So you have an idea for a product or service that you hope will revolutionize an industry or a market sector, but you are struggling to find a single avenue to build it into a company that will eventually net you profits. You have googled your next steps, but nothing seems to be cohesive enough to actually put into practice, and you are understandably daunted by the sheer amount of tips that seem to exist for how to create the perfect startup. This article will hopefully point you in the right direction.
The first steps to creating any successful startup are as follows:
- Create a product or business model: the first step to any successful startup is creating something new, something unique. Create something that has not been done before, and do it in a way that enables you to market yourself in a niche that is currently unfilled. Or, identify a market that is currently not being filled well that you believe you can compete in, and actually come up with a plan to insert yourself into that market.
- Refine it: No first model or product will be foolproof, so you may find yourself having to reset, refine, and change your original idea more than once. There is a huge gap between having a good idea and having a great startup. In fact, more than seventy percent of new businesses fail within the first ten years.
- Find a geographical location: Unless your business will exist entirely on the web, it is important to choose a location that will contribute positively to your business model. And this does not just mean sales, it can also mean resources. If you are creating a startup, your last priority is actually making money. You should instead be focusing on networking, gaining expertise, and gathering as many resources as possible. So, for example, if you are in the Southern California area, a resource like an LA venture firm might be an excellent idea for you to look into as a source of networking, collaboration, and initial capital.
- Secure your funding: regardless of the direction your startup is headed, chances are that you are likely to need some kind of outside funding and you will not be able to bootstrap the entire operation. While personal savings or credit may be a great initial jumpstart, those will likely not last very long, so be willing to explore alternatives such as crowdsourced funding, funding from friends and family, venture capital, angel investors, or even banks willing to purchase stake in your company. However, when you are starting out, having capital that also comes with expertise is invaluable, so look for venture capital or startup capital that will also have professional advice included as part of the process.
- Surround yourself with the right people: this goes back to the collaborative advice given earlier. Not only do you want to create a team yourself that allows you to grow the fastest with the most accurate direction, you want outside influence that will allow the same. Look for collaborative workspaces, think tanks, or investment opportunities that also provide some level of experienced counsel as well.
At the end of the day, the ball is entirely within your court. Creating a startup will succeed or fail depending on how much work you are willing to put into it and how educated you are in the area that you are trying to break into. Be humble, be willing to take criticism, and be willing to make changes that you otherwise would not be likely to make if you were on your own. Best of luck!