Defining a Purpose
Your team must be comfortable sitting down and working towards a common goal. Regardless of if you’re working with 2 people or 10 or even 100, everybody needs to push forward towards one finished product. This purpose should be outlined in advance and give the startup some value.
Maybe your idea is to revolutionize web hosting with newer green technology. Or building a mobile app for sharing up-to-the-minute news with friends via iOS. Whatever your startup falls into make sure it’s clear, concise, and plausible. Because once everything is in production it’s more difficult to go back and redo major concepts.
Get the Team on Board
While discussing your product I should also mention another key point – the team. You need to have everybody who’s working on your product super excited. Not even just excited, but dedicated and passionate about the end result. When you have a passionate team it’s only easier to reach goals and complete tasks month after month.
Typically tech startups revolve around a single type of digital product. This could be Premium WordPress themes or web graphics/icons. But alternatively your team may be working in the realm of social products – such as a new social network or information sharing center. The Internet is all about connecting people, after all.
Though no matter what you’re doing, it’s evident your company will need some web presence. How else can you market any powerful idea all across the world? Even just a small corporate-style website with a couple pages is much better than nothing at all. And typically this works out well since you won’t need to hire any extra web developers for the task.
Don’t Try to Reinvent the Wheel
I notice this all the time with young enthusiastic developers. You look at WordPress and say “I can design a better CMS than this”. And in truth maybe you can – I’ll admit the Admin panel feels bland after looking at it all day long.
But the startup scene is ferocious and this kind of attitude just won’t work. The reality of the situation is that WordPress can offer everything you’d need for an online magazine, corporate site, even a social networking feature. And going further you have plenty of other options to build off including Joomla!, Drupal, Pligg, Fork CMS, SMF… the amount of open source code is not slowing down. So it’s important that you take advantage of these back-end systems, at least during the early launch phase.
In the long run your startup is a business focused on turning a profit and helping the world. The first year is all about getting a product completed and building a recognizable branding. Take pride in your work, but don’t try going back and re-doing features that are already available at your fingertips.
Software is easier to build when you use abstraction – basically layers upon layers of pre-determined code. This is why so many app developers can create programs for Windows and Mac without needing extensive knowledge of the Operating System. This case holds true for the Internet as well. You can build a killer website on any of the CMS’ available and slowly create new ideas off their features, without even needing to know all the internal code.
Move with a Plan
It’s all too easy falling into a routine schedule every day where each person is working on their own little piece of the project. This is great in the early stages – but after a couple of months it’s important that everybody start working off a master plan.
This plan could be a detailed written piece or just a small list of tasks. It should represent all the tasks you need to complete in order of importance. It can be fun to finish off the extra sidebar widget design, but this will not earn you extra money or visitors come end of the day.
I always say that marketing is truly #1 above all else. A good marketer can sell a horrible website and probably do a half-okay job. Regardless of what your product is, nobody can use it unless they can find links. The Internet is loaded with opportunities for marketing and you should jump on these quickly after launching.
Along with basic marketing you’ll also have to handle public relations. This includes social networking accounts, answering support e-mails, and dealing with other PR media(interviews, articles, phone convos, etc). There is so much more to consider, but that will all change based on your startup’s goals. Maintenance is very important so don’t get too stressed out if things seem to be moving slowly. Just having your website up online each day is a significant feat in itself!
This is always a groundbreaking idea which entrepreneurs find difficult to grasp. Failure is inevitable and always part of life. But failure only becomes reality when you give up and let the failure end everything.
I recommend using your experiences with failure as lessons in the grander scheme of things. Even if you wake up to realize your startup idea is fundamentally flawed, you do not need to call it quits. Go back to the drawing board and revamp the idea. Remove what isn’t going to work and start focusing on what you need to do. Just make things happen. Because unfortunately nobody else will come in and make things happen for you.
Try applying these techniques to your own startup vision and you will surely come out successful. There is no hard and fast method for building such a profitable company. It often requires years of hard work and dedication to your cause. But startup ideas and small businesses will always be the way of the future, offering regional prosperity and employment options.