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Launching a startup business is often as exciting as it is challenging. There are plenty of things to consider and prepare before you officially launch, and knowing where to start is half the battle. Fortunately, you’ll find everything you need to know right here. We’ve covered the 6 things you need to make it easier to launch your startup.
1. A Clear Idea Of The Problem You Want To Solve
Businesses are most successful when they fulfill a specific need or provide a service that solves a customer’s pain point. Identifying the problem your business will solve helps you define your value proposition and your target market. Online tools like Google Trends and Quora are excellent for gathering data and highlighting the most pressing problems.
Google Trends provides you with statistics on popular search queries in Google across different regions and languages. It can reveal patterns about specific trends and behaviors and give you insights into what people really want to know about your problem.
Quora is a large discussion platform where users ask and give answers on a wealth of topics. It's great for confirming the most pressing questions and how people respond to the feedback they receive. You'll also find experts and influencers who give advice and updates that provide insight into your problem.
2. Potential Customer’s Opinions & Input
If you discover an opportunity and believe it’s the break you’ve been waiting for, don’t skip your research. It will ensure that you validate your idea and that there’s a demand for the solution that you want to provide.
Make use of free online survey tools that can give you direct feedback, like SurveyMonkey, or crowdsource opinions on social media. This will give you a clear idea of how receptive people are to your offering and how much of a demand there is. The more customer data you can gather, the better, as knowledge is power.
3. A Prototype To Showcase & Test
Minimum Viable Products (MVP) has you producing an actual product with an automated appearance but is entirely manual. You can offer it to customers and gain valuable feedback depending on their reaction. Seeing how they react is more reliable than hearing what they have to say.
Knowing well beforehand whether your product is appealing to customers or not can change the course of your startup substantially. You can make changes to the way the product functions, how you present it, or your target market.
If you believe an app is the best way to present your product, online tools like Webflow or Bubble don’t require any experience with coding. Sketch and Figma are great options if you need to design a user interface.
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4. An Appropriate Business Structure
You’ve got the idea, you’ve done your customer research, you’ve created a prototype and addressed any issues along the way. Now, you need to formalize your business structure.
Your business structure often determines how you or those on the outside view your business. It's essential that you select one that suits your needs and preferences while also aligning with your goals, values, and how you would like to grow your startup.
It also plays a vital role in how you raise funds, pay taxes, and handle liabilities. You can structure your startup by making it into a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation.
- A sole proprietorship belongs to a single individual. There’s no legal difference between the business and the owner, so the owner’s private possessions are at risk if they owe a debt. However, you also get all the profit and can optimize your tax returns to ensure you always get the maximum refund.
- A partnership structure shares similarities with a sole proprietorship, except that it involves two or more participants instead of a single person. You’ll share the profit, liability, and management of the startup with your partner.
- A corporation is independent of the owners, which reduces owners’ liability risk. It’s also separate from its shareholders, so you are not in any way linked to the legal issues or debts of the business. Your assets are safe from any liability, too.
5. Solid Industry Relationships
Ambition and perseverance are reliable qualities to help you attain success, but they have their limitations, too. There is strength and stability in numbers, and growth opportunities tend to multiply.
If you make time to forge a strong foundation of relationships with partners who can stand in the gap when you fall short, your startup will be off to a great start.
Here how’s your startup will benefit:
- New Business – Networking helps you reach consumers, investors, clients, and partners that were otherwise previously inaccessible. When those connections refer you to other people, your startup gains credibility and trustworthiness. Data from 2023 Referral Marketing Statistics show that customers are 69% more likely to try a product when they get a referral from someone they trust.
- Gain New Skills – You receive valuable insights, feedback, and advice from people who have years of expertise in the industry.
- Access To Resources – New relationships often mean access to valuable resources like funding, collaborations, training, and media exposure.
- Build Your Brand – When your passion, knowledge, and skills are on display, you will likely impress someone and attract those with the same vision and goals.
6. A Sense of Agility & Flexibility
Every startup will have to navigate its way over or around certain obstacles. Embracing agility and being flexible in your decision-making will help you to adapt when the market conditions suddenly shift.
Consider the recent changes post-2020. In the past few years, huge numbers of workers have gone remote or opted for a hybrid working model, and SaaS sales skyrocketed. The demand for online and ecommerce services has also ballooned, and many businesses have had to pivot to meet demand or simply stay afloat. The ability to adopt an agile methodology and a degree of flexibility in your operations will benefit you greatly, now and in the future.
From Startup To Success
When you identify the need you want to fulfil and put in the research, you’ll start building the foundation of your startup.
As you place your building blocks, strengthening relationships and partnerships becomes more important. With a reliable business structure, you’ll be ready to launch your startup!