The Start-up Lifecycle

The start-up industry may appear very glamorous from the surface, but it entails endless meticulous planning and back breaking hard work, it’s anything but a cake-walk. Most success stories that come into limelight have already gone through testing times and been bitten by failure at some stage or the other and have survived the winds of change.FullSizeRender

The typical stages in a start-up are more or less as below:

  • Ideate – An idea that has been incubating for a while gets more concrete and is at a stage where it can be implemented. It has to be beyond the pen and paper stage, on the path to a more concrete objective.
  • Feasibility study – validate your idea, think through all the possibilities, market demands, fall back plan and get an initial feedback from friends and family about the viability of the idea.
  • Conceptualize the idea into a business case, planning the inception, the initial capital required, the source of fund, the launch of beta version of the product and the marketing of the same to acquire a customer base.
  • While you’re at it, you’ll need to create an online presence in this age of digitalization, you will have to be visible. Brand building and audience buying begins even before the actual launch of the product. Send out teasers in the social media, engage your potential customers and get them interested in your product.
  • To allure the venture capital funding, your product has to be foolproof in this age of competition. The VC firms have to see a potential market for the product to be convinced to invest in it. Be prepared to be grilled.
  • Midway, if gets bumpy and you realize start-up life is just not your cuppa, you should return to your plan B, in case you give up. But if you have a heart made of steel, there’s no stopping you….
  • Then slog even harder. Learn from mistakes. Curate and analyze:
  1. consumer behavior both offline and online
  2. abandoned baskets
  3. competitive analysis
  4. social media analysis
  5. shopping history

Success is hard work and in order to acquire new customers and retain the existing, there’s no short cut but to get the above steps right, if it does not work at once – reiterate. When success does come by, in the form of reaching targeted number of customers or reaching the targeted revenue, all the hard work does pay off. The incredible feeling of having achieved something, which is your own, based on your accomplishments, is almost hedonistic. Handmade success!

You know you have a start-up itch when….

tablet-791051_640Just like one size does not fit all, not everyone is cut out for the start-up toil. It takes grit, determination and a tenacious can-do spirit apart from having a sustainable idea that could actually sell. So you want to find out if you have it in you what it takes?

Check if:

  • you’re too wild to be tamed and bound by 9-5 jobs, run of the mill work and bosses? A lot of us hate the above but that doesn’t make us the start-up kinda folk
  • Status quo is alien to you? To get your adrenaline pumping you need challenges? You’re always thinking out of the box and impatient and fearless about trying new stuff? You could be a person of that ilk!
  • You’re full of well thought through ideas? You’ve indoctrinated in you that “if life hands you lemons you’re going to make Caipirinha out of it”? You see solutions only, problems are a learning experience for you? Oh dear! You could very well be one of those!
  • You have a well thought through business plan with an adversity fund/plan, to keep you afloat while you’re testing the waters? If yes, you’re meticulous, man!
  • You know how to design great products, network, market and sell your products? You may not be a master of all but you certainly can be a jack of few. If you’re going to branch out on your own, you’ll not have a huge capital to get the jazziest of analytics products or hire expensive consultants from the inception of your company
  • In continuation with the above, you don’t mind getting your hands dirty and burning midnight oil to realize your dream?
  • Failure doesn’t deter you? What are you waiting for??

If you’ve gone through the above list and realized you embody most of the above traits, then jump on the band wagon… the world is your stage!