It’s been a while since I am in the start-up league. Over the course of time, I have made multiple mistakes, while making good decisions. Often, I am asked, how to start with a start-up idea? Of course, there is no simple answer to that. Most importantly, it’s your validated idea and second is your willpower. There are some good reads that can help you in getting the basics right such as Zero to One and The 4 Steps to Epiphany.
Despite sounding simple, it can actually become tough on the ground. So, rather than making it easier on papers, validate your idea by executing it in reality. If it’s a success, great; otherwise you can improve and perform better than before. Miraculous outcomes of seeing a thousand customers in the first month is a far-fetched ambition.
Ending the excuses
It’s easy to get lost in the fuss and build long-term plans with many loopholes impracticalities. You can choose to wander in such plans for weeks, but they won’t fetch you anything. The real answers can only be heard once you start. So, in this blog, I want to tell you the things that you can use to build your start-up without burning your pocket on extravagant things. Keep it simple and when you have the money―improvise.
Always keep in mind
Things don’t need to be perfect in the first go, your audience will gradually grow in number, giving you plenty of time to iterate and become better.
It’s easy to feel that an investment can solve all your problems. But that’s what every other entrepreneur is thinking. The real creativity lies in the scarcity. Think this as an opportunity to create something more awesome even when you have fewer resources. So for now just focus on getting started which can be done with minimum budget and rest you will figure out later. In this blog, I am going to tell you about the tools and their implementation process. You may be familiar with some of the tools, but I have some hidden ingredients.
Keep it simple and easy to pronounce (Don’t put too many lingos or hard to remember crossmatch), but something that makes it easier to remember.
Advice: Go with something that is popular in your product domain. For example, Twimbit was named as an acronym for The world is moved by ideas and technology.
Business Name Generator
Most business name generators combine dictionary words to make longer names. Namelix generates short, branded names
Follow the rule of simplicity and create a first draft that should be good enough to go with your idea. In the beginning, it can be as simple as your company name in a good font and color combination.
Advice: Don’t try to copy the logo theory of combining words, it’s just stupid. Eg. if your company is FastServers you may think of going with FS coupled over each other.
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Once you have a name ready, purchase a domain from any seller like Godaddy or NameCheap. Then, you can use “Stackbit” to generate a good looking and fast website for you. Stackbit takes care of theme, deployment and free hosting with some simple clicks.
Advice: Put regular blog posts, FAQs, and a clear product statement on your site.
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If your start-up needs an e-commerce presence you can use “Square”. It comes with a built-in payment solution.
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In the process of building your start-up, always remember to keep your customers closer, while communication is frictionless.
Advice: A happy client is word of mouth marketing for your brand.
Start with “Zoho” mails, which comes with 5 free business emails and if your team grows you can switch to other premium plans.
Advice: It’s unprofessional to use a “Gmail id” for client communication.
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To build a strong team, you need a good set of minds. People who can belive in your Ideas and take them forward. From the beginning, there has been no better platform to get good talent then angelist. It’s free and has a good crowd. Additionally, it has a good hiring app that makes shortlisting candidates much easier. https://angel.co/recruiting/
Advice: Give a sense of responbility to new comers and full trust. If they proove to be valuable keep them as an asset. If not don’t keep them tied up for too long.
Slack is always a go-to solution for me in this case. It is free for unlimited users and offers a lot of features that can help you communicate and share ideas with the team.
Advice: To manage tasks, you can use Trello, which offers easy kanban boards ( drag and drop based board columns), keeping track of all ongoing activities.
Accounting must be managed properly from day one. It helps in keeping everything in check and restricts you from overspending from your pocket.
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Keep your consumer informed with the latest updates and offers. Mailchimp helps you to manage all-round customer email campaigning in a free plan.
Advice: Try possible methods of capturing their emails such as, webinars and free giveaways like an ebook or a small gift. This will serve you as future leads.
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These are a few tools that every start-up would need but if you still need some more, you can check out “Secret” and get utilize various offers/credits for start-ups.
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Now that you have everything in place which was on your mind before kick-starting, don’t wait anymore. It is okay to make mistakes, they often tend to result in better products. Listening to your customer problems is a great way to learn and become better, rather than pondering on the problems that you think they might have. Get on the ground and get real feedback. Talking on getting real, below is a bonus read for you. Good luck and enjoy!