At Indiez, after working very closely with 150+ best entrepreneurs, delivering a product perfectly on 250+ projects and networking with 600+ founders, we know the hardships that leads to 90% of startups failing within the first 5 years.
Entrepreneurship is not a science or something that you are born with. It is a discipline that anyone can master through diligence, persistence and belief.
In 2018, we find ourselves in a saturated world where customers expectations are hard to exceed! They will compare your product with the likes of Google, Facebook, Salesforce and Airbnb which are multi-billion dollar companies.
How do you compete with them?
Well, possibly this is a best time to start your own business. Today, the world’s most highly valued company is a tech company. The followers are tech companies as well. This is a great time to start your own business if you learn the right approach.
Here are some of our learnings -
#1 Come up with an incredible startup idea
Itis not an easy task to come up with an idea and your idea can come in many different forms. You do not need a unique or niche product or service but you do need to be able to do it better.
In 2018, we find ourselves in a position where
- You can bring an idea from another country to your own country or globally
- You see a major brand with faults that you feel you could do it better or
- You see a major trend in the world that you feel a product or service could entertain.
This is the year where ideas will keep on coming, the opportunities are endless and with the potential going forward, starting a business from your idea today could bring great rewards and success. If you are struggling, have a read of my previous article — ‘How to get an app idea’.
The idea side of your business/startup is very cheap to do these days, the key is learning how to execute it. Testing your idea has never been easier, resources like ‘how to save $100,000 on your app idea’ will help you save time, money and energy on executing your idea in the most efficient way possible.
#2 Why market matters more than ever
“Product Market Fit is the only thing that matters” — Mark Andreessen
“Getting product right means finding product/market fit. It does not mean launching the product. It means getting to the point where the market accepts your product and wants more of it.” Fred Wilson (co-founder USV)
Spend all your money on growth and not understanding where you fit in the market and this will put you on the list of the 90% of startups who die.
A team can change but your market can’t.
Identifying your market is crucial to your idea and do it to the right people — Segment, the famous startup, had to struggle with multiple products before it reached a product market fit. Here’s an amazing video of Peter, founder of Segment on PMF.
Hashcut, the platform that clips any YouTube video reached out to influencers and vloggers before launching their product to see if they felt it was a good idea. Since launch, their service is used by over 1000 unique users daily. Understanding the right market by reaching out to right market leaders helped them success before they had even launched.
Learning about the concept of product market fit and applying it to your specific idea will put you in a great position at the start. I would advise checking out Tren Griffin’s blog post.
#3 Build a remote team or die
2018 is only at the beginning of the digital nomad/remote working generation. This is the #futureofwork and we should know as at Indiez we are a 100% remote working community.
To launch your startup, you will need to have a team of extraordinary talent who can assist you along the way. Allowing yourself to remote working allows you to find the best talent in the whole world!
If you do not have the right team members, you startup will die before it can start to grow.
Earlypad.com recently found that this is the most common reason why startups fail. The best idea in the world still needs the right team behind for execution.
Your team members will need to have the same level of passion for your product and the same level of belief with your startup goals and being remote will allow you to deepen the search for these people.
You also need to be open to their input
‘Why do I have to do everything myself?’ Margaret Thatcher asked her cabinet just before her downfall. The reality was, she didn’t, she wouldn’t let herself be open to alternative suggestions.
Your team members will come from different backgrounds, different cultures, different experiences and being open and listening will bring you success. Indiez have an incredible team that are able to meet daily despite different time zones. Having a remote team opens yourself up to finding the best team available across the world and generating the greatest ideas.
Be ready for the future and look into remote workers from day dot.
#4 Build Globally, Think Locally
You can live anywhere and work everywhere thanks to the technology that connects us to information, resources, collaborators and customers around the globe. Despite this global reach, small town business sense is what works best in the digital age.
Build a community of like-minded, passionate homesteaders as if you were building your local community.
2018 is a year that is allowing for a platform that gives opportunity to use your product and service on a truly global scale but if you treat the customers, community and everyone you encounter as if you were their ‘local coffee shop’ then you can offer a service that is truly remarkable.
Treat the world as your local community and keep them informed via social media, email campaigns and blog posts. Using tools such as MailChimp allows you to create personal emails to community members and providing the personal touch via access to your own contact information allows you to build relationships as if you were in a stand up shop on their street.
If you can think like a local business, you will stand out online. Most people are not willing to put the extra time and effort into building a community in addition to a business.
#5 Growth Hacking > Marketing
We recently published an article on the best growth hacks for non-tech founders. At Indiez, we have seen some of the best, unique incredible products but they have failed due to bad marketing and as a result failed to grow fast.
If you do not market correctly, your startup will die.
Marketing and growing well in this digital era that we find ourselves in in 2018 provides guaranteed success. Established businesses like Burger King have found that apps such as Foursquare have provided them with a platform to increase their popularity to their demographic (young people).
If you have found that your startup can reach out to several demographics then you can use digital marketing to create personalization. Great Wine Inccreated different messages depending on the target audience. They emphasise on “affordability” for millennials while emphasising on vinotype for “baby boomers”
Master of Scale also produced a podcast called grow fast — decide, decide, decide. I would advise that is well worth the listen, understanding how these quick decisions with regards to your marketing can help you speed up the path to success.
#6 2018 is the year of networking
You are starting your startup in 2018. Right now we have more tools and opportunities to network than ever before.
Using free business social networks like LinkedIn allows you to connect with the greatest people across the globe. The influencers on LinkedIn are always open to receiving new requests and mentoring the next generation of startup heroes.
Meetup is another cool medium that allows you to create or attend events in your area based on your interests. These events can provide you with a platform to meet with like-minded people, potential investors and market experts.
#7 New Technologies — Build It Future Proof
One of the best things to know about in 2018 are the endless possibilities and pain-free options available to you in the world of tech.
The future is bringing a lot a new businesses and technologies and some are making disruptions, while some are worth following to see whether you could implement your service/product in this field.
Disruptive technology that you need to be aware of is Blockchain. You must have seen on Linkedin or in the media, several ICO’s and ideas popping up daily using blockchain technology as a platform to disrupt many industries across the globe. Despite the uncertainties and scepticism in the world about whether they will be a success, it is definitely an industry you have to be watching.
#8 Decide on the right financing technique for you
Previously, there were only two types of financial models for startups — fundraising and bootstrapping.
These models have their own advantages and disadvantages and the right way forward depends on different factors.
If you are in a position where you already have the funds to build and test a product then bootstrapping is the way to go!
If you have limited funds and need specific assistance then fundraising is a more feasible option as you can receive investment and solid advice for growth in exchange for equity. You have to compromise and be aware that the vision you envisioned for your startup could change direction with their input.
SAFE, Simple Agreement for Future Equity, is a fantastic way of raising funds in the most simple way. Dropbox, Reddit, AirBNB have all used it as a viable option as it enables you to raise funs by just a piece of paper. This is loved by founders. It is so simple that you do not need to hire a lawyer to draft any agreements and it is also a ‘convertible note ’ — no current valuation is agreed and as the numbers of fixed on a later date, it means that in essence, investors have to wait an specified amount of time to get their hands on the equity that they have invested in. That valuation will usually be determined during the Series A financing, when there are more data points off which to base a valuation.
You should raise what you NEED, raising too much or not enough can cause financial difficulties to your business before they even launch. If you raise too much, you can suffer when your startup starts making the profits and if you raise not enough — you will end up unable to pay for everything you need.
If you have any questions or need any advice on these tips — contact the Indiez team and we will personally reply to help you further.
These tips will help you start the race on the startup circuit. If you take them in and act on them, you should lead the race and prevent failure. For more advice, I would advise you to take a look at Paul Graham’s essay on ‘how to start a startup’.
Need help building your product? Indiez will be here for you when you need something building. Our remote community will help you on your way and build you a product very fast. We have the top 1% startup talent in the world and we will guarantee to hit your deadlines.