brag. Learn to welcome both positive and negative feedback: listen carefully, ask questions, try to understand. Don’t hide behind jargon, avoiding clear answers: (‘’ To put this in other words…’’).
- These people are experienced: if you’re really good, they’ll notice and make the best out of the business.
4. Marketing and advertising. Brand awareness
According to the study conducted by EY and Impact Hub in 2016, young entrepreneurs running a startup, focused their resources on: advertising (32%), sales and distribution (28%).
- Romanians’ knowledge in management, marketing and sales is weak. There’s a need for old institutions to be reformed in order to cultivate a proper entrepreneurial society.
- Make sure that the teammate dealing with product definition and promotion is a competent marketer. He/she should know that a successful startup is the one effectively reaching target customers in a timely manner. The right message is a must, as well as using cost-effective solutions
5.Fear of failure.
Failures, aren’t failures. Early failure is an opportunity to learn and focus on real success.
- In Silicon Valley, investors are eager to fundraise those who’ve failed a couple of times. They tried firsthand all the ups and downs. Their resiliency shows that it is impossible not to have learned how to fix what was not working.
- Don’t let a mental blockage to ruin your travel. You’re in to win it. Keep going!
I do not know to what extent, and how quickly you’ll implement these real, unconventional tips. But as long as you’re asking the right questions, and keep looking for tailored answers, your targeted search will become a journey. The next point of interest in your Odyssey, could be a hub dedicated to startups. You’ll have the real deal: interactive experience and practical approach to turn these tips into real money.