Choosing your startup idea with 5 easy steps

Ah, startup setup on your mind… there’s a world of choice; so many possibilities that you could invest your time, money and energy into… but what… to… choose? Hmm.


Step 1:

Wait, wait, wait. Back it up a little; the first thing you need to focus on; is your founding story. It’s just as important as the idea itself.

  • What’s your story? Where do you come from? How do you know this grand plan can work?
  • Why are you launching such a product or service to your industry? What are you trying to solve with this start-up?
  • What makes you better than what’s already out there? What makes you the pro?

Your first task is to answer all these questions, and allow yourself to develop more questions in analysing your story. Once you feel comfortable with all your answers you’re probably ready to take on the next step.

Warning: make sure you’re an absolute pro in your field when launching a new startup. Ideas come and go; but revolutionary concepts, and even better yet, philosophies that you stand firm by, will never leave your side. Take on a project that you are passionate about; being opportunistic in following trends and making a quick buck, will be an investment that will quickly fizzle out.

Step 2:

Great, you’ve made it to the next step. This clearly means that your idea is not shabby at all and that there’s a lot of potential you can live up to in the launch of your startup. Locating the industry problem, aiming for the root of the frustration, error or delay and shooting right at the target. Bullseye! You’re suddenly everyone’s new best friend.

Speak to any professional in your industry and ask them what they dislike about their jobs; you’ll probably get a string of similar answers, that lead you to problem solving with your ingenuity, talent and drive. The best way to create a killer product or service is to market it as a time/energy/money/stress saver. Take your pick, they’re all important.

Before you market your idea as a godsend, you need to ensure that it works. If it solves a problem without creating another issue; you’ve struck gold!

Step 3:

Always remember that rules are for suckers and you, my friend, are no sucker. Fear is one of the biggest inhibitors in the creative process. Just because you’ve been taught to do something one way doesn’t mean you can’t experiment and discover a new path for yourself. Think outside the box, break boundaries, take risks and aim for the sky – enough clichés to keep you motivated I hope.

If you have insight on an industry’s daily habits, you’ve definitely got the upper hand. You know how things work, how they’re expected to run and what the end result should be. Right? Well, yes. But looking at things from a completely outward perspective could result in a pioneering idea, a vision that is not dampened by structures, policies, frameworks or legislations. Not knowing much about an industry allows you to see it at face value and evaluate the lacks it may possess. Bend the rules a little; see where it takes you.

Step 4:

You reap what you sow. The more you sow, the more you reap. It’s as simple as that. If you’re ready to invest – not waste, waste is not a term you should be using to describe your passion project – your time into your idea, founding story and risks there’s a mountain to climb and you’re already halfway up there. Time is vital in the building of a new relationship; be it in your personal, social or business life.

Make working on your startup a fun thing, something you look forward to and want to kick ass in. The results you can achieve are awesome; you just need to find the right path.

Step 5:

Be flexible. Rigidity is a startup’s worst enemy. Being hard headed and claiming that your initial idea is the crème de la crème may be your absolute downfall. Change is a factor that you will need to embrace on your journey towards success. If your new product or service is not moving at a steady pace, even if you’ve put in the hours, the research, the legwork and countless sleepless nights, then something is definitely wrong.

Rebranding, choosing the right target market and even altering your founding idea just that little bit may help you soar. Involve your friends, get some advice and even opt for some AB testing approaches to make sure your vision is on the right track.

Get those thinking caps on, prepare yourself a big cup of Joe and get ready for a good old fashioned brainstorm sesh.


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