Launching a startup, whether it’s your very first business endeavour or your second, is always a daunting task. Startup founders always strive to be successful, but what are some of the key things to focus on? In this article we will delve into the 3 tips you can use to make your next startup story a success!
Tip #1: Define a Business Model
A business model, which includes a value proposition and revenue model, is essential for defining what you intend to sell and how. It also helps to sort out who your ideal customer is. At LightSea, we very much believe in applying the Lean Startup Methodology and figuring out what works as you go. In the end,it’s about achieving some degree to Product-Market Fit and scaling the model further. So identifying the model and defining an MVP to work on should probably be one of your first priorities. Forget writing out a full-fledged business plan, figuring out how you’re going to deliver your product/service to your end-customers is a far better use of your time at the early-stages. Unless you’re writing out a plan for financing purposes (funding, grants etc), focus your time to defining a workable business model to build and test out.
Tip #2: Put a Marketing Plan Together
In the quest of testing your startup idea and achieving Product-Market Fit, defining how you’re going to market your business becomes essential. Putting a marketing plan together that outlines the channels you will be using (social, mobile etc.), the type of marketing (organic, paid), the tools and costs is important for testing things out successfully. As our partner VC tends to define it: “knowing what you’re going to sell and how to sell it ultimately makes the difference between the two lemon stands“.
It’s important to define a plan that is flexible and allows for tests to be conducting (i.e. a/b testing for campaigns). Doing so allows you and your team to try out different ideas and approaches instead of having to stay stuck to one idea. The tools you use are also of importance nowadays. It’s no longer about the costs per se but the functionality and capabilities.
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Tip #3: Build a Team
Putting a team together will probably be one of the most important things you’ll need to do. Whether you’re doing so from day 1 or after x amount of months down the line, hiring/partnering with the right people to work on your dream startup is key for making the it a success. Planning is great but execution is everything in the highly competitive market of today. Many startups fail, not only because the idea was bad or due to a lack of funding, but also because the idea was executed poorly. A competitor at the other end of the city might do better in executing the same idea (or a version hereof) and achieve true success. This is often relates to the quality of your team. How long have you worked with each other, your backgrounds, experience, network, skills – all of these play a major role in executing your startup idea.
There’s many ways to find talent to hire. Whether you’re looking to partner with a co-founder or hire your very first marketing manager, identify the skills and experience you believe you are missing. Putting a job ad online is what you’d probably do next but a first connection at a startup event can also be a great way to set things off.
Building a startup is difficult but it doesn’t have to become a headache. A startup is inherently a very different kind of business, involving newness and innovation. This often means delving into the unknown, which is different from starting a business which is common and known. For example, there’s huge difference between starting an established business and a new SaaS startup that’s selling a novel tool that uses AI. Not only is it a new brand and business model, but there’s huge risks associated with the technology involved and the market adoption thereof. If you’re looking to launch your very own startup, feel free to get in touch with us to help put your marketing plan together!