Today, everyone is used to associate the concept of "start-up" with a unique technological idea or a special solution to a global problem. But the essence remains the same - the beginning of a business.
The world is really full of a lot of problems that cannot be solved in a simple way. For example, the life of an airplane passengers. Although it is the safest transport, with a crash, the chance to survive is catastrophically small. In 2015, a solution was developed: the passenger part of the aircraft should be built in the form of a detachable capsule. Unfortunately, the idea is not yet translated into reality.
The simple idea of a Ukrainian scientist could have resulted in a full-fledged start-up, but it was not crowned with success. In this case, the reasons depended little on the developer. Airlines do not yet want to intrude this idea, because you need to build a mass of new aircraft, which will cost a bundle.
Yet it is permissible that he did not put enough effort into implementing his idea and selling the patent for this invention. Then how should you approach the development of start-up from scratch? What elements need to be considered? How did companies like Slack succeed?
The difference between start-up and regular business
First of all, it should be understood that startups develop in a short period of time. This feature is manifested in high scalability and impact on people's lives. For example, Facebook climbed to heights very quickly. After 3 years of existence, Microsoft bought 1.6% of Facebook shares. Thus, the entire company was valued at about $ 15 million.
Someone dares to say that 15 million in 3 years is not so much? But try at a guess to name at least 5 companies established in the early 2000s that gained such growth in 3 years.
Far from an idea and a good team should be key in developing a start-up. The foundation is thirst and confidence in rapid growth. This is what will motivate you in the development process.
Think over the idea
This is one of the first elements that catch investors. As mentioned earlier, today there are much more requirements for start-ups. One of the reasons is high competition. Creation of a completely unique project does not work. But you can approach the solution of a problem in an unusual way.
For example, Delfast, the delivery service on bicycles, is very successful in Ukraine and Poland. It was created in 2014, when almost any company provided its own delivery services. Nevertheless, the company is expanding and soon it plans to open branches in Berlin.
But the most interesting thing is that the creator of the idea from this business has grown another start-up. It produces the same electric bikes. The problem is that the models he tried were not good enough for a delivery service. Some broke down quickly, others were too slow, others were uncomfortable for couriers.
Thus, he patented his own model of electrobikes, which today have the largest cruising range in the world – 380 km on one charge.
There are a lot of bicycles and electric bikes. It would seem that to launch a new company in this area and to achieve success in our time is impossible. But, as you can see, quite unexpectedly, we managed to create a new start-up from scratch and bring it to the world level.
Develop a clear business plan
This element is obvious to many, but I cannot get past it. When the start-up tendency was born, many investors were less demanding on the sources of profit. They understood that this is a “new feature”, which means that the money will come.
Today, start-up requirements have grown both among investors and consumers. Therefore, it is not so easy to get rich quickly and in large quantities. A huge number of users no longer means the success of the project: you must have clear sources of profit.
Many companies have made a mistake, aiming only at attracting users. For example, Twitter has a huge audience, but the first net profit was recorded only in February 2018.
Other companies are narrowing their target audience too much. Because of this, they do not gain great popularity, which ultimately leads to low profitability, and therefore does not attract the attention of investors.
Develop a business model to the smallest detail. It will take you a few steps closer to success.
Come up with a catchy name
The name of the business should be concise and easy to remember. Your product or service will not be recognized and used for quality right away. The “cover” should make the consumer want to try your product. Title is one of the key components of the cover.
Many say that the name at least partially reflects the essence of the project. The same Delfast contains two words “Delivery” and “Fast”, which means “Fast Delivery”. But it's not always the case. For example, Uber (germ. "Above") - an application for ordering a taxi. No name and service connection, but the brand is world famous.
The name of the start-up should be simple and easily associated with the target audience. For example, Slack from colloquial means "sluggish." But it was invented to organize work in some companies. In slang of managers and office workers, "slack" means a period for which you can postpone the execution of the task without special losses.
Work on your start-up name. Perhaps this should involve the relevant specialists. The name is the face of the company. Picking it up wrong can immediately fail.
Make the brand easy to remember
Best of all, our memory works in associative ranks. So, for example, history is easier to learn by associating several key events of a certain period. The colors of the rainbow or the first 11 digits of the number "Pi" can be remembered by mnemonic phrases. All these are associations.
Start-up should also have their own associations. In addition to the name among them are required elements such as:
- main colors;
Create a sketch and get approvalStarting a big project without visual charts of the desired results is a big venture. I did not manage to stumble upon companies that were created on pure improvisation. Every successful businessman will say that drafts and prototypes are almost the first thing to start a start-up with.
It is important to understand that this will allow not only to understand what is worth striving for. A few sketches will make the work process consistent, which will significantly speed up the launch of the project.
Find people you trust and show off your work. Criticizing your own work is very difficult. Sooner or later, your own ideas will end. But even a 10-year-old child can advise to change some trifle, which in the future will lead to greater efficiency.
Listen to sound criticism and get approval. This will add confidence and help to make changes in the development of start-up.
Gather a competent team
I will not say that every employee should be an ace in his business. Often, when selecting a team, leaders forget to check their connections. But this element is no less important for a good employee.
The more useful connections he has, the faster and better he will be able to do his job. Moreover, he will be able to offer interesting ideas for improving the project. Again, an employee with more contact contributes to a more rapid start-up promotion. This is exactly what is needed for instant growth.
Try to solve this puzzle. Answer “E” is incorrect.
"Sell the pen" is already a worn out method. Give another tangled puzzle. In the proposed task, many fall into a stupor after being told that "E" in this case is the wrong answer. If a person does not think in patterns, then after a few seconds he will understand that the answer is “F”, since the lower dash is already set.
Therefore, check your candidates for attentiveness and creativity. Forget about boring interviews. If you offer 5 interesting logic tasks, it will be easier for a potential employee, and you will be able to pick up a more competent team.
No less important element of the start-up. Business must be legal. First of all, there will be no questions for you from state bodies or international organizations. Secondly, the company will generate much more confidence among potential customers.
Many may find it difficult to obtain a license. Of course, it’s not so easy to draw up papers and get permits, because everything must be in accordance with the law. Most beginners hire lawyers to do this.
A legal specialist is needed by your company, but not from the very beginning. Obtain the necessary permits by consulting the secretaries in the relevant authorities. For example, on the website of the US Small Business Administration there is a portal that leads to all federal and state sites for obtaining licenses.
So you can arrange the documentation yourself. The main thing is not to postpone it indefinitely.
Look for investments
Without doubt, you need to have your start-up capital. But the more budget you have, the better the final product will be.
An investor is needed not only for material assistance. This is another way to raise the ratings of your future project. People used to trust authority. That’s why you need to look for well-known investment funds.
A bit trite, but imagine what publicity the fact that Ilon Mask has invested in your project will pick up. Of course, this is unlikely, but the essence is clear to you. The more famous the investor is, the more potential customers will be interested in your future business.
Make a viral advertising
Traditionally, we do not want to share our ideas. Someone fears that they will be stolen, others fear that they will be jinxed. In the case of the start-up this tactic is wrong. Success should not depend on superstition. It depends on the creator. Any fear only shows that you are not sure of the uniqueness of your ideas.
At the time of launch, the start-up should already be aware of it in social networks and forums. Therefore, share information about the upcoming project as often as possible. No one says to reveal the secrets of the developments. But try to get people's attention. Even a few sentences.
For example, ask the question: "Do you want to feel the sounds?". Today it is is already possible. Neuroscientists have developed a vest that responds to sound waves and transmits vibrations to the body. Thus, a person can hear without any implants in the ears. The product has not yet been launched into mass production, but it has been talked about for a long time.
Therefore, talk about your start-up with everyone who appreciates this and tells others. By the way, this is a good way to save money on an advertising campaign.
Work out possible risks
The larger the project, the greater the risks. Error in security, lack of budget, missed deadlines: any of these phenomena will have its negative effect. If you are prepared for this, you will lose less.
First of all, it is worth considering the general risks, such as lack of time. You can learn about them in detail by talking with any businessman. Secondly, think about the problems that may be specifically related to your start-up.
For example, the already mentioned Delfast delivery service suffered from a lack of efficiency of electric cars. This is a unique case, and the only way out was to develop your bike.
Narrowly directed risks are almost impossible to predict. However, it is worthwhile to devote time to it. You will be able to see several options for sure, and therefore you will find a solution to the problem faster.
Outcome: select the main
There is no single way for a successful start-up. I tried to gather the fundamentals. But I don’t have a secret recipe for happiness.
Be prepared for problems. Be patient. Allocate time, because the amount of work to be considerable. Be active and involved in your business. Work with people. Talk about your project. And do not give up your dreams. So you can go through each stage and come to success.