The tremendous wave of startups in India is on. A lot of these startups are early stage startups by fresh students or recent graduates. Although we have seen a lot of such startups turning big later, sadly the success ratio of such startups is too low. A lot of them fail in the very first year of their journey. You call it lack of experience, market strategies, funds or market research.
In this blog, I would like to share similar experience with my first startup. The startup rose to become a famous talk in the initial stage but eventually had to shut down after some time due to some reasons. Though the startup failed, it gave me lot of insights and experiences into this field, which drives what I do today. Below is a compiled generic checklist for any such startup to keep in mind:
1) Get an Awesome Team
From all the priorities, I consider this as the first one in the list for any startup, as this is what drives the rest of your journey. Having a wonderful co-founder ideally helps in idea generation, managing and work distribution. Discuss your long term goals with your co- founder or team to make your vision look clear. Hiring the right people and putting them to work is one of the biggest challenges for any startup.
2) Consider your audience
Your audience is the one who will drive your startup. Before plunging deeply into any implementations, get in touch with your target audience. Get some surveys done. Ask them questions about what they think of your idea and what more can be done. Now this doesn’t mean that you are going to implement every idea you listen, but this will surely throw light on some grey areas you might be missing.
3) The Money Factor
Now, where does initial funding comes from, totally depends on the genre of your startup. Spend some time to look forward and decide how many funds you are going to need in the next one year. If the budget seems to go higher than what you have or what you can arrange, you may consider looking for some VCs or Angels. Get things on paper and decide your long term business plan and revenue model. Make up Plan B and C.
4) Solve A Problem
See what existing issues or problems are you solving. Research well on other existing players in the market with whom you will be competing and what are the specific problems that you are taking up to solve. If you can’t find any such new findings in your application, reconsider your thought to refine it.
5) Meet People
Accepting the fact that startup founders are too busy, spend time meeting people. Networking is one of the important activities to be done in this field. There are lots of opportunities waiting in such small meets. Who knows you can get your next funding, prospective clients or team members in such meets. Take part and speak up for your next big idea.
To summarize the whole idea, visualize your long term plans. These are some of the most important things I learnt during the days and it will surely help anyone to take some valuable decisions in the very initial phase of the startup.
Good Luck!! :)
[Guest article contributed by Ashish Trivedi.]