So, you think you have a brilliant idea and want to venture. Well, the truth is probably thousands or maybe million others, too, have the same idea that just crossed your mind. And chances are that they have already jumped into it while you are still thinking.
Perhaps, you really have a unique idea that hasn’t been explored or ventured yet, however, the bottom line is without a meticulously thought out plan, your idea is as good as garbage. Therefore, it is important for startup owners as well those wanting to own one to sit down with pen and paper (or maybe a spreadsheet) and outline everything required to get your business up and running.
This article doesn’t provide any sure shot formula to succeed. Instead, this is an overview, industry insight of sorts, delineating the path others have chosen to tread to make it big.
So, let’s begin.
Step One: Define Your Product
To begin with, your idea needs to be brought under the ambit of a product, implying that it should answer three basic questions:
1. What is the problem that you are solving?
2. What is the methodology adopted?
3. What is the value proposition?
Value Proposition: The word value proposition as defined by Michael Skok in a Forbes article is a positioning statement that explains what benefit you provide for who and how you do it uniquely well.
For your idea to be a successful one, it has to serve a unique purpose and must solve a real-life problem.
Step Two: Define the Problem
Before even trying to solve the problem, the first attempt must be to define it.
“A problem well stated is a problem half solved.” – Charles Kettering
In the same Forbes article, Skok had mentioned about 4Us that the problem must answer namely if the problem is unworkable, is unavoidable, is urgent, and is underserved.
After defining the problem, the move should be towards resolving it and that too in an efficient manner.
Step 3: Define Your Target Audience
Perhaps one of the most important steps towards actualizing your dreams, understanding of your customers is a must. If your product does not target the right set of customers, it is going to tank and that too quickly.
For instance, if the founders of Tinder marketed the product to appeal the older people, perhaps it wouldn’t have created the buzz. Similarly, Airbnb founders approaching grocery owners and BigBasket cajoling homeowners wouldn’t have worked either.
Therefore, it is incumbent for startup founders to define the target audience precisely so that the product reaches the right set of people.
Step 4: Define Your Revenue Model
Oftentimes revenue model is confused with the business model and startup founders are lost in that conundrum.
TechTarget defines revenue model as “A revenue model is a component of a company’s business planning that describes the way it intends to make money. The revenue model is an important element of an organization’s business model and business plan.”
On the other hand, the business model encompasses all aspects of the company including the revenue model and also defines how all of them can work together cohesively.
A large number of startups focused more on user acquisition before monetizing their business. Facebook, Quora, et al are prime examples. However, it is important to have a revenue framework in place so that you have a definitive answer to the investor question “how your startup is going to earn money?”.
Step 5: Keep an Eye on Future Trends
If you are one of those who want to build a company and sell it to industry behemoths, perhaps this pointer isn’t meant for you. However, if you are someone with a zeal that want the startup to scale and move forward, it is crucial to monitor the future trends very closely.
The tech world has witnessed the plight of companies that refused to embrace technology. It is important to note that a similar disruption awaits in the future and an enthusiastic startup owner, you must be aware of the trends that are going to play a pivotal role in times to come.
So, here it is, the five key steps to transform your idea into a successful business. However, it must be noted that this is just the tip of the iceberg, there is more learning once you delve into the space that nobody but circumstances can teach you. By optimizing the aforementioned pointers, you perhaps can set the gears in motion and probably can turn your dream into reality.