April 16, 2024

There are many reasons to start a startup, but it’s not easy.  These five things will help you better prepare for what lies ahead.

Know your market, have a plan, and know the competition

How to know your market: 

  • Find out what your customers want 
  • Research competitors to find out who has the market share and how you can better serve them. 

What does not exist in this space? Who is underserved by the current players? Find that niche! 

How to know your plan: 

Determine a start date for when you would like to launch, then work backward with milestones based on research findings from the above points or other sources of information (i.e., if A needs B, C and D needs E) until all necessary components are determined. 

This will help determine where you stand in relation to the competition as well as give yourself time to make adjustments along the way. 

If one component cannot be completed within these timelines, you may need to reconsider the entire business model.

Get mentors

Get some mentors or advisors who have done this before or know more than you do on certain topics such as finance, law, etc.: get some mentors or advisors who have done this before or know more than you do on certain topics such as finance, law, etc.

Understand where you are in life to decide on risk tolerance

You should understand where you are in life to decide on risk tolerance because the level of how much risk someone can handle is correlated with the time they have left in their career, and what stage they’re at.

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Establish relationships with investors early 

Here is why;

  • They want to know you care about their money before they invest in your business. 
  • You’ll have more time to plan and prepare for fundraising because investors will be easier to contact once you’ve established a relationship with them first, instead of trying cold pitching or emailing them out of the blue.

Or be willing to raise money without them. 

Be realistic about what success means for your company given its size 

You don’t need $100 million to consider something successful––just be clear about where enough is good enough for you right now. 

If raising money early isn’t an option then come up with alternative ways to get validation for your idea, or make it easier to raise money down the line.

Don’t start from scratch

Instead, hire good people who can advise you along the way.

Additionally, leverage tools.

If you’re looking for ways to save time, then the answer is not trying to start from scratch. 

If you don’t believe me that taking shortcuts will get your startup up and running faster than doing it yourself, let’s take a look at some of the tools used by the pros to get work done faster:

  • ProductHunt – Use this as an indication of what people might be interested in through their feedback on products. 
  • HipChat – Essential when you have remote team members who need help with projects or questions about how things should be done. It ensures that everyone has instant access and can collaborate without any fuss! 
  • WordPress templates – You’ll expect these but they are so crucial because all web development really starts with a template that needs to be customized. A lot of these are free or dirt cheap so don’t fall for costly design firms who will charge you an arm and a leg!
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Know when it’s time to quit – everything can’t go well all the time

Knowing when something isn’t working will save you money and energy in the long run. Here are some signs that show it’s time to stop doing what you’re currently involved with.

Network! Network! Network!

The other thing that I highly recommend is not being afraid to network at events and meetups(including online).

It doesn’t matter what kind of event it is as long as there are people who work in startups, they’re all potential networking contacts. 

And even if you can’t find any connections from those occasions when it’s still better than staying at home on weekends when most entrepreneurs attend meetings and events!

BONUS: Once again, these points are not necessary for every type of startup but they will help you set yourself up for more successful outcomes than just diving into things blind. 

You want something sustainable that will grow rather than an idea that fizzles out after three months because it was never viable in the first place.

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