Every startup journey begins with a problem statement and a drive to craft a solution to (solve) that problem. While it is a bumpy ride filled with ups and downs, it is exciting and rewarding.
You may come across success stories of startups making millions in a short period. All these achievements are commendable, but there’s a saying, “The grass is always greener on the other side”.
You can approach startup development in multiple ways. Living in a world where most things are already invented, your idea may refine an existing solution. This article will discuss a holistic approach towards startup development, covering stages your startup needs to go through to turn your idea into a revenue-generating business.
Stage 1: Research
If your startup is based on a unique idea, you will be the one to create a brand new niche. It is vital that your idea stage strongly revolves around strategy, startup’s scalability quotient, proof of concept, risk management and creating a shared vision.
Proof of concept(POC) is one of the critical parts of the research stage. It ensures the feasibility of the product by evaluating its core capabilities. Since the idea won’t just be hypothetical, it makes it easier for the startup to transition into the MVP stage.
Passion runs deep in entrepreneurs, but a clear understanding of the product segment can help you in the long run. Sometimes, an idea can be a home run but only when shot at the right time. An Idea is just a seed. The founders must ensure that the timing is proper with thorough market analysis to understand the product-market fit because that’s how you know whether the product has strong market demand, which will fuel the startup’s success in the future.
Build a Research Plan to cover Company, Customer, Competitor and Collaborators or possible mentors and experts to build your MVP(Minimum Viable Product).
What’s unique about your solution or product?
Studying your competitors and thoroughly understanding their product offerings and
shortcomings is crucial. Even successful products and services have gaps in their offering, analyse the gaps and fit them into your offerings to serve your target audience better.
Stage 2: Building A Minimum Viable Product(MVP)
Now that you have a clear idea about your product, start validating it by building an MVP. Remember that an MVP is a work in progress model and can be tested amongst the target audience and upgrade.
Your MVP is a crucial phase; it is your trial run, collecting data and information on how your product performs and solves problems for a relatively minor target audience. It will help you save heartache and capital in your product development phase.
Here are some steps to create an MVP
Define a clear timeline
Define a timeline to build an MVP based on your resources. Prioritise the key or differentiating features and ensure more time is allotted to those. Allocate adequate time for testing and customer feedback.
How to onboard expertise at early development stages?
Startups work with tight budgets at the early development stages. A startup can hire a CTO and outsource the development to fit the budget at this stage. Once the concept is validated with a working MVP, hiring can start. A startup without an MVP is less likely to get funded with just an idea to show.
Make sure you ask the right questions and conduct surveys and interviews for valuable customer feedback.
Stage 3: Gain Traction for your Startup
Pay attention to marketing – involve your customers to showcase your product. Post customer reviews and conduct frequent surveys to understand your audience better. Interact and focus on creating a community that will help you gain a loyal customer base.
Here are some smart growth hacks for young startups in the early stages:
●Branding: Give your product the correct identity that will make a mark on your
●Promote your Product: Promote your product on multiple platforms based on your customer persona. Choose platforms that your target audience is most likely to visit.
●Partnerships & Collaborations: Collaborate with influencers or brands that can help you reach a large audience base as people tend to trust an influencer.
Stage 4: Final Product Improvements
Leverage your product’s best features and promote them as much as possible. By the time you reach this stage, you might already have a fair amount of customers, and you know what they like the most about your product and what isn’t working. Now is the right time to improve the features that aren’t seen as beneficial.
Refine the best features of your product, and you might as well hire professionals to elevate the output. For example, hiring an experienced UI/UX designer can prove highly fruitful if your product is an application.
Stage 5: Accelerating your Startup
Reaching this phase is a pretty significant achievement in itself, and the journey ahead will require you to take some bold decisions. You must start focusing on growth hacking and expanding your business at this stage. Remember that a well-established startup takes about three years to sustain its growth, and no amount of growth hacking can help you drive
significant results overnight.
Build a system and have tools that will help you measure and track multiple growth metrics, ROI and maintain the positive trends. Start building partnerships that will help your startup’s long term revenue growth.
It is the stage where joining a startup accelerator will prove beneficial to your startup and help you attract multiple funding opportunities, increase resources, mentors, networking opportunities and more. Here’s a blog to understand how a startup accelerator helps you fast-track your startup journey.
Raising funds is very important at this stage since the next plan of action is to scale your
business and expand to new geographies.
Your business idea backed by your passion, consistency and drive will lead to your success. Always plan on outperforming your competitors and continuously measure your growth and change whatever is not working out for the startup. Seek expert advice for aspects beyond your expertise.