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7 Thoughts for Start Ups
The greatest commodity of a start-up is money, so don’t throw it down the crapper. Entrepreneurs can think of a thousand things on which to spend money, but here are seven things to remember before you invest in anything other than the idea.
I. Make sure your idea has something that you have deep passion.
a. It may be something new and improved, or something that doesn’t exist, however, this idea must keep you up at night.
II. Perform sufficient research to identify the niche you intend to fill.
a. Is there sufficient need?
b. What about competitors?
c. Is there a space you can fill at a price point that will meet a need, or satisfy a gap in the marketplace?
III. Get your product or service off the drawing board and into the market as quickly as possible.
a. Don’t concern yourself with being perfect. The important thing is to get into the mix.
IV. The business plan is a luxury for a later date. Don’t worry about it now.
V. Target a very small portion of the niche you intend to exploit and seek feedback early and often.
a. This feedback will help ensure that your early guesses were right or wrong about any gap in the marketplace, price points, modifications the customers recommend.
b. Reach a level of clarity with your targeted audience increasing demand.
VI. Attack your idea with the feedback you receive, and test, test, test until the proper price point matches demand.
a. This will allow for continuous improvement and a platform to seek additional support and potential investors.
b. If, upon testing the product or service does not increase demand, or worse yet, cannot fill a need at an affordable price, you may have to rethink or shelf the concept all together.
VII. Take the product or service to market launch as quickly as possible thereafter. Further iterations of it can come as you increase demand and quality improves.
Once the product or service is actively working in the market, you can begin to focus on a formal business plan, at least a good executive summary to start. Remember, potential investors want to know “what’s in it for me,” so tailor your summary in such a way as to show how their investment may grow as levels of investment come in. For instance, at the very early stage, shares may be worth one dollar (or whatever amount you decide on), but once the next round of funding is requested, that level of shares may be worth two or three dollars. That means that early investors have the greatest amount of potential gain.
Timing is everything, and not every idea is a sound one. Utilizing resources wisely, racing to launch and improving the product or service as you go will define your success or failure. After all, like everything else in life; it’s risk versus return.
Good and Happy Marketing!