Being a newbie entrepreneur can be challenging and nerve-wracking but also incredibly exciting and rewarding once you’ve see the result. Start a startup couldn’t avoid many financial, legal, staffing, marketing, and customer issues. Being an entrepreneur, you must learn to confront these issue. In addition, although there is a lot of conflicting advice out there for the aspiring entrepreneur. But, here are top 15 tips to help the first-time entrepreneur to start a startup.
1. Live in the future
Most of the people live in the past or the present, and never think about the future. It is valid way to think, except that this isn’t the way to create a big startup. Big startups are basically based on ideas of 2 kinds which are “obvious and hard” and “non-obvious and hard”. Let’s take an example for these 2 ideas.
Let’s take SpaceX as an example to describe “obvious and hard” idea. SpaceX is an obvious idea because the only other enterprise that could send people to outer space, had no plan to do so at the time SpaceX started. So why we called it as “obvious idea”? Let’s us further explain it. It is obvious idea and no one else is doing it, a reasonable assumption is that it is impossible. And, if you live in the future, it will also be obvious to you that humanity will either go to Mars or go extinct at some point. More likely we will find a way to leave the earth. So the impossible must be possible.
On the other side, with UberPool, the idea that at any given point in time there are at least 2 people going from about the same location to about the same destination is “non-obvious”. It requires at least 2 assumptions. It is hard because you would have to gather and store a lot of data about where people actually go in a city. That kind of data analysis is only becoming available now. But Uber thought of it when they offered their first ride back in 2009. They were living in the future.
2. See what is missing in the world
You might noticed that before SpaceX, people were not think about “outer space”. You might noticed that before Uber, you have no other choice but taxi and you have to pay the unreasonable price. But that is already the past. What is missing now? More importantly what is missing from your life now?
3. Write it down
Once your idea pop out, you must write it down. Because you will not remember all your insights. Believe everyone has the same experience, which suddenly your mind pop out the ideas that you should do this and how to do this. So, you have to take a pen and a paper with you anytime and anywhere. And when the time has come, you can refer back what are your thoughts and get yourself inspired.
4. Make a prototype
Although you have plenty perfect ideas pop out, you will forget them into oblivion even if you write them down. But, the only exceptions are those thoughts you prototype. Once your ideas pop out, make them physical if they can be, such as design them, program them or do anything that makes them more than just thoughts. Try to make them as clearly as possible, do your best. If next time you refer back your idea, you can directly put your idea into motion rather than rethink again.
5. Present the prototype to 100 people
Once you’ve come out an illustration of your idea, you will need to need to step out of your comfort zone and seek out people who will judge your prototype. Why 100? You may ask. Because you need to gather as much as feedback as you can, so you will get to know which part of your prototype need to be adjusted.
6. Iterate your prototype
In this step, you will need to adjust your prototype until it makes sense. So be prepared as you may need to redo everything from scratch.
7. Find a co-founder
Once you think that your prototype starts making sense, you can step further to achieve your prototype. Go out and find another person who interested in your prototype and willing to get himself/ herself involved in this project.
8. Register your business
Get yourself a lawyer to register your company, draw a contract between you and your co-founder. Give your co-founder as much equity as will make them work harder for this company. On the other side, you also need to keep as much equity as will make you give it your all.
9. Look for funding and build version one
Unless you have a bunch of money to build version one, go outside and get your company itself an investor or more. While you are doing that build version one. You have to keep building because there is no guarantee about when or whether you can find an investor to invest in your company. Don’t assume that you will just because other startups are getting funded. Assume the worst, and build your product and equity.
When your product is ready to launch, launch it and let it shine. Extra features, better interface, faster load time and other optimizations probably won’t save it, if the main features have no use.
11. Follow up with users
You need to do the research, where to find user, how to find, whom to target and etc. If users have buying your product, ask yourself, will they coming back? Figure out the answer whether its yes or no.
12. Launch again
Launch your product as many times as it takes. At some point, if there are a dozen people are coming back on their own, you probably made something valuable.
13. Get to 1,000 users
You may don’t give a shit of this numbers and you aim higher. But, what we trying to tell you is, these first 1,000 users will show the problems and weaknesses of your product. You probably will have to recruit them manually. How manually? You may wonder. Take their computer and open your website for them, for example. Or whatever it takes. Remember, nothing is perfect and you must keep improve until the complaint drop down.
Experts encourage startup to grow at least 5% a week. If your startup could grow that much, you will get about 25 million users within 4 years. In other words, your startup is expanding and able to fight with other existing startups.
15. Success – whatever that is
Hooray, your startup is finally in the top list, all your efforts and time are worth it. At this point, you may opt to sell your company to another or stay private by convincing investors that there is a bigger liquidity event coming. Your choice.
It’s never too late to start a startup! Do what you want in your life, never compromise the failed in your life and get up and try again and again until you succeed. Remember, never let others to wipe out your passion because passion is the only thing that can lead you to success.
Sticking with your plan, and transform your plan into action. Good Luck!
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