If you have been caught with this article, ten to one this means you have some great idea for the startup. But you do not know how to turn a startup idea into reality, do you?
It’s not a secret that it is always difficult for us to start something new: how to start? when to start? what to begin with? 10 tips offered by Umbrella company in this article will not only suggest you answers to these questions but will help with setting priorities in the correct way so that you would not miss any significant details in the course of development.
For many years Umbrella has been successfully implementing the ideas of clients developing:
- AdTech and MarTech instruments
- Native and hybrid mobile applications
- Web apps and their responsive versions
Using these tips, you will learn how to make your startup idea a reality and launch a high-quality money-making project.
If you still hesitate what should be the starting point of your project then get started with this article. 10 proven tips from the leading IT professionals will help you to progress.
So, let’s start.
TIP ONE ‒ DON’T BE LAZY AND STUDY COMPETITORS
Before you start working on the future product development, you should not be too lazy to analyze apps and websites which already exist in the IT market. Perhaps your great idea has already been implemented by someone else.
But this is a wrong reason to feel upset and, on the contrary, you should take it as an opportunity to explore your competitors and create a more successful and qualitative project.
Analyzing competitive applications/websites will help you to determine both their advantages, which can be, for example, user-friendly interface or option to make comments and disadvantages, user’s dislikes and uncovered needs.
Now it will be easier for you to determine the functionality of your product, as well as to identify its competitive advantage knowing the strong and weak sides of your rivals.
In case you‘ve found no similar projects in the IT market, it would be better to give a serious thought to the fact whether your idea is really so brilliant or such products are merely in demand.
TIP TWO ‒ MAKE A PROJECT FOR PEOPLE, NOT FOR FUN
Any project must have its own users. This is exactly their existence or absence that indicates the success of a startup.
It is necessary to remember that “one cannot please everyone” and think in advance who will be the target of your project. As soon as you define the profile of your potential users, you can consider the functionality that will be useful for them and ways to interest them with your product.
For example, you should think about:
- What gender are your users?
- What is their age group?
- What country are they from?
- What language do they speak?
- What is their field of activity?
These points will make it easier for you to define the target audience. And this will already determine half of the startup success.
TIP THREE ‒ STATE THE IDEA ON PAPER
For the purpose of making the vague outline of your future product idea more distinct, take a pen, a sheet of A4 paper and try to write the main provisions of your startup on this sheet.
This will not only help to structure your idea but also to check whether you have left any important details of the project out of account.
If you fail to fit the brief description of your future product on a single paper sheet then you do not have any clear idea of your desired result.
Better try to write your idea on a sheet of paper again than to convert a great startup idea into a reality without any clear vision of the future project and precise plan.
TIP FOUR ‒ ANALYZE THE IDEA ACCORDING TO “SMART”
The clear idea of your future project is good but it’s even better to check whether it’s realistic to put your project into practice or the goals set are achievable, in general.
For this purpose, analyze the idea described on the paper sheet according to a SMART system, and answer the following questions:
SMART is a common and effective technique for setting and formulating goals.
- Do you have any clear and specific goal?
The aim of your work should be clear, for example, “In 6 months I want to launch a startup which will bring a monthly income of $1000 and more.” No vague desires like “I want a successful startup” or “I want the startup to bring a lot of money.”
- How will you understand that the aim is achieved?
It is necessary to define clear criteria that will help you to determine whether the goal is achieved or not, for example, “the startup must bring a monthly income of $1000 and more.” As soon as the product income exceeds this limit, the aim can be considered achieved.
- Is your goal achievable?
It is necessary to estimate your aim objectively: it is practicable to launch startup within 6 months, and if it is successful, it can gradually start to bring $ 1000 income per month and even more. However, the aim “to get a lot of profit from the project immediately after it enters the market” is unlikely to come true.
- What benefit will you gain once the goal is achieved??
Your goal should not just be a”desire”, but the part of larger-scale tasks, for example, by spending N-amount of money for the implementation of your project, you want the startup not only to cover the expenses but also to bring profit twice as much as the sum originally spent.
But if from the very beginning you see that the project will not bring the expected benefits, then your goal is considered useless and ineffective.
- What are the time frames for the goal to be achieved?
You must clearly schedule the deadline of achieving the aim, otherwise, you can spend many years in pursuit of the dream. For example, you set a goal that your startup will bring $ 1000 per month in 1 year after launching. But if the year has passed, and you are still far from your aim, then you need to revise your business strategy, instead of expecting that sooner or later everything will straighten out.
Such a detailed analysis will help you to study thoroughly the idea of the future product and understand how realistic and achievable it is.
TIP FIVE ‒ PLAN EVERY DETAIL IN ADVANCE
You already have the A4 sheet description of your future project general provisions but you should not forget about the details. It’s high time to analyze thoroughly each function and its implementation principles.
That is what the project pre-development is aimed at. Project pre-development allows you to detail the entire set of functions of the future startup, their behavior, and interaction.
Pre-development usually includes the creation of the project functional map and development of interface prototypes and use cases as well as an approximate estimate of the startup total cost. That means your selected developer’s team will agree with you upon the set of functions which is enough to start the project and will prepare a user script specifying any possible user’s interaction with the system ( for example, log in, make a purchase, pay for goods with a card, etc.). They will also prepare interface prototypes and draw data diagrams.
This will help to evaluate the appearance of the future project and make corrections in time in case you do not like something.
If you do not have any contacts to a request for predevelopment ‒ talk to the Umbrella team at umbrella-web.com.
TIP SIX ‒ CAREFULLY CHOOSE THE TEAM OF DEVELOPERS
Today the IT market is rich in various offers which promise to develop any web or mobile application from scratch quickly, with good quality and at a low price. However, you should treat such offers with certain doubt.
Firstly, the concepts “fast and good quality” as well as “good quality and low price” do rarely go together. The professionally developed startup will take a lot of time and will cost accordingly.
Secondly, you should not entrust the work to individual freelancers if you expect to find an investor to finance your project. It is unlikely that anyone will agree to invest funds in a large-scale project which is implemented by a stranger from the other end of the world. What happens if he isn’t able to cope with the large scope of work himself? Or even worse, if he does not get in touch after receiving money?
Therefore, the performers should be chosen with great care and only those companies should be considered which possess rich experience, good ratings, and sound portfolio.
TIP SEVEN ‒ NEVER HESITATE TO MONITOR WORK PROGRESS
Who else but you are interested in uninterrupted and planned development of your project. The more so, since you pay a lot of money for it.
Therefore, you never hesitate to control the work of the team. This can be made in several convenient and tested ways:
- Demand daily team’s reports on works progress with a detailed description of all processes. Thus, you will be able to track each task and its implementation stage and to check whether there are any difficulties in performing it.
- Use a task tracker to understand the status of each task better. Here you can not only study their detailed description with all the nuances but also find out who is responsible for carrying out each of them. For example, you can use such task trackers as Trello, Jira or Redmine.
- Use the time tracker for quick monitoring of any problems encountered. The most common time trackers are Worksnaps and Toggl. They allow you to monitor all the project activities in real time as well as track when and how many hours have been spent on each task.
TIP EIGHT ‒ NEVER BE AFRAID TO LAUNCH A PROJECT WITH LIMITED FUNCTIONALITY
The development of a large-scale project can last for more than one year, and it will also take a lot of money. During such a long period, some functions were implemented in your project may turn to be outdated and uninteresting for users. Moreover, your project may turn out short of the latest technologies.
You will be protected from such risks by accessing the market with limited functionality.
Choose the functionality necessary to enter the life and develop MVP (minimum value product) on its basis which will become the first limited version of your project.
MVP is a finished product with a minimal set of functions.
As soon as the development of this phase is complete, run the first version of the project. It will not be brought to the ideal but you will be able to test your startup and get the first feedbacks from the beta-users.
You will find out which features your potential users like, which are not in demand, and which are lacking in user’s opinion.
You can make all these corrections right in the next version of your project. And every new update will improve your product and contribute to its success.
So, working in small phases, you can competently prioritize and invest money into functions which will be truly attractive for your users.
TIP NINE – START TO ADVERTISE YOUR PROJECT LONG BEFORE LAUNCH
Keep in mind that promotion of the project requires much time. Therefore, you are recommended to give it a good deal of thought in advance. In practice, one can find many examples when interesting and useful projects were not in demand by users just because they were unknown to broad masses.
Never wait for glory to come by itself, and start advertising your startup yourself before it’s released:
- on professional forums
- tell about the project
- participate actively in the forum life: answer questions, leave comments
- agitate users to try your app
- in social networks
- create a page dedicated to the project
- make friends
- actively post interesting articles about the project
- on your website
- write big informative articles on your topic that will be useful and interesting for future users.
If there is no website yet, then you can create a page-stub on the future domain and collect email addresses of potential customers. When the project enters the market (MVP launched by you), you can prepare a newsletter to inform that the startup is launched and to invite to participate in beta-testing.
TIP TEN – STAY FLEXIBLE AND NEVER GIVE UP
It’s necessary to remember that the secret of success is to be flexible and to adapt oneself to any circumstances. Therefore, you should regularly test your project, try new features, pay attention to the users’ opinion, and in general, never stand still.
Let your project receive negative feedbacks, but you will find out your weak points and understand how to make your product more convenient and useful for users.
And of course, you must be steady on your purpose no matter what.
By the way, Howard Schultz, the founder of Starbucks, was refused credit 242 (!) times, and if he wasn’t so persistent, thousands of people would not have a cup of delicious, bracing coffee in the morning.
And J.K. Rowling visited 12 publishing houses before someone agreed to publish her manuscript about Harry Potter. If she had given up after the 3rd refusal, as many of us would have done, we would never have known about the boy who survived.
So, things are in your hands. The main thing is never to stop believing in yourself and the fact that it is possible to turn your startup ideas into reality.
BEFORE WE FINISH
We are through with 10 proven tips by Umbrella and have no doubt that you have found what you were looking for, and now you know what you should begin with working on your startup and what to do turning a startup idea into a reality.
But if you still have any questions or you are ready to start developing your project, feel free to write us at [email protected].
Olga Nasonova is a marketing and development leading expert. Having been working in Umbrella-web for several years she became an Agile certified sales strategist. She enjoys learning new and useful information about IT and also loves to share it.