4 Tips For Launching Your First Startup

A lot of people feel like they have the next great app idea, they just don’t know where to get started. And while they may not exactly be holding onto what might become the next Facebook, that’s irrelevant, as plenty of great startups become self-sustaining businesses without being unicorns. If you have an idea you’re looking to get off the ground, then launching a startup can be a much more accessible idea than you might imagine. Here’s how:

Come Up With A Solid Idea

As the core of any business, your perfect startup idea is going to be the driving force behind your success. This needs to be something that’s invested in passion, as a change you want to see in the world. Furthermore, it should be a concept that can make money. Because while it’s great to come up with things you’d like to see happen, they need to be solutions that others can see the value in, especially investors.

Try to hone down on your idea as something you can easily pitch, as well as others easily get. Additionally, make sure to have some hard numbers available to show your market value and where you fit in. As noted by the Angel Capital Association, with $24 billion invested in early-stage startups in 2016 alone, there’s no reason why you can’t get a piece of that as well. However, in order to get there, you’re going to have to clearly show a market need and how your investor will see a return. Take your time with your idea and pitch, as it’s one of the most essential tools you’ll have for your startup’s growth.

Find Partners For The Long Run

Another important factor to building out the foundation for your startup is the partners you bring on. According to CofoundersLab, approximately 80 percent of all successful startups have more than one founder. What this shows potential investors is more market knowledge and experience, as well as a balance in decision making. Additionally, having a co-founder makes things easier on your end, with someone there to help discuss ideas or concerns. However, knowing where to look requires you assess what first needs you have.

Depending on the model of your startup, the type of co-founders you’ll initially want to bring on can vary. One of the most popular examples is the technical co-founder, who has extensive knowledge of building out the project, while the other founder handles more of the marketing, investor relations, or team building. Try to pick someone that fills a void like that, for example, if you want a solid COO, then find a co-founder who just finished law school. No matter who you choose, make sure one of the most significant qualifications they have is how much passion they have for the project, as you’re going to want someone who wants to see this be just as successful as you do.

Don’t Be Afraid Of Accelerators or Incubators

While a lot of startup founders feel as though it can be tough to break into the scene, over the years, there has actually been much more opportunity for younger companies to gain footing. One example of this is with accelerators and incubators, which, as noted by Brookings, have grown at an average rate of 50 percent per year. And although not all of them are as prestigious as the likes of Y-Com, they do offer some funding to get yourself off the ground.

Check around your local community, or if any cities nearby offer a program. I’ll note that a big limitation here is the mobility of your team, as accelerators/incubators occasionally require people to move, which if this isn’t a problem for you, then you’ll have a much higher rate of success. Do your research on what type of companies are getting into these programs and why, as well as how you can improve your pitch to take part. All-in-all, not only are accelerators and incubators great to establish yourself but increase your network and chances of landing further investment.

Start Getting Engaged With The Community

Finally, as your startup should be in an industry you’re passionate about, it’s good to start engaging with both your potential customers and partners. Not only will this be a great chance to gain feedback, but to see what the industry is up to and how you can contribute. Which, if you’re wondering where to start, then your blog and social media will be two primary hubs. Because as noted by Hubspot, with over 53 percent of marketers saying that content was their biggest inbound channel, it goes to show that this method still reigns supreme.

Pick out a few topics that you’d like to write about in your industry, making sure that they offer a unique perspective that ties into your brand ethos. I’ll note that in looking to gain traction on your posts, it’s also crucial to start engaging with your peers on Twitter, commenting on their works as well. The goal is to start associating yourself with the key players in your industry, giving you a sense of authority, as well as showing your potential customers that you’re paying attention. As this is one of the more fun parts of your job, embrace it as a moment to really dive into how your company could potentially help.

What are some factors you consider important in launching your first startup? Comment with your answers below.