Startups are already changing the world. While there are as many different paths as there are success stories, time and again it has been small and highly effective teams that were able to come up with great ideas and develop them into game-changing products or services. Of course, there are also countless failures that you don't often hear about too. According to a recent CB Insights
What can you do to make sure that your startup ends up on the winning side of the equation?One of the most important things to do is to keep in constant touch with the market you're targeting to ensure the product or service you’re creating will be a "right fit". Too often, entrepreneurs have a Field of Dreams "Build it and they will come" mentality that fails to address a real market need. Be sure to remain vigilant of current trends and be prepared to react quickly and smartly by adjusting your plan to the ever-changing market environment.
One useful tool that will enable you to react in time is to maintain a check-list that you can refer to during planning and development. Although your answers may, and often should change as you progress through each development stage, the important thing is to keep constantly aware of and be prepared to answer each of the questions below:
Can you easily describe your startup idea with the 4 W’s?
- What is your product?
- What problem is your product solving?
- Who are you making it for?
- Why will people use it?
- Can you name at least 3 direct or indirect competitors in your target market?
- Can you clearly explain how your product is differentiated and what are it's competitive advantages?
- Do you have a clear and realistic monetization strategy?
- Do you know the main features your product or service will provide?
- Do you know what your Minimum Viable Product (MVP) will be and have you identified a development and funding plan to realize it?
- What technology stack will you be using and why?
- Have you understood the importance of an attractive design and is the User Experience seamless and intuitive?
- Can you describe your pre and post launch MVP plan in a few clear steps, including marketing and promotional activities?
If you are able to answer each of the above within a few seconds, then you’re probably on the right track. At the same time, if some questions are difficult to answer, it's a clear sign that your strategy and planning need work. Gaps in any of the items can ruin the chances of success for your business so be prepared to revise your ideas, improve your plan and fix them on the go.
But what if you still aren't able to come up with all the answers that you need? Fortunately, the startup movement and its support services are growing rapidly. Matured by multiple failures and emboldened by successes, entrepreneurs are establishing partnerships with experienced product development teams, particularly ones who work with new businesses. These so called startup studios provide all the knowledge, experience, and support needed to give your business the best chance of success.