As you think about starting up a business, there are numerous factors that must be considered in order for you to be successful. Here are 7 tips that will help you get started in the right direction.
- Narrow your focus
- Create an MVP
- Don’t sell on price
- Delegate work
- Make a sale
- Collect your money
- Fail fast
Narrow your focus
It’s often said that you are better off digging a single well that is very deep, rather than digging many shallow wells, to find oil. The same can be said for your startup. You want to focus your approach and build a product that initially appeals to a large group of customers. You don’t want to build many products that only appeal to smaller groups of customers.
Create an MVP
A minimum viable product (MVP) is one that has the fewest bells and whistles, or features, but still appeals to a broad set of customers. For instance, if you are building an App, maybe you just start with the iOS version that works only on an iPhone and then depending on its success make it work with other operating systems, like Android.
Don’t sell on price
Don’t create a me-too product that is only better than competing products because it is cheaper. There is nothing stopping those other products from lowering their price to either meet or beat your price. You need to design a product that offers a tangible benefit over the other products in the market.
You can’t do it all by yourself. Salespeople are usually not good product designers, and vice versa. Find someone, or a small group, to compliment your weaknesses. They don’t all have to be on your payroll, but can be hired as contractors to help you get the job done.
Make a sale
Until you sell something, there is no way to prove you have a good idea or the potential for a viable business. One of the best ways to determine if you have a good product, or at least an idea, is to try crowdfunding. This will help you determine a price point and see whether people are willing to pay for what you are selling. Also, crowdfunding platforms offer plenty of feedback that will give you ideas on how to improve your product in the future.
Collect your money
In some instances, people may offer to pay you later after they’ve had a chance to test out your product or service. At a minimum, you should have a way to collect a down-payment if you can’t get it all up front. Don’t be seduced into doing work for free.
If you decide to act on your business idea, you want to find out as quickly as possible whether it’s going to be successful or not. Since the failure rate of new businesses is very high, it’s more than likely you are going to fail (initially anyway). If you spend a lot of time before you ultimately fail, then that’s time that could have been used more productively on other endeavors.