How to create a start-up
How to create a start-up? During its existence, we helped launch dozens of start-ups and with some of their founders are still communicating. We saw how mistakes are made (and committed them ourselves), how success comes and how good startups fail. All my experience was collected in this article in the form of short tips that will help when starting a hardware-start-up.
To reinforce your experience with real cases, we talked with several founders of startups and took valuable comments from them., which helps to optimize the process of buying and consuming food, and who created the multivisor Wider , which simplifies the work with content in various fields of activity.
For your convenience, we divided the tips into several categories according to the start-up phases. So, let’s not drag the cat over … in short, let’s go.
Start with a problem:
A brilliant idea was born to solve a problem. And not vice versa. This is obvious, but not at all simple. If you have an idea that is capable of helping people , you are on the right track. For example, the startup For ABC has made caring for loved ones easier. Startup SQUARE has come up with how to simplify the process of buying food and cooking food. If you first thought about how to make money, and then began to look for an idea, then you cannot cook with you. Not without exception, of course, but still.
Talk to friends and acquaintances
At the stage of developing ideas the easiest way to check the demand is to chat with friends and acquaintances . There is always a possibility that the problem you are trying to solve is not that big, and people are not ready to pay money for its solution. Do not be afraid to merge the idea, for the most part, people are too lazy to do something themselves. Therefore, the probability that someone will steal your idea is miserable .Simplify instead of complicating
A product that solves one problem well is better than one that solves several problems at once. In the startup phase of the startup, focus on one function and implement it well. After your product becomes popular, you can think about expanding the functionality. Otherwise, it can turn out to be too complicated device, the value of which will be difficult to convey to the target audience.
Here that tells about the search for ideas Maxim the founder of the startup ABC:
“We started with a problem that we faced ourselves. I lived in a hostel at that time, and realized that when I’m not at home, I do not know what foods I have and how many of them are left. Sometimes I had to go to the store in addition. I talked with my classmate and realized that I do not have one of these problems. And we decided to do something that will help solve this problem. ”
Do not inflate staff
In fact, opinions differ on this score. Someone believes that the optimal number of people in the team – 8, someone successfully launched with the team of 2 people. That it is possible to tell absolutely precisely, at a stage of start take in a command only those people who blood from a nose are very necessary. If you are not sure that you will be able to load a specialist on full important tasks, it is better to wait until later. Trust only paper
There is an opinion that it is better not to conduct business with friends. However, the world is full of stories, when start-ups were launched by two good friends or former colleagues. We believe that it is possible and necessary to work with friends, but it is better to formalize relations on paper. Because friendship is friendship, and lunch is on schedule. Delegate everything you can.
The founders of a startup are more often so inspired by their idea that they want to do everything themselves literally. The pursuit is good, but it always hurts business. Because the task of the founders is to organize work and think about development. For everything else, there are MasterCard specialists who (if it’s true experts in their field) will do their job faster and better.
About the team and the distribution of responsibilities:
“We have two people in the main team. The only thing we did not do was generate content, i.e. Photo and video. For this we hired professionals. ”
Nixon explains why he can work with friends:
“Initially, there were three of us in the team: me, my friend and my wife’s brother. They say that it is better not to conduct business with friends. However, in my opinion, it is important to select people who do not just want to make money, but invest in this soul. At critical moments, it helps a lot.
The faster the better
We strictly do not recommend long swinging before creating the first prototype. The faster you make it, the less money you will spend. At this stage, you should not even think about industrial design. The task of the first prototype is to test the functional, demand and efficiency of the idea. The bigger, the better
The more people see, touch and test your prototype, the more feedback you get. And this is one of the most valuable things that you have at this stage. Real feedback and constructive criticism will help to refine your device before entering the market. Do not be surprised if there are really many mistakes and improvements. The earlier you learn about them, the better.
Co-founder of the start-up company tells about the creation of the first prototype:
“We assembled the first prototype ourselves. Of course everything went not so smoothly as we would like, but after the first presentation, we realized that there is a demand and it makes sense to make a device that will be sold all over the world. ”
About why the prototype is important?
“Returning my thoughts back, I understand that I would fix one thing. We needed to create more prototypes so that we could distribute them for testing. So we would get much more feedback. ”
INVESTMENT SEARCH AND BUDGET
Plan your budget in advance
Obvious advice, which somehow ignore very many. Planning is saving money. That’s all :)Do not try to save on quality.
Things that cannot be saved when starting a hardware startup: industrial design and production. This will adversely affect the quality of the product, and then even the most ingenious marketer cannot help you. Unfortunately, we know what we are talking about. Approximately every 6 founder of the startup comes to us with a design that is difficult to look at, easy to forget and impossible to produce. Bad design always has to be redone, and this, logically, extra costs. Try more than you need.
The most popular site for investments. It is difficult to get there, but the percentage of successful projects there is higher than at other sites. However , it is not necessary to limit one resource, there are many other good places where one should try happiness. In one of the articles, we did a full review of crowd hosting sites, accelerators and incubators for start-ups.
SEARCH FOR CONTRACTORS
Do not work with freelancers
We talk about this a lot, constantly and all. The reason for our dislike for freelancers is not that we feel competition. And the fact that freelancers always have to be finished and almost always rewritten. Freelancer, no matter how good a specialist he is, works alone, which means that you deprive your product of many other experts who can help correct mistakes. And this is a marketer, a technologist, a designer, a material scientist who will make the product sellable, convenient, functional, and most importantly – reduce the cost of production, leaving the quality at a high level For heaven’s sake, do not skimp.
Good industrial design studios do not just take two or three times more money to develop a design than freelancers. Behind this is a team of specialists who will do everything perfectly and will ensure the product success. Therefore, choosing famous studios with experience is not a luxury, but a necessity.
Appreciate your customers:
Your first clients, even potential ones, are the most valuable thing that you have. They will form a reputation and become the first fans of the brand. Do not skimp on tech support and do not ignore criticism and feedback. Be honest and open, and people will love you. Make a plan and constantly rework it.
The plan of advancement is better to be made at the stage of the idea formation. But this does not mean that you need to strictly adhere to it. I’ll tell you a secret: even the most mother marketer will not give you a 100% guarantee that this or that promotion channel will work. You will have to monitor the effectiveness of your actions and constantly adjust the strategy. This is the right approach, which in the end will let you know what works for your product and sphere
Learn to inspire people or find someone who already knows how to
Just a good, even a brilliant product is no surprise. Equally important is the emotional side of the question. Promoting as yet unknown to anyone, you will have to talk a lot about it, inspiring and “infecting” people with emotions. If this happens, then your brand will become a religion, and users will recommend it to friends and acquaintances themselves. Be open.
Your reputation is one of the most valuable things that you have. When you start a startup, you are most likely to be wrong. Do not be afraid to admit your mistakes and correct them. Try all channels.
Do not believe anyone who will tell you: “This channel does not work.” Marketing laws are changing at a frantic pace, and what did not work yesterday can work today. The main thing is to approach everything wisely and continuously analyze the results of your work.
We at NBY IT Solution hope that these small tips will help you avoid mistakes and start a successful start-up. And if you need assistance in the development of industrial design or mass production – please contact us. We have accumulated a wealth of experience in this field and know how to create a commercially successful device.