With the paradigm of world economics and commerce shifting towards the new generation of innovators with impressive success-stories- more and more people are coming up with increasingly brilliant startup ideas every day. Every aspiring entrepreneur dreams of his/her startup becoming the next big thing. But only those entrepreneurs have the potential to stand out from the rest of the crowd who have the willingness, motivation, and strategy to turn their ideas into reality.
They say a good beginning is a job half done. It applies to startups too. A major step of executing a plan is its kickstart. But that’s not all there is to it. Once you have put the plan into motion, you have to ensure all the wheels are getting oiled regularly. It’s your job to make sure that every hiccup is accounted for and everything is running smoothly.
Let us take a good look at 8 important steps that will help you achieve the task of turning your startup idea into a product or a service.
1.Doing your market research
Conducting market research is an important step towards determining whether your startup idea is worthwhile the effort or not. Market research includes identifying the problem, ensuring that there is a significant amount of population who agree that the problem really does exist-these people are your future customers, devising the product or the service you are planning to launch as a part of your solution, estimating the capital investment, the product/service cost, analyzing your potential competitors etc. Doing an in-depth market research helps you gauge the situation and plan ahead accordingly.
- Ensuring the means
After researching the market and having a satisfactory estimate of all the requirements that’d go into building your product, the next step is to gather all the requirements. You need to ensure you have enough financial resources so that you’ll be able to invest in the startup. You might also consider applying for a loan in the bank or approaching an individual who can partner-up with you. The second important requirement is intellectual property rights. Intellectual property (IP) refers to the process by which an individual or company can own the rights to a created product, e.g. patents, copyright, and trademarks. Availing the IPRs can be beneficial for your company in the long term and help you avoid any unnecessary lawsuit.
- Hiring a good team
A startup is a big responsibility and a one-man army building an entire company is usually something out of a fairytale. The talent and hard work of multiple people go into building a startup. It is a collective effort. Therefore it is very important to hire a talented and trustworthy team to whom you can delegate work. The quality of the team that you are hiring will have a direct implication on the quality of the product that is ultimately getting built and launched into the market. Therefore, this task must be performed meticulously by the entrepreneur themselves with utmost care.
- Defining product specification
With the help of your entire team and co-founder, you can start the next step which is – zooming in on the specifications of your product. It is impossible to build a product unless you know everything about it, up until the very last detail. The measurements, ingredients, quality, packaging are some of the important specifications that the entrepreneur and their team must look into while they are designing a product. But the specifications don’t end here. They go much beyond and deeper than that. Accurately estimating the product estimation has a direct impact on whether your product is going to meet the government standards and will be allowed to launch in the market or not. The product also has to align with the taste of the customers who are being targeted. Therefore a lot of thought needs to be put into product specification.
- Building the Product
After you’ve ensured that every requirement is accounted for, you may start building the actual product. Building a product that delivers what it has promised to the customers is a huge responsibility that will decide the fate of your company’s future. Therefore, the process must be meticulously organized and the plan must be acutely executed. The team must keep all of the needs of the user in mind as they create the product.
- Creating a minimal viable product
A minimum viable product (MVP) is a product with just the basic, essential features. It is launched at a nominal number to provide the target customers with a taste of what they should expect from your company. This is not only a great way to promote your product, but also, it helps you gather feedback for future product development. Gathering insights from a minimum value product is inexpensive and costs less than developing and launching the final product with more features and at a larger scale, which increases investment cost and risk of monetary loss in case the product fails.
- Testing with a pilot customer
Launching the first batch of your final product at a commercial scale can be a huge market risk. Even after accounting for all potential hiccups and gathering feedback via surveys and MVPs, the risk remains. Therefore, a great idea to warm up towards finally launching your product at a commercial level is arranging a pilot customer who can use/experience your product and provide you with honest feedback. The feedback provided to you by a pilot customer is more important than any prior feedback/survey because the product is now in its final form and any feedback to the final form of the product will only be aimed towards fine-tuning it instead of introducing any last-minute major changes. After any required fine-tuning, based on the feedback of the pilot customer, the product can be launched in the market.
8. Creating a brand
A startup is so much more than just identifying a problem and providing a solution. A significant number of people may agree to the problem but they may not necessarily be inclined towards buying the solution that you are building, This is where branding steps in. Branding goes beyond creating a logo or a social media page. It helps create an image of your product in the relevant market. It enables people to identify the product to its source, thus building a sense of truth in them. It helps you reach out to your customer, form a bond with them and ultimately convince them that you’re product or service will indeed help them fight the problem which they are facing. Branding also paves the way for your company to launch any new range of product in the future thus making it a very significant part of the entire process of turning your startup idea into a product/service.