Starting a startup can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also be incredibly challenging. As a founder, you’ll need to wear many hats and make a lot of important decisions along the way. To help set you up for success, here are 10 things you should consider before starting your startup.
- Your Idea – Before you start a startup, it’s essential to have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish. This idea should be specific, measurable, and achievable. It should also align with your personal values and goals. Your idea is not a startup without a team that executes. You’ve got to GSD (get stuff done).
- Your Market – Before launching a startup, it’s crucial to understand your target market. This includes identifying potential customers, understanding their needs and pain points, and determining how your product or service can meet those needs. This means conducting customer discovery research, talking to potential customers, verifying customer market fit, and determining the initial beachhead market.
- Your Competition – It’s important to be aware of your competition, both direct and indirect. Understand what they’re doing well and what they’re not doing well. This will help you to identify opportunities and make your startup stand out. There are no products that have no competitors. Your idea may be a new way of performing a task, but you must realize that that task is being accomplished without your innovation. The wheel was a great innovation, but before the wheel, humans had ways of transporting goods and services across land.
- Your Business Model – A business model is a blueprint for how your startup will generate revenue. It’s essential to have a clear understanding of your business model and how it will work. You must have a model for your Unit Economics, including Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), Life Time Value of a Customer (LTV), and Cost of Goods (COG).
- Your Financials – Starting a startup requires money, and it’s crucial to have a solid financial plan in place. This includes understanding your startup costs, how you will generate revenue, and how you will manage your expenses. What are your 5-year revenue and expense projections?
- Your Team – A startup is only as good as its team. As a founder, it’s essential to have the right people in place, with the right skills and experience to help you achieve your goals.
- Your Legal Structure – Before starting a startup, it’s crucial to understand the legal structure of your business. This includes registering your business, getting the necessary licenses and permits, and understanding your legal responsibilities.
- Your Brand – Your brand is the face of your startup, and it’s essential to have a strong brand that resonates with your target market. This includes your name, logo, and messaging.
- Your Marketing – To be successful, your startup needs to be able to reach and engage with your target market. This includes developing a marketing strategy that aligns with your business goals and budget.
- Your Mentors – Starting a startup can be a lonely journey, and it’s crucial to have a support system in place. This includes finding mentors who have experience in your industry and can provide guidance and support along the way.
Starting a startup is a big decision, and it’s essential to consider these factors before taking the leap. By taking the time to plan and prepare, you can set yourself up for success and increase your chances of building a successful startup.
…and as a bonus, here’s a great #11 tip from successful entrepreneur Andy Atkins.
11. Sell, Sell, Sell – The ABCs of business, Always Be Closing, Always Be Calling. If you’re not selling, you’re either in a non-profit or an unintentional non-profit.