Almost all of us have felt as though we have a million dollar idea on our hands at some point or another. While some of us might be right and some of us might be (unfortunately) wrong, pursuing that idea and making the most of it seems like a pretty tall task. However, with the right approach, having a startup doesn’t necessarily have to be reserved for those that are serial entrepreneurs. In fact, with the proper insights, it’s much simpler than you might imagine. Here’s how:
Know There’s A Market
While a lot of people come up with startup ideas, very seldom do they take them to the level where they could become a viable product. A contributing reason to this is because they lack the resources to garner VC funds, but even more, it’s because there wasn’t a demand. In fact, as noted by CB Insights, 42 percent of startups fail due to a lack of a market need, which is pretty significant when considering the sheer number of startups that get funding. However, if you’re not only looking for funding but knowing that you’ll get it, then proving your market need is crucial.
To begin, take a look at your business idea and start diving into where your market is and how you’ll meet them there. Make a note of things like the time frame it will take to start acquiring customers, including the overall value they bring to your business versus expenditures. Another piece to note in determining market need is figuring out when people will begin to adapt to this and why. Which, while this is a lot of questions, it’ll also help you determine a solid plan as soon as possible.
Although I’ll note that finding a market need doesn’t necessarily have to be a complicated task, it doesn’t need to be something that you can prove to others. Take your time in carving out a message that will truly resonate with a wide audience, as this is one foundational element for your startup that will be crucial. Remember, your market is who you’ll sell to, so make it worth the effort you put into discovering and going after them to ensure success.
Get Your Foundational Elements In Place
Once you’ve established your market, the next step in establishing your startup is getting your foundational elements in place. In short, these are all of the aspects that make your business truly a business; from your logo to LLC to even your physical business plan. Although these aren’t always the most fun items to come up with, they’re also some that require a good amount of planning, so you should stay prepared.
In planning out your foundational elements, make a plan for the individual items you’re going to need, no matter how big or small. Furthermore, it might not be a bad idea to try to compile the pricing you’re going to face for each item. For example, according to Deluxe, the average logo cost between $400 to $500; while that might be a significant amount, with the right designer isn’t bad at all. Another thing to note is how you’re going to protect these investments, which involves using people like lawyer Aaron Kelly to lock down contracts. Although this might be time-consuming, solid contracts save you quite a bit in the long run, which is one of the biggest principles of working at a startup.
Learn How To Bootstrap
Finally, as startup life is a lot about bootstrapping, this is one aspect you’re going to have to make your second language to survive. If you’re not familiar, bootstrapping is essentially where your mentality is all about stretching out your runway, no matter how big or small. While this might sound scary, it’s much more intuitive than you might imagine if you know what to watch. The best part is that you don’t even have to sacrifice your lifestyle to get there.
In looking at the launch plan for your startup, ask yourself what elements are going to be the most necessary to saving money. For example, as noted by Small Business Trends, 69 percent of entrepreneurs start their business at home, which makes sense considering that home offices reduce your overhead significantly. Look through and see what parts of your lifestyle you can consolidate like this, as it will give you the best chance of saving money while you’re looking for funding long-term.
What are you most excited about in launching your first startup? Comment with your answers below!