Building a startup can be one of the most challenging and rewarding journeys an entrepreneur will take in their professional life. Yet, this is also a decision that has the potential to make or break both the entrepreneur and the business, if treaded without enough information and preparation.
Having a business idea that is solving a common problem is a good start. However, just having a great idea of a solution itself will not make a successful startup. The journey of a startup takes several steps from start to end, that will help the business become an overall success. In this post, we are going to explore the common stages of taking a startup from an idea through the many stages of a startup, that can help it reach success.
Every startup begins with an idea. The quality of this idea and the possibility of this idea being converted into a business depends on how much acceptance and validation this idea gets from others. This is why it is very important for entrepreneurs, first-time or seasoned, to discuss their idea with others, to allow them to be validated and at times fine-tuned. It is also an opportunity to see if people are really having such a problem and are willing to pay for the solution you wish to offer.
Once you’ve got an idea that you have validated among your nearest and dearest, and after ascertaining if there is a viable product/solution here, then it is time to get things going. This stage will require you to build a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) and build a startup company. What’s crucial at this stage is the kind of business model that you apply.
Whether you as an entrepreneur have done your reading on business models for startups or not, whatever model you apply to your startup will be the business model it will adhere to, hence ensuring it is a model that can bring you success is important. How do you find this out?
You can do research. There are many resources and platforms that provide you necessary knowledge about the right business models for your business.
In order to find that right fit, you must ask the following questions;
Who is my customer?
Where is my customer based?
How can I reach my customer? Is it through another business (B2B) or can I directly approach them (B2C)?
Is my customer someone who is mainly online? Do I need to reach my customer through physical presence or online?
Which part of the world is my customer located?
What is the size of the market?
Is my product or service a complimentary one or the main product?
Is it a service that my customers will be more interested in paying a subscription?
How will the business make money/ revenue stream?
These are some of the questions, you as an entrepreneur should be asking yourself before deciding on the right business model. The Lean Canvas Model is a good place to start, which will give a good idea about considering the value you should bring the customer with your product or service and what resources, tools etc. you have to provide this product or service. Reading more up on this and doing the work necessary that will help formulate the right model, is important for a successful rollout.
Apart from asking yourself the above questions in terms of business set-up and segmenting the customer profile and market, as an entrepreneur, you must also think about reaching the market. The different channels and methods to use in reaching your potential customer. This is generally referred to as marketing.
All these components are necessary for a business to become successful. Therefore, it is important for entrepreneurs to spend a good amount of time learning and considering these aspects of the business and coming up with the business model that is the right fit for your startup, which will surely make the journey to success much easier.