Startups are hard.
They take super precious time and often lots of money before one gets it right.
At the core, startups are solutions to people’s problems, whether it is related to boredom, money, health, or in any other space, and people paying for that solution.
The following 5-steps, when followed, will make sure that a founder is not ignoring these basics.
Let’s see what these steps are.
1/ Start with a Problem.
Best if it is your problem.
To find a problem worth solving, if not evident, look for what frustrates you, or for friction that prevents you from doing something, or where existing solutions are not optimum that you think you can improve.
2/ Solve That Problem
Solve that problem for 5-10 different people, companies if selling to a business, with 100% or some degree of customization.
3/ Convert Solution Into a Product for Scale
Now see if the solution can be converted to a product. Because you need a product for scale. And a startup is by definition a business designed for fast growth usually 10% week on week in the early days.
Voila, now you have a startup.
Now, make this startup a success. How?
4/ Make it easy for your customers to use and get value from what you make
Because customers won’t get value if they can’t use it.
By making it easy for your customers to use, you make sure they use it.
When they use it they’ll see value in it, and when they get the value they will stick with you and happily pay, and many will tell others.
Ease of use is the reason why initially you may have to customize your solution for early customers. Collison Brothers, co-founders of one the biggest startups of current times Stripe, personally installed the code of the laptops of their early customers.
5/ Now get more people to use and pay
If you did the above right. It is just a matter of showing up every day.
Getting people to use what is being made, and asking them to pay for it.
To make it easy for customers to pay, make it easy for them to see value in what you make.
An example of this will be software that can pull the information from your bank accounts and credit cards transactions, and show where you are spending your money, and show you opportunities to save.
YouNeedABudget is one such software and it continues to thrive because people easily see value in it.
There are millions of startups out there, across niches and industries. Your startup is one of them. Think about how you can make it easy for your customer to see value in what you make and sell. Once you do that, you would have created a big win for your startup.