Entrepreneurship has become a buzzword in the recent times and, like with everything else, everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon. While we all applaud the instant successes, a lot of work and effort goes into making a startup successful. Before you get into the practical aspect of the whole thing, make sure you have analyzed your idea in depth.
When you come up with an idea, ensure that it is something which you’d want to do until the very end. To turn a startup into a success, you’d need undying devotion to your idea and unless you have that, you won’t get that far. Passion has always been the driving force for entrepreneurs, so before you choose this path, make sure that you’re willing to give it your all.
It is essential to make sure that your idea translates into something doable and more importantly, there is a market for the product/service you want to offer. To assess whether your startup has what it takes to survive, make sure that you follow a proper check and balance process.
Following the Lean Canvas Exercise, you can get a clear picture of what your goals are for your startup and you can effectively implement strategies towards achieving your goals. If you plan ahead, chances are that you’ll easily overcome any hiccups along the way.
In the Lean Canvas Exercise, you have to answer certain questions which will help you shape an idea of what your startup would be like. We’ll discuss these points in detail below, to clarify the picture.
1. What is that one problem that you’re trying to solve?
What impact will a startup have on the society, is essential to the success of that startup. Products/services created ahead of their time or later, have little chances of success. Identify which problem you want to solve, check existing solutions and what they lack and then work on providing a well-rounded solution.
2. How will you solve it?
First of all, see if any similar ideas have been introduced before this and how they have been received by the customers. Research is crucial to remain relevant in the long run so make sure that you are always ready to make improvements in your products/services based on new technological developments. Make sure that that solution you have come up with, is realistic, doable and when made practical, would be affordable by your target market.
3. Who is your competition?
It is important to identify and study your competitors, this will not only provide you with ample information on how to proceed, it will also help in pinpointing things which should not be done. If you have competitors, the good thing is that you’ll be able to study an already used model and see how it has helped your competitor, you’ll also be able to analyze the strategies used by your competitor and the public’s reaction to it, helping you in marketing your startup in a more effective manner.
4. Who is your target audience?
Define your target audience. No product/service can cater to all individuals alike and you have to set an audience so that you can market your startup accordingly. The smart thing would be to approach your to-be customers and get their views, you don’t have to implement them right away or at all, but it will give you an idea as to what the market is expecting. Having a set target audience will make marketing easier for your startup and will save you the ordeal of constantly making content which would appeal to everyone.
5. How big is your market?
Timing is everything, so before you decide to launch your startup, make sure that the market is ready for your product/idea. Some startups simply don’t succeed because the timing is wrong. Before you begin, however, it is important to study the market you’ll be catering to. It is better to start small so that it does not mess with your supply and demand. As a startup, delivering on what you commit is the most important thing. It would also be good to study the size of your market, if the beneficiaries of your products/services are a small group, re-think your startup or research on how you can keep your startup relevant in the coming years.
6. What is your Unique Selling Point? What makes you different from the rest?
As a startup, factor in your value proposition. Innovation is key to making any startup successful, so make sure that if your startup is entering the market amid competition, you have a clear strategy to compete.
7. What is your budget?
Never start a business without having a clear budget plan. It is quite easy to lose track of money when you are realizing your dreams, but each penny that a startup possesses is essential to its existence. Do not make the mistake of spending lavishly on certain things while ignoring others, this will only lead to confusion and bankruptcy. Make a budget and then stick to it.
8. How will you market your product?
There are a million things which are essential for a startup but nothing as important as marketing. This is that one thing on which the entire startup hinges. In order to gain customers, startups have to come up with excellent marketing strategies which can appeal to the target market perfectly. If marketed correctly, a startup will create demand and improve business. In today’s day and age, it is also essential to define your marketing mediums. Whether you go for digital, electronic or print marketing, make sure that your chosen medium is the one which reaches your audience easily.