Starting a startup may seem like a difficult thing to do, especially if you take into account startup failure rate (some say 9 of 10 fail, some say 5 of 10). But if you never try, you will never know if you succeed. And before you start you need to prepare yourself with those 9 things.
1. Let your passion get you started
If you decided to start a startup, firstly think about what you like to do. Because chances are you already know a lot about it and it will be easier for you to start rather than starting with something completely new.
2. Analyze the market
Get to know your market, primarily your customers. You need to know what problems they have and how you can help them. Do the research to make sure that your product is needed. And don’t omit your competition. They can give insights on what are their strong and weak sides and what your customers look for in a product. Use the market analysis to improve your product.
3. Partner with the right people
Work with people that give some value. Look for mentors who are more experienced in business and can provide you with knowledge as well as financial support. Don’t invite your friends and family to work for you. You can still seek for their advice and support, but employing them is a bad idea.
4. Stop designing, start doing
A lot of startups postpone their launch and miss the momentum and get outrun by competition. It is because startups are afraid that their product will not be perfect enough so they are improving and adding more features, but in fact nobody expects flawless result from a startup. And your customers don’t need wonderful design and tons of features. They just need a product that works and solves their problem.
5. Keep your job
Most startups begin with little to no outside funds and run purely on personal funds of founder or founders. That is it is important to have a stream of income while you are working on your project. It could take from couple month to couple years until startup will start making money, so consider keeping your daily job if you don’t want to run out of funds very quickly.
6. Don’t worry that much about money
Don’t expect to earn a lot of money at the beginning. First you need to build your brand and awareness about it. You can give your product or provide your service for free for the limited amount of time to gain first customers and gather feedback from them. Giving for free will create value of your startup and interest around your product.
7. Be prepared to fail
Even if you are 100% sure about your startup and your product is as good as it can be, it does not guarantee a success. Failure can be caused by many mistakes and problems. And you need to be prepared. It does not mean that you need to think that you will fail. You just have to ready to answer the “what if” question.
8. Be ready to work hard. I mean VERY hard
Starting a startup means thinking about it every minute of your awake time. Even if you are working full time job. Because if not you, who will? You have to fully commit to your enterprise to make it work.
9. Be involved in a community
Startup community is a great place to exchange ideas and experience. Engaging in a community you can learn from other’s mistakes that can help you succeed.