Every great startup begins with a great idea but it takes a massive effort to be put into practice and make it successful. When you look to make it out on your own and ask yourself how to start a startup, having a great idea is just the beginning and here are few steps you can take that will not only help you in conceptualizing a good business idea but also successfully executing it.
1) Do your market research
Every entrepreneur has at least one big idea for the next big thing but what matters is not the idea but the willingness to take action on that idea so as to make that idea into a reality.
For this, you need to conduct thorough market research so as to know where you stand and if your idea is really worth pursuing further.
To know where you stand, begin your research by writing down the problem you think your business idea will solve.
Please keep these points always in front of you so you can get back to it again and again.
For your next step figure out how many people face these problems that your business idea will solve.
While this might give you an excellent idea for your product, it would not give you any idea about how many of these people will need this problem solved and/or will pay for it.
For this, you need to either consider writing up a survey for these potential customers to take or talk to them personally to take feedback.
It is only after you get your results that you will know where you stand and if it’s even worth checking out the competition for your product.
Note, once you have progressed from the initial stage and conducted a through competition check, please keep all of your results and data with you as would be really helpful in the coming years to know where you, later on, stand and also in securing funding for your startup.
2) Find a Co-founder
During this time you also get to decide if you want co-founders or want to go solo ahead.
It is important to know that not having the proper support during this time can make or break your chances of creating a successful venture.
Thus, first, look for a founding team or co-founder before you consider making a significant investment in your company.
This will not only help you build a support system but also having a co-founder will help you share your projects load with them.
3) Get your company incorporated
Incorporating a company is as big a deal for a startup as it will effect may aspect of its lifecycle. Incorporating means turning your business into a legal entity and deciding how it will be structured for the future.
In India after the process of incorporation, a company will typically be incorporated as one of the following:
Private Limited Company
Public Limited Company
Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
Joint Venture Company
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Also, there are provisions of getting your company incorporated as (a) Liaison Office, (b) Project Office, (c) Branch Office, or (d) Subsidiary Company
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4) Secure intellectual property and rights
When you ask yourself how to start a startup, you also need to check if you can actually start or even own that startup.
For this, you need to secure intellectual property rights and research if they are already not patented or trademarked by someone else.
Intellectual property or IP refers to the process by which you or your company can own the rights to create your product and then sell them.
Examples or IP rights include patents, copyright, and trademarks and they are vital to your success and your company’s success in the future.
The above will also help you secure a proper protocol for your product and in few cases even eliminate few competitions in the future.
It is important to secure your IP early on as it will protect you against any copycats. This will also let you know if you are not one of the “copycats” and that your product is genuine and not violating any existing IP rights.
5) Decide on the branding for your product
Branding is almost as important as IP rights for your company as it builds your company’s image and reputation.
Note that branding is more than just choosing a name for your company as it builds its identity and projects its idea.
When you think about branding, you need to see not just your current product, but also its future potential.
For example, if you are about to build a platform for selling books on an online platform, you cannot just restrict its name to highlight books as you might expand to selling other products in the future and having a name with the word “books” in it will somehow limit it.
It is also important to select a name that you love and want as it would be rather hard to change it once your company had built its brand and reputation.
It would also be a lot of work to recreate a connection with your new brand or name that people already associate with your name.
The biggest example of the above is when Nestle changed the recipe of their noodle Maggie a few years back and lost a huge chunk of their customers due to it.
This is also the time when you should secure your website domain name and other associated marketing materials as it would be much harder to secure later on or might not even be available to use.
- How to name a company – 7 successful tips to nail it in your first attempt
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6) Write a business plan
When you ask yourself how to start a startup and how to execute it, one of the most important aspect for it is writing a business plan.
It is one of the most crucial steps for any company and should cover every aspect of your company and its future.
You can write a good business plan for any company using the market research (that you did earlier) and from there on creating your plan for the future and drafting every step for your company.
This business plan will also help you determine goals and milestones for your company and help you know when you go off track and guide you on many aspects.
7) Pick a workplace and find a mentor
After you have developed a business plan it is important to execute it and execute it well, so during the process find a workplace for you and your co-workers where you can not only sit and execute the plan but also a place which suits your need and your company’s needs.
Where you work also does have an effect on your startup as you’re getting off the ground and having the right environment is very important to motivate you and your team.
While many founders initially choose to work from home so as to save money, you can later on also choose coworking spaces like myHQ so as to have an actual office space to start your business.
This is also the best time to find a mentor as the right mentor will guide you at a crucial time and make a huge difference in the decision that you take for your business.
Right mentor can also provide deep industry insight and wisdom that will help you navigate some of the challenges that might come your way in the future.
- 8 questions to ask when choosing the perfect workspace for you
- Here’s how coworking is redefining the workplace culture in India
8) Raise the capital
For any company, capital is one of the most crucial parts of their launch and raising it is one of the hardest parts for any company.
While capital investment is huge for any company it also does have a dark side as its a huge financial risk for anyone.
Thus, you need to know exactly how much capital you need to raise for your business and how much of it should come from investors as a loan. Once you have that figured this out, you should decide how you’ll be raising it and how you plan to give it back in the future,
This research should be extensive and not exhaustive as these are the people who will make it or break it for your company and also have a huge impact on your future.
- How to find investors in India for your next funding
- How to create a perfect pitch deck – insights from an investor
Hope, these pointers will help you start and launch your startup and help you secure its funding and also help you answer the question of how to start a startup.