Every now and then a close friend will come to me and share their startup ideas. We setup a good time to have a Skype conference and go over the specific details of what they are wanting to do, where they are trying to go and most importantly: how they are going to profit.
I see startups in flavors. Each flavor requires a different approach and different execution but each flavor has one common goal: profit. So you already have that “next-gen” idea and are roaring to get started. While the adrenaline and thrill of actually making progress on your dreams is attractive, it is proven that slow and steady wins the startup race. Abide by the following template and I assure you, your endeavors will be successful.
Plan, plan, plan.
All great companies did not arise out of nothing. They were not just imagined and immediately designed or implemented. Each facit was thought out: what am I providing, am I a service or a product, how will I monetize, how will I progress and how will I measure milestones/success.
- What am I Providing? Your first and foremost thoughts should be what am I going to be providing to the public. Is this a new thing? Has it been done before? If so, how will I improve upon/beat my current market’s competitors? To get past this crucial first step create a white-paper for your startup. Limit yourself to one page and include: your vision statement, what you want to achieve; how you are going to achieve your vision statement and how you can improve upon competitors. Now that you know what you’re providing, what are you providing?
- Am I a Service or A Product? This a crucial thing to nail down early. Will you be providing a service such as brand management, social media, etc.? Or will you be selling a product? Deciding this upfront at the forming stages of your startup will play a crucial role in determining what you path the future will take. It is a little easier to brainstorm and determine your monetization after this is decided.
- How Will I Monetize and Progress? This can be the toughest task for a new startup to get through. There are so many possibilities and they are all different depending on what you are offering. Is it a service? Think about generating recurring sources of income: monthly fee’s, tiered fee’s, ad revenue, etc. What if you are a product? Think about future-proofing your profit: sell multiple versions based on price, provide free incremental/charge for exponential updates, etc. Getting in these mindsets will help you generate more ideas and in the end be more profitable.
- How Will I Progress? Keep track of everything! Use services like Wunderlist or a iPhone task management app. Are there multiple members on your team? Think about adding collaboration tracking to your bag of tricks. Services like Mendex and web options inluding Google Apps and MantisBT make tracking progress AND measuring it easier than ever!
How Will I Measure Milestones/Success? Well first of all, make some milestones! Before you even get down and dirty making all those dreams come true, set out to create your milestone list. Taking the time to set strong and realistic milestones will set your startup up for success from the beginning, while keeping your team on track.
Phew… that was a lot!
Startups are wild and dynamic creatures, each has their own path too success and their own goals and challenges. I hope this has helped you and your startup/dreams to grow and be the launchpad for future success. Follow this page for more iterations of Evolve Yourself and as always, leave any comments or suggestions.
I wish your startup and dreams the best of luck!
Evolve Yourself is a periodic self-improvement series aiming to encourage your dreams and ideas. We all have creativity, engage it.