1) Know your audience
This is number one for a reason. Once you know your audience, then you can know what to offer. Also, if you have an idea already, this will help you validate.
The best way to get in touch with your audience is to talk to them. Ok, I know talking face to face is scary now-a-days, so you can also reach out via social media as well. Ask them these two simple questions:
- What are your current frustrations?
- What would make your job easier?
Imagine what you could do with all that information!
If you can identify their pain points and come up with a solution; you’re golden! On top of that you already have a handful of people that want this solution and will have your back when it comes to getting the word out.
2) Decide if you need a Co-Founder
This is a tough one but a very important one. I’ve started a handful of companies, and I’ve definitely made the wrong call on having a co-founder or not.
The way to figure this out is simple. Is your potential co-founder going to do something that you absolutely cannot do? There are some cases for this. Maybe your partner is going to do all the selling, or they’re going to do all the design and development, etc.
Keep in mind, for the examples above, these are things you can and should learn on your own. Some benefits of not having a co-founder are:
- you don’t have to split profits
- business matters are less complicated
- no agreement contracts
- you don’t need the approval of anyone to pivot or make changes
That said, having a co-founder has advantages:
- expenses are split
- someone to bounce ideas off of
- your co-founder could have more connections
- they probably possess a talent that you don’t
3) Figure out who know in the field
You probably hear it a lot; networking is everything. I’m sure you know at least one person who has a job or is in a position that they just may not deserve. How did they get there? They knew somebody.
This holds true business as well. Try to think about who you know and what they can do for you. Yes, that may seem selfish, but it’s time to be a bit selfish. Maybe your friend’s husband is an app developer, or maybe your cousin is an established entrepreneur and he knows some venture capitalists.
It’s time to start utilizing your personal network.
4) Just Start
I can’t tell you how many weeks or even months were lost by just trying to figure out how to start, where to start, etc.
There’s a lot of questions that will hold people back from starting
- Will this work?
- What will happen if I fail?
- What should I name my product?
- Where do I start?
A lot of these questions may keep you up at night but my best advice is; just start! Trust me, it feels a lot better going to sleep knowing you’ve actually started this thing that’s been on your mind. The best way to get started is to build your website to let people know about your startup. There’s two obvious routes:
- Do it yourself (Below are the general steps, for a more detailed writeup check out: The Easiest Way To Build A New Website and Start Blogging).
- Purchase your domain name. Don’t worry you can always change this so don’t rip your hair out over figuring out the best name.
- Purchase your hosting account. I recommend HostGator; I’ve been using them for years and their support is wonderful.
- Hire someone to build you a website, or install WordPress, download a theme, and start populating your new website!
- Grab your website from Get Site, Go! to have a beautiful new website hosted and supported, ready in a few days.
Let me know if you have any questions!