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Don't Launch Your Start-up Without Reading This First: Three must-haves for success.

Don't Launch Your Start-up Without Reading This First: Three must-haves for success.

Mar 20, 2023

You're washing the shampoo out of your hair when it hits you. The next big thing! As the days pass, you can't get the idea out of your head. So you tentatively pitch it to friends and family, ready for them to blow it to smithereens. But the bombardment never comes. Maybe this is a goer! 

In this post, I will talk about the importance of:

- skill within the start-up

- audience and supporters

- generating revenue and momentum.

Building a team

In my experience, these four areas are almost always essential to success;

- Technical/Domain knowledge (Developers, Engineers, Expertise)

- Community/Social engager (rallies the masses behind mission)

- Creative/Product designer (bridges technical and community)

- Leader (direction, rallies key supporters, money, safety/legal)

Quick note: These roles can be merged - but all are essential.

You probably only have experience in one or two of the four major areas. If you have a team, the other members should fill the gaps. Try to keep your team as small as possible for as long as possible. 

If you are a one-person army, your work is cut out for you, but it's not impossible. Fill the roles above as quickly as possible, whether by bringing people on to your team or learning the needed skills. Do not expand too quickly, especially if you are not making money!

I'll write a post about building a team soon, so stay tuned if you are interested.

Building a Community

Having a community of people who support your product is essential for the success of any start-up. The more driven, the better. By building a community early on, you create buzz around your product before it even launches. They will become your first customers, give you feedback on your product, and help spread the word if they like what you're doing. This will help you attract investors and other supporters who can help you grow your business.

You may think your product or service will be a success right out of the gate. It won't be. But that's okay; it's why you'll build a community before you put your life savings on a shower thought. 

There’s no way around it. At some point, you will have to address market fit and user need. To reduce your risk, it's better to do it before investors and stakeholders get involved. Used properly, a community will act as a sounding board on everything from messaging to product and pricing. That's not to say they're always correct, but ignore them at your peril.

Put simply;

- You probably have a theory about user need and want.

- Check that against what the community really wants.

- Create messaging on your social media:

- monitor the response

- change the wording and approach

- monitor again.

- Email and call potential users and ask them why your service won't work.

- Fix issues and/or messaging

- Re-approach.

- Really think about your users:

- how do they communicate

- how will they use your service

- why will they use your service?

- Can you run a stripped-down version of your product or service via socials?

Finally, building a community is not just about getting people to follow you on social media. It's about engaging with your community and building meaningful relations with them. You need to listen to their feedback and respond to their questions and concerns. By doing this, you can build a loyal following that will stick with you through thick and thin. 

For digital services, try to get a minimum of 10 fanatics.

Launching - building momentum and growing revenue

As launch day dawns, your coffee-addled mind reflects on the months of development and engagement and will start to panic. But hopefully, not about users, as you should have a community of people chomping at the bit to use your product. Whether you have ten or ten thousand, work with the community to begin using and giving feedback on your product or service. You can ask them to spread the word, write reviews, and refer their friends and family. By doing this, you can create a snowball effect that can grow your business exponentially.

Generating revenue should be priority numero uno. Without it, you'll struggle to raise investment, or pay yourself and your staff, and maintain the service. I can't overstate how important it is to fully understand how you will make money and quickly scale it. I'll write a post about this in more detail soon.

Finally, for now

Building a start-up is a rush that will have you thinking about so many different aspects that ya'll forget the basics. Just remember that the three most important aspects are the skill and understanding of your team, the community of people who want your product, and the need to build a solid revenue stream. 

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