Many times we hear people talking about these brilliant ideas for business they have. Then, we meet them again after five years and guess what? They still have brilliant ideas, they wish they could realize. If you feel like one of those dreamers it's high time to stop talking and start doing.
Be clear on your motivation
Before quitting your job and starting a new, better, entrepreneurial life in a wooden shed in your parent's backyard, ask yourself WHY do you want to start. Going into business for the wrong reasons is one of the most commonly committed mistakes that cause a startup's failure.
If you want to start a new business just to double your salary you might be surprised how much time it would take (if ever) to earn your dreamed salary. For the economic reasons usually it’s better to start or continue a career as startups are rather a middle-term investment. It usually takes 2 years to make a new business tick if you’re inventing something new and according to statistics more than a half of Startups do not survive even the first 5 years. However, if your product turns out to be a success you can earn a multiplication of your salary. As always, higher risk means higher reward. Just be aware of extra costs and expenses that may appear in time.
You need a change in your life
Don't rush things. Starting a business is not the only answer to frustration and boredom you might be facing. First, ask yourself if you really want to become an entrepreneur or maybe changing your current work would be a better solution? If you're determined to start up, make a business plan and ask for advice more experienced entrepreneurs - you would be surprised how many of them are willing to help. A great thing about launching a new business is that you can start small, spend just a few hours a week on it and have a job in parallel. With time you will be able to evaluate your results and expand your business.
Because it’s fashionable
Many people tend to think starting a new business is just fun and they do it only to "join the band". Starting-up is fun indeed, but most of all it's hard work and requires a lot of sacrifices. Usually things turn out to be more difficult than at the beginning, therefore this motivation alone is not enough.
Solving a particular problem
That’s a great motivation, probably the best one to start with. Make sure the problem is real and it affects more people, not just you. Do the competitive analysis to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors within your market and establish your competitive advantage clearly. Make sure people will want to pay for the solution. Having a good idea is important, monetizing it is a different story.
Resources: what will you need
If you are determined to start, think about all the things you will need. Planning ahead will increase your chances to success a lot.
You don't have a lot of time? That's perfect! It will motivate you to work more efficiently. You need to secure at least a few hours a week to kick off your project. Make the best of the time you have by focusing on the most important tasks and planning your goals ahead. You should be stubborn and not give up easily. If you cannot guarantee that, don’t start. You should be acting quickly, quicker than competitors.
Obviously a lot of factors depend on the details: market, target audience, competition etc. However, there are some basics costs you can estimate prior to the start, especially when it comes to building an application. It may cost you anything from £3,000 when you’re using students up to £100,000+ if you decide to go with a top UK agency. From our experience we found that when working with innovative projects you need to secure at least £10,000-20,000 for product/app, design/development and the same amount for post launch activities.
Learning from people who have ‘been there, done that’ can be tremendously important, especially if your startup deals with an area that is not your core. Attending events and talking about your project with other entrepreneurs from the community will help you to evaluate your idea and develop it. However, you shouldn't follow every advice you hear. Have a trusted tech expert or CTO who can deal with technology and will help you make informed decisions. Also, don't be too attached to your original idea. The final product very often is very different from the first concept.
You don't have to be an expert on everything, in fact nobody is. Trying to do things that you are not qualified to do is just a waste of your time and money. Find people who you can trust and who will be complimentary to your skills. Make sure they know how to do the job and let them help you build your business into a successful enterprise.
How to start then?
Make sure the motivation is right i.e. can keep you going for at least few months. It's extremely important that you believe in your idea and that you are passionate about it enough to devote many years of your life to make it a reality. Clarify your vision and confirm it makes sense. Then get the resources needed to start and just do it!