Strategies to Take Your Startup Beyond Blueprint Phase
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For many young entrepreneurs, it can be relatively easy to generate new ideas to solve a particular market need. However, it’s a different thing to validate an initial business idea. Startups often fail because they can’t get past the blueprint phase.
As a young entrepreneur yourself, what are some helpful strategies to go further and potentially make your startup last? Here are a few suggestions.
Know the target audience like the back of your hand
Creating a minimum viable product that helps achieve proof of concept is a good start. However, getting a product to work is not enough. Entrepreneurs must test out their ideas by determining commercial viability.
To do that, you need to have a firm grasp of the target market. What are the needs and pain points of your intended customers? Does your initial prototype or recent version of the product address those relevant issues?
Conduct in-depth market research where you can glean insights about customer habits that will improve your business idea. Collect surveys that detail customers’ experience with similar products or services. If you need support on that end, you can find several firms that specialize in market research.
Rapidly iterate your product or service based on the data that you’re getting from customers.
Find the right time and opportunity to grow
Entrepreneurs need to avoid scaling prematurely. Burning through cash at a rapid pace during the early critical phases is a recipe for disaster. Limiting overhead costs is an excellent strategy to apply. To that end, identify areas of your startup where you can keep costs down.
For instance, outsourcing to a BPO that provides efficient back-office support is a cost-effective way to maintain critical aspects of operations (e.g., customer service, accounting).
When it comes to office space, it may be best to forego a full-fledged office space in the meantime. This option usually entails high rent prices. Alternatively, you can resort to co-working. In most urban areas, you’ll find several co-working spaces that offer packages designed for small teams and startups.
Enlist and ask for support
Starting a business is no small feat. Entrepreneurs shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help and support, especially if there are complex aspects that require more than one mind handling. Being a one-person army may last for a while, but’s not sustainable. That’s why it’s crucial to hire the right people.
Find people with the skills and expertise that complement yours. It’s more than likely that they will help you unlock the full potential of your business idea – whether it’s through their unique perspective or previous experiences. Additionally, don’t forget to look for people who are competent to work with.
Next, you can also seek support through mentorship. Look for mentors who are experts in an industry that directly concerns you. Through mentors, you can get firsthand knowledge about models that have worked in the past – or those that failed. You can apply to your startup.
Bonus tip: don’t be afraid to fail
All the business tips and advice in the world won’t shield you from failures. When they happen, don’t be discouraged. Learn from them and find ways to adapt to any situation.
Best luck with your endeavors!