The secret formula for a successful startup
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The secret formula for a successful startup

12 min read

Everyone has ideas, though some of those may be decent while others are not that good. Even though you have an idea, a great idea, there’s a difference between having an idea and launching the idea to create a successful startup.

Launching a successful startup is like a game, you must build a product people need and pay for, OR you lose. Sky's the limit for how you want to accomplish your goal, there’s no right answer or set path. For those, who’ve never started a business before, it sounds like a terrifying task, it’ll take hard work, dedication, money, sleepless nights, above all some failure before launching.

​A report by IBM Institute for Business Value and Oxford Economics found that 90 percent of Indian startups fail within the first five years, lack of innovation being the main reason.

While you can take hundreds of steps to launch your business/startup, we’ve narrowed down the main 6 steps that you need to take to get your startup off the ground.

  • Identify good and bad ideas at the early stage

    As an entrepreneur, you come across a ton of new product ideas, each and every day.Some of them may sound promising, but only a few have the real potential to become a successful business. So, how do you actually pick the great idea, that has the potential to change the world or attract the people? We believe you need to identify your own problems and think about smart solutions. One problem can be solved by hundreds of simple solutions, it’s your job to choose the best one.

    Be aware that most ideas that seem great in the first place, are either already taken or not so great once you’ve challenged them further.

    A great idea also doesn’t necessarily mean doing something entirely new. Sometimes it's a better approach to do the same thing. As an entrepreneur, you want to start with something on a long-term basis. For that, you need to create something that stays and adds value to people’s lives. So do your homework before you start, understand the market, and jump to the second step.

  • Brainstorming your idea

    Brainstorming is a group creativity technique by which efforts are made to find a conclusion for a specific problem by gathering a list of ideas spontaneously contributed by its members. The goal of brainstorming is to help participants draw associations between different ideas in a free-thinking environment. Properly done, brainstorming can lead to an innovative solution.

    Some of the best ideas are born when a person solves their own problem. If you find that you don’t have a personal problem that translates into a profitable business model, talk to people you know. The world is full of problems that need to be solved. Consider your skills or area of expertise. And think about what you are really good at? As an entrepreneur of your startup, you should know the problem better than anyone else.

    You need to perform a market analysis. If you already know your target market, and you should, you can quickly start with your target market by asking some of your potential customers about their wants, needs, or problems.

    Once you’re done with your research on the market, it’s time to check on your competitors in the market. You might have a brilliant idea, but if the market is already over-crowded, that will make it harder for you to sustain in the market.

    After all this research, finally, it’s time to consider the financial viability of your idea. You need to ask yourself some questions, how much will it cost to start the business, how much will it cost to run the business, how long will it take to reach profitability? If you understand the financial landscape, you’ll be able to confidently assess whether your business idea is strong or just a dream. So, take the time to do the brainstorming.

  • Surround yourself with the right people

    You’re going to need people who compliment your knowledge and expertise while launching your startup company. There is a way to help manage risks and to deal better with day-to-day challenges and that is by having great co-founders by your side. Though every startup is different and the people it brings into the team from idea to execution varies. For instance, some co-founders start the venture from the ideation phase, like friends start a business together. Where some co-founders join later when the founder needs a technical head in charge of product/service

    Finding co-founders is hard, and we would never recommend hiring a co-founder, usually, you should start a business with people you know for years.

    For any staff needs initially, you can have some part-time employees or interns to work for you. You can decide to outsource it. Because, in the early stages, it is very important to save on the cost

    Additionally, you will need investors, advisors, and mentors to build your business. Investors are the ones who are wealthy individuals or organizations who invest in your business, with a clear goal to have a great financial return. Whereas mentors are focused on helping you to grow as an individual and a leader, and we believe every founder should have one or more. Most successful tech entrepreneurs have incredible, experienced, and strong mentors. And advisors can add strategic value to your business. You can have advisors for every part of your business like partnerships, or product, or marketing.

  • Development

    Now, comes the most important step i.e. development of your product. Firstly, sit down and list all the features that you want to see in your product or service. Don’t be shy and include everything you want in the list.

    Since you’re developing an MVP, take a look at the list of features and pick the features that are of prime importance. Leave the rest of the features for the next phases.

    A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a version of a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers and provide feedback for future product development. This means no additional features like fancy design, add-ons, etc. It should focus primarily on solving the core problem.

    At this point it is important not to get carried away and prioritize your features, focusing on essential ones. Your product has to be easy to use, appealing, and most importantly, fit the main user needs.

    Once you have requirements specification ready, you’re all set to finding your tech partner to develop your product. A good tech partner is of extreme importance, as besides investing money, you’re investing your time for the development of your idea

    You should be able to review in-progress work and provide your feedback. While still in development, when you feel it is in good shape, you can have some of your end users try it out. That way, you are prepping your product for better useability and actual launch.

  • MVP launch

    When you and your test users feel that the product is stable, you are now ready to launch MVP. After launching your MVP, analyze everything, from user responses to the product itself - whether it is really competitive and how well it was accepted by the market. Take feedback from users, it is your key to success. It will help you determine which features to add next, whether your product will become popular, etc.

    It is said that an MVP should be created only during a startup’s early days but that’s not true. Whenever you’re developing new features, you should always create an MVP first and release it to selected groups of users to test.

    MVP launch

    Let’s take an example of Instagram to understand how you can always improve with the help of MVP. Initially, the MVP was focused on photo filters only. Users could take pictures, apply one of the suggested filters, and save their photos in an album on their device. Users liked the application. Since then they’re updating the app to include videos, geolocation, tagging, hashtags, and integration with other social networks.

  • Prepare to fail

    Expect the unexpected. Launching your startup company won’t be easy, and you need to plan for some hurdles along the way. Don’t let these speed bumps become roadblocks. You can’t get discouraged when something goes wrong. You will experience setbacks, like running out of money, seeing important people leaving you. But remember, being an entrepreneur means taking calculated risks that takes you towards your goal because without that you will never be truly successful.

    Sometimes, you’ll even make the wrong decision. That’s OK. Part of being an entrepreneur is learning from your mistakes.

Each of these steps takes a lot of time, effort, and energy, probably more than you ever thought for. Launching an idea or a business needs support from others like partners, mentors, advisers, and buyers. You can’t be an entrepreneur alone. Once you launch your dream, you’ll have to increase your visibility and attract opportunities that can change your life, and maybe even the world.

Nobody ever said that starting a company would be easy! But if you have an idea that you just can’t wait to bring to life, It’s 100% worth to turn that dream into a reality.

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