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For many people, a stable job is the only right direction of professional development and climbing up a corporate ladder. And only a few dare to take a risk and come up with an idea to create a startup. There is no universal approach for launching a successful startup, as many factors affect the way it will be got off the ground: from industry, it is going to operate into daily small pitfalls which can demotivate the enthusiasts who once have put the chestnuts in the fire. In any way, there are some common problems every startup faces, as well as general patterns every successful startup is based on.

WHY STARTUP?

First of all, it is worth pointing out why to startup at all. Considering the world we are living in, most of our basic needs are already well-served. It means that creating a new business trying to facilitate the customers’ needs in a traditional way equals fiasco. That’s why there are two possible scenarios a startup should incorporate:

    1.Offering a product with added value to a customer. Added value is a formula of something like existing product plus add-on, where add-on is any feature of the product and/or complimentary customer service which outstand it among other competitors on the market.

    2.Creating a unique product to meet not satisfied needs. Optionally, identifying the customer needs which are not currently supplied gives the startupers a competitive advantage of being the first in the niche.

Both mentioned options presuppose a product which is new to the customers, and both are the issuer for a time-to-market concept. However, uniqueness is not a ticket to success: it is just one piece of a startup puzzle.

CHALLENGES IMPEDING A SUCCESS STARTUP

Planning. Like any enterprise, a startup requires a business plan. It should include the key areas such as a vector of development, staffing policy, marketing & sales strategy, funding schedule, etc. The more clear a business plan can communicate to the investors and other stakeholders, the better outcomes one can expect (boosting revenues and minimizing risks). Begining is the most difficult part of planning, hard to understand what can get at the end. But Edgica knows how to work with startups and can help with any stage of the project. We can cover the full cycle of software development and facilitate the process of creating a product of your dream. Also, we are happy to assist and help you you with all possible questions after launching.

Funding. Most startups, including in the IT sector, often lack the capital to transform an idea into a real project. There are always such things as software or product development, office space, marketing promotion, etc. which require initial investments. Regardless of many beliefs that one needs to cut costs at the beginning stage of a startup, the point is that raising funds is hard, but essential for startup building.

Right people. One person cannot have the full stack of skills required for implementing a startup. There is always a need for the right people on board, as those who are working on a startup, are the crucial factor of its survival in the short-run and thriving in the long-run. That’s why a hiring strategy needs to be well-developed prior to a recruiting process starts.

Poor management. Managing the processes and facilitating decision-making are not easy tasks, especially in a startup. Frequently, it can end up with weighting some uncomfortable decisions for one person, from the one side, and startup flourishing, from the other side.

Lack of mentorship. Having a good idea without proper knowledge of the market, as well as the expertise and skills, leads to numerous mistakes which could be avoided if only somebody from the industry shares his or her experience.

Scaling up. When a startup has gained certain heights, it’s time to think about “what’s next?” For many, this question is intimidating and confusing. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all way for IT startups of how to grow: while some launch a new product, the others enter the new markets. There are other options for scaling up, but which is the best vastly varies from startup to startup.

WHAT MAKES A BUSINESS SUCCESSFUL?

Unique product. The IT niche, like any other, is high-competitive. Technology is fast-developing, and every day there is something new on the market. From this point of view, it is extremely hard (if not impossible) to bring something “unseen before” and make the customers buy it. Within this framework, it is vital to find an unsatisfied need and only then create a product that perfectly serves this need. Many startups fail as they only think that their product is unique. At the same time, there is in-depth market research on the consumer needs behind the really successful startups.

Business plan + money. A correctly designed business plan increases chances to rise investments. Personal savings and credits are the main source of startup funding. For many, it is an unbearable burden, and the only option is to mobilize investments, including venture capital (VC), business angels (BA), banks, as well as crown funding. While the banks are more likely to give a large sum of money to the established companies (rarely funding the startups), VCs and BAs can spend considerable funds on maintaining a startup with a clear business plan. Additionally, both VCs and BAs favor the software and technology industry (more than half of their investments in the US is in the IT sector).

Building a customer base. For an IT startup, it is crucial to increase its digital presence in various mass media and on the Internet as a whole. It comes down to digital marketing techniques such as SEO, SMM, SEM, PPC, etc. All these help in luring the new customers, and retaining the old ones (returning customers are the most valuable). Also, the affiliate strategy brings benefits and strengthens consumer trust. With this in mind, a website becomes a base for reaching the audience. So, the website needs to be sell-designed and easy to navigate so as to ensure the best consumer experience. Sometimes, it is cheaper to buy a website for a startup, then develop it from scratch.

Bottom line

Building a customer base. For an IT startup, it is crucial to increase its digital presence in various mass media and on the Internet as a whole. It comes down to digital marketing techniques such as SEO, SMM, SEM, PPC, etc. All these help in luring the new customers, and retaining the old ones (returning customers are the most valuable). Also, the affiliate strategy brings benefits and strengthens consumer trust. With this in mind, a website becomes a base for reaching the audience. So, the website needs to be sell-designed and easy to navigate so as to ensure the best consumer experience. Sometimes, it is cheaper to buy a website for a startup, then develop it from scratch.

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