Every month there are increasingly more people looking to shake off the shackles of the standard 9 to 5 life and embark the exciting journey of launching their own business. But as every seasoned and experienced entrepreneur knows, launching a business is one of the most challenging yet rewarding endeavors that you can undertake.
Social media and the hype around startups have made heroes and superstars out of successful founders, but hasn’t really focused on the challenges, mistakes, and setbacks that these successful, and many other failed, founders, have made that have cost them time and money.
Below is a list of the top three things to keep in mind when first launching your concept to market which will help you avoid potential pitfalls at the early stages of launch.
1. Keep it lean
You may or may not have heard of the lean methodology, but I personally am a fan of the core ideas of lean and the principles that it preaches. Lean is essentially a scientific approach to creating a startup that aims to help you avoid wasting time, effort and cost by going down the wrong direction too far. Lean is a build-measure-learn model that supports an iterative approach to quickly finding the right product-market fit.
This is critical at the beginning stages of launching a startup as you want to reach that magical moment of finding product-market fit and valuation through paying customers as fast as possible.
2. Listen closely and understand your customers
To be successful in your startup you have to not just solve a problem for your customers, but solve it in the right way. The people in the best position possible to tell you whether you are delivering value to them is your customers.
Your primary job as a startup founder is to so deeply understand your customers and the problem space that you can predict the needs and pains of your future customers before they even realize its a problem for them.
3. Find the right delivery partners
Lastly, find the right delivery partners to make magic happen. Find someone who is more than just a resource but a “trusted delivery partner or adviser” who can be trusted to be a subject matter expert in their field and can not only deliver but provide insight and value from their field of expertise.
As a founder, you most likely won’t have the time and/or know-how to deliver on every aspect of your business, especially more low-level tasks that make up a component of your business, so finding the right people you can trust to distribute your workload is key to a fast and efficient journey to launch.