Ever had a lightbulb moment for a new business? It can happen anywhere, any time – while you’re at work, out for a run or in the shower. Taking your idea and turning it into something tangible can be an exciting prospect. There are probably lots of questions flying around in your head: Is my idea good enough? Will I be able to do it in my free time? Do I eventually want to work for myself? Has someone done it before etc., etc.? While you might feel like dropping everything and going for it.
Here are 6 tips that will help entrepreneurs take their startup to the next level:
1. Find out if your idea is unique
Think you’ve come up with something no one else has? Make sure you do some research to find out if you’re correct. If your idea is for a new product, you can search for patented inventions to see whether that is actually the case. Some simple desk research (Google is your friend) will also help shed some light on whether someone else has been there and done it. If you find they have – don’t be put off. Do some competitor analysis and see if you can do it better or with a different approach. Maybe a similar business exists in another country but you need the service locally. Keep note of what your competition do well and what could be improved – and voilà you’ve identified a gap for something new!
2. Do some market research
So you’ve identified something no one has done before but will anyone buy into it? It’s important that your product or service meets an identified demand or solves a problem for people. Thorough market research gives new businesses like yours the ability to make informed decisions about the way you position your products and services to consumers. A simple way to start this is by doing some desk research at the British Library.
3. Start with a well-constructed plan
Planning and strategy are key when it comes to building a startup. Having a well-constructed plan in mind before getting started can save entrepreneurs both time and money.
Before turning an idea into a product, it’s important to consider these three key elements:
- Your product’s key value proposition
- How your product will test against the marketplace
- How to build and define a roadmap for the future.
4. Know if your product is “nice-to-have” or a “must-have”
It’s common for startup founders to love their idea, but how do they know if their users will? Talking to potential customers is the only way to determine how a product will perform in the marketplace.
Entrepreneurs should define their target market and ideal users by speaking to customers, getting feedback and thinking of ways to develop a product with those users in mind. This allows startup founders to narrow their target market and fully understand their user base before building their product, a factor that can lead to a successful product launch.
5. Understand the critical features of your product early on
It’s typical for startup founders to get stuck on an idea and build it out until it’s perfect. This can be a time consuming and costly process though.
Before getting started, it’s best to understand your true Minimum Viable Product (“MVP”) to pinpoint your product’s most critical features. Building a product with your user’s needs in mind will help reduce costs by allowing entrepreneurs to make informed decisions about launching, marketing and communicating their product to the public.
6. Learn to identify problem areas in your concept and model
Being able to identify problem areas in your concept and model early on will also help founders make better-informed decisions as they move forward. For instance, rejection from investors and venture capitalists is common in the startup world. However, entrepreneurs must adopt the mindset that they can learn from their mistakes.
Listening to feedback from investors whom initially reject your ideas can help you bounce back next time. Fixing your product based on investor and user feedback is a best practice when it comes to building a successful startup.
7. Get users to love your idea and use your product
A recent survey noted that the average app loses 77 percent of its daily active users (DAUs) in the first three days. Within 30 days, the average app loses 90 percent of its DAUs.
Understanding these 5 elements will help ensure retention of your DAUs:
- How do users find you?
- Do users have a great first experience?
- Do users come back?
- How do you generate income?
- Do users tell others about your product?
8. Know Before You Go
Having a great idea, a domain name and a mobile app that you love might seem like the best way to get your startup up and running. However, having a set plan in mind will help ensure that your product is successful.
The thought of starting a business on your own can be daunting. Don’t be afraid to ask for guidance along the way. Running a business is hard work so make sure it’s something you’re passionate about and then the enjoyment of running your own business will never waver, even when times get tough.