How to start a startup in 7 steps
To start a startup, get an idea, validate it, quit your job if you need to, build something small and useful, work on it every day, and launch it.
I'm going to kick this off with a simple statistic – there are an average of 24 startups being founded every minute in the US alone . It's a good time to start a startup, but how do you actually do it? This guide will be covering the step-by-step process from preparing yourself and your idea, deciding on the valuation and investment terms (and getting them), creating the legal structure of your company and online presence, building a prototype, hiring your first few employees, right through to getting traction and scaling.
Start a startup in 7 steps
Step 1: Define your startup idea Startup ideas are like babies. They come from nowhere, they grow up quickly, and you can't live without them. But before you start a new company, it's important to define the idea behind it. What problem does your business solve? Why does this problem exist? What is your solution to this problem? Once you have answered these questions, you'll have a better understanding of what your startup is about and what kind of people you'll need to hire to help execute on that vision.
Step 2: Find co-founders and employees who share your vision You don't need a huge team to start a successful business — but you do need the right people. You should find co-founders who share your vision for the company and who can complement each other's skillsets. If one person has technical skills while another has business experience, this could be an ideal partnership!
Focus on a problem that you care about, then start a startup to solve it.
The first step to starting a startup is to solve a problem that you really care about. If you don't have a problem that motivates you, it's hard to stay motivated. The best place to find problems is by talking to people who are having trouble with something and finding out what they wish was different or better.
If there's no one in your life that has this problem, then try talking to strangers at the grocery store or on the street. If you're stuck on what problem to focus on, here are some ideas: Find a way to make money doing something you love (software, music, art).
Solve an annoying or painful problem that happens frequently (back pain, dry skin). Make something that makes your life easier (streamlined shopping list).
Find founders who complement your skill set.
The first step toward starting a company is deciding what type of company you want to run. If you're just starting out, it's best to start small. "The biggest mistake people make is trying to do too much at once," says David Cohen, co-founder and CEO of TechStars. "If you try to do everything in one go, the likelihood that you'll fail increases dramatically." Instead, focus on one thing.
Build up your skills and knowledge around that one thing until you feel like you can tackle something more ambitious. Once you've figured out what type of company you want to start, it's time to find founders who complement your skill set. The ideal founding team has complementary skills: one person who knows how to code and another who knows how to sell; one person who knows how to build a business plan and another who knows how to manage finances; etc.
Make sure the problem is a big one.
The first step in starting a startup is to figure out what problem you want to solve. If you can’t articulate it clearly, and if you don’t have a solution that’s unique, then no one will care about what you’re doing. If your problem isn’t big enough, no one will care about solving it.
There are plenty of small problems out there — but if you want to start a company that solves them, then the solution needs to be big enough to justify the investment in time and money that will be required. Make sure your solution is unique. It doesn't matter how many other people are trying to solve the same problem if yours is different from theirs.
It could be more effective or cheaper; it could be used by people who aren't being served by existing solutions; or it could be designed in such a way that it's easier for users than other solutions on the market — which means more people will adopt it. It's important not just for your company but for your personal success as an entrepreneur that you find something new to do rather than simply repackaging something old (or worse yet copying someone else's idea).
Solve the right problem.
Startups are like babies: they take a lot of work to get started and then they're hard to keep up with. If you want to start a startup, here's how to do it the right way: Solve the right problem. The most important thing about starting a startup is that you're solving a real problem for real people in a meaningful way.
If you don't have this element right, nothing else matters. It's better to build something that solves a small problem for one person than something that solves a big problem for nobody at all. Find someone who really needs your product or service, ask them what they need, and build that first.
Get out of your own way. Most people think they know what they want when they want it, but they're wrong. You need feedback from outside sources — especially early adopters — to tell you what they actually want and how much they'll pay for it (and even whether they'll use it at all).
Listen carefully and take careful notes; this is one of the most valuable things about being an entrepreneur: hearing directly from people who will pay for your product or service because it solves their problems in ways no one else can solve them yet.
Forget customer development, figure out the product yourself.
As a startup founder, you need to be able to do everything yourself. You are the developer, marketer, salesperson, and financial analyst. Your startup is your baby — you have to know how to do it all. But there’s one thing you shouldn’t do on your own: figure out what customers want.
What? How can I build a product if I don’t know what people want? This is the biggest mistake I see startups make. They build a product for themselves and then try to sell it to customers. This rarely works well because the founders don’t understand what customers really want or need from their product or service.
The result is that they spend time building something that no one wants or needs!
Don't be too open-minded and don't listen to what other people want.
It's easy to get caught up in the idea of starting a business. You read stories of young entrepreneurs who are selling their products on Etsy or making their fortunes on Kickstarter, and you want to do it, too.
Avoid distractions and stay focused.
The first step to starting your own business is figuring out what you’re passionate about. This isn’t something you can do by looking at a spreadsheet or reading other people’s advice. You need to know what makes you tick, and that won’t come from a blog post. If you don’t follow your passion, then the chances of your startup being successful are pretty slim.
Think about it — how many people do you know who have successful careers in fields they don’t like? I can think of two people off the top of my head who work in careers they absolutely hate and they both have big families and mortgages to pay off, so they reluctantly keep working in their field until they can find something better.
You don’t have to be an entrepreneur to follow your passions; you just have to find something that matters enough for you to put in the effort required to succeed at it.
All in All...
So what steps should you take for you startup? Come up with a name for your company, find that first angel investor, then contact them and pitch them your idea to get that seed money, set up the office space (rent one or buy it), hire your first employees (part-time at first until you see how things are going), begin drafting up that business plan.
Then after you have $1.3M in funding and an office space, you do the hiring and begin producing your product. Finally once everything is up and running successfully you will want to start getting funding by marketing yourself by word of mouth. The best way I see to do this is by get it on the major news networks which will gain the attention of all the businesses in the area which will want to buy it.
These are just a few steps to follow but like I said there may be other ways to do it. One thing is for sure though is that you must be dedicated 110% for your product or service to succeed. If so give it a try....Good Luck!
About the author
🤓 I am an entrepreneur who builds brands/influencer. And I want to chat with anyone that is interested in starting their own business/brand or who wants to take it to the next level! You can message me anytime!