7 Key Aspects of a Successful Startup
Have a brilliant idea? Looking to build the next big startup that gets sold for millions? Before you get ahead of yourself, you need to sit down and do some homework. Any startup, irrespective of industry, needs these key 7 points necessary to build its foundation. Your customers and users will demand it. Your investors will ask it. The markets will scrutinize it. Write down on eight pieces of paper exactly what your startup will do with each point. Take a weekend and make it work for you – it’ll pay off.
1. Value Proposition: What are you providing that is of value? Be honest. Does the product or service have specific features or unique qualities that differentiate it in the market and from competitors? Determine the size of the market opportunity and address the problem or void your product/service is looking to address or solve. Then, determine how to best execute that product/service in its most basic way to gain feedback from users.
2. Revenue Sources: Your startup does plan on making money, right? Yes, there’s Instagram that pulled off a $1B acquisition by Facebook with $0 in revenues (less now thanks to Facebook’s IPO nosedive, but who’s counting pennies in the gram scheme of things). But unless the gods of timing and luck fall on you in an extraordinary way, you should prudently prepare for some cash flow. Identify key revenue sources that will generate, in time, profits. Prioritize them in terms of size and timing within your startup lifecycle.
3. Cost Structure: If your costs are too high, or exceed your revenues, you’re losing money. While this is normal for startups in the first few years of its life, after a point people will begin to wonder. This is not only bad business, but will potentially signal the demise of your beloved vision. Chart out your fixed and variable costs necessary to your business operations and growth.
4. Key Initiatives. What does your startup need to do to succeed? This may be industry-specific, so do your research. But also think outside the box.
5. Customers. Who are they?What do you believe they want or need which can be met by creating demand? How does your product/service fulfill that?Steve Jobs once said that customers don’t know what they want. He’s right. Reveal the void, create the demand.
6. Channels: How will you distribute your product/service to generate sales. This may be industry-specific, but don’t limit yourself – perhaps you’re creating new ways of distribution that helps bypass established channels. Disruption is the word on the street my friend.
7. Key Resources and Partners: Identify any critical suppliers, vendors and stakeholders who will be essential to the operations and success of your startup.
Remember why you’re doing this. Make sure it’s a reason that motivates you. Now go and plant the seeds of your startup.
Sardar Law Firm LLC
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