Let’s suppose you have an idea and you believe it is the next big thing. You want to go ahead and start working and building on it, but you have no clue how to go about it. You want to avoid common mistakes. The process is nowhere near easy, but we’re here to help make it a bit easier for you. At the end of this article, you’ll be familiar with how to start a startup.
Coming up with the idea
(Identifying a gap or need)
Don’t start a startup for the sake of starting a startup. Instead of thinking about ideas, identify a gap or need in the market, and come up with a creative way to solve it. That will be your startup idea.
Validate Your Solution
Once you have an idea, the first thing you need to do is validate it. How practical and viable is your solution? You need to ask yourself if people will be willing to pay for it. Will they but it? Will you buy it if you were a customer yourself? Research and take feedback. Ideas are great, but they also need to be profitable. You need to generate revenue and make the venture profitable. You can choose to opt for monetizing later strategies like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat. Yet, your goal will be to make the business sustainable, stable, and profitable.
Creating your team
You could have a brilliant idea and all the resources yet still fail if you don’t have the right team at your disposal. When you’re starting out you need people that share your ambition and get your vision. They should understand the dynamics of the startup. Moreover, the team should come together as a whole. You don’t need 4 people that share the same skill. You need to have a diverse skill set. Remember, investors are more interested in the team. They bet their money on you, not on your idea. In short, start a startup with the right team.
See: Building a Great Startup Team
Getting initial capital
When you’re laying the foundations of your startup it is important to be careful with capital. Avoid making mistakes that may hurt your startup down the line. Like all startups and businesses, your idea will need capital to get up and running as well. What’s important to note here is that you should avoid investment as much as possible. Also, you should bootstrap, put in your own savings, ask friends and family who believe in your idea to help. You can even start a crowdfunding campaign online or join an incubator/accelerator.
You’ll only be wasting your time if you try finding investment as such an early stage. Numbers convince investors. They look for traction and revenue which you won’t have at an early stage. Also, giving equity at an early stage is a bad idea. As you grow, you’ll need further rounds of funding and you need to be able to keep the majority stake to yourself.
See: Startup Funding
Next, you would want to start working on your corporate identity. This refers to the look and feel of your brand. Sit down with your team and bounce off ideas. Brainstorm with your designer and the team. Your corporate identity includes your logo, business cards, color schemes, and other images. This facilitates potential customers in envisioning your product or service.
See: How to design a logo
Getting your startup incorporated/registered is very important. That can be daunting for first-time founders. However, if you want to issue stocks in the future or raise capital from investors, incorporation is necessary. Incorporation rules and regulations vary from country to country. What you should do is consult a professional (lawyer) and avoid taking shortcuts in this aspect.
Once you’re done with all of the above, it’s time to put your idea together. Have your business plan, financial documents, and pitch deck ready. You don’t want to look stupid in an investor meeting.
Know your startup in and out, and remember, confidence is the key. We hope this guide helped you understand the basics of how to start a startup. Follow these steps before you start developing and growing.
Also see: Startup FAQ
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