Wednesday, 9 August 2017

How to Approach a Startup Idea?

The moment a new idea is conceived the enthusiasm level goes up, creates restlessness in the person who conceived the idea. Mind start working on various calculations and thoughts. Excitement peaks. This is the usual sign when you got into a new thinking, new idea or an innovation. This is a good sign. If an idea is not allowing you to sleep and creates restless in you, that means you are very much carried away by the idea. But how you take it forward matters. Let's see how we can take it forward, what you should do and not do, how to convert it into a workable proposition and finally into a feasible business.
  • Discussion with peers: when you conceive such idea, the common mistake we do is: start discussing with friends, peers and family. Every time when you discuss such ideas you get some inputs, mostly positive. Your people wont give negative feedback even if they feel the idea is not so useful. This will make you over confident about your idea. This may be detrimental to your business.
  • Don't discuss your ideas with a common man or a friend who is not a professional. Approach a business guy, or an analyst or a seasoned professional. When you are going for such discussion, do share your purpose and the document before meeting, so that you will have right feedback.
  • Evaluate your idea: Your child is always the best for you. But you should come out such emotions to review the idea from an user/customer perspective. Have a practical thinking while evaluating your idea. Your idea/innovation may be very useful, there may be a need for that. Still you need to ascertain does it have a commercial viability. Does it carry a commercial need? Are users/customers will pay for your solution? is the answer you need to find. Remember : All problem solving ideas cannot be commercialized. To be a good start up your idea need to have a market and market potential. Be sure about this, this is a critical step. You need to do with the help of professionals, not yourself.
  • Don't be an all rounder: Most of the startup enthusiast try to do most of the initial steps on their own. You need to work on various steps to get your idea into a workable business. 1. Idea to plan 2. Presentation 3. Market Test and Market Research, 4. Business Plan, 5. Financial Plan 6. Prototype/working model 7. Funding 8. Market potential 9. Implementation plan etc. These are the tasks to be done by professionals not by you. But most of the times promoters of startup try to do most of these things on their own. Very important: you just work in the area where you have the expertise. Don't waste your time in the areas where you don't have an expertise. I have seen this as a common problem,when the startup is promoted by young guys and software professionals.
  • Initial Cost: It's sure that when you float a startup, you have various spending. You/team should be ready to do such initial investment. Like company incorporation, Market test/research, business plan and projection, prototype, developing a web page etc. This shows that you have risk taking ability. If you don't have capacity or ability to spend on some of the initial cost don't take it forward. Chances of success are very little.
  • Funding needs: Every startup looks for funding. But most of the startups die because they don't get funded. If this is the case you may end up in loosing few years while experimenting on funding. Please understand one important development: Funding will happen only to the proven business models. You need to prove that your business works. you need to setup the business and run it and show that it works, then there will be many takers for your business. Business of FUNDING has changed the game. Funding is done for scaling not for converting your idea to business. Even though many funders say they will fund innovative ideas, in practice they won't. They ask for proof of earnings.
  • TEAM : Two things funders are very specific: 1. Is the business proposed has the need and market potential 2. Does the team of promoters have the capability to build business. That means you should be sure of two things. One the market potential of your proposal and the team who accomplish the task. Unless yo are sure about these don't venture into the funding. If you do so you are wasting your time.
Startup process needs various other ingredients to be successful Let's discuss these in the next session. Keep your view/comments/questions posted to

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