6 Tips for a Quick IT-Startup Launch
CB Insights reports that as of 2023 there are currently 1,200 unicorn companies actively working and growing. These are IT startups valued at over 1 million US dollars in the market. However, according to Review42, only 1 out of 10 startups become successful and globally recognized. Most of them lose ground by the fifth year of their operation. The reasons vary for each case, but the most common one is a lack of funding.
On the one hand, the statistics are disheartening, but on the other, they offer a glimmer of hope. You could be that "1 in 10" who builds a unicorn company. However, to do so, you need to start off the right way and stick to a plan. The following 6 tips will answer your questions about how to launch a startup what pitfalls to watch out for and what steps to take post-launch.
1. Evaluate your startup ideas
Rarely does a unicorn company emerge out of thin air. If you take a closer look at the owners of these companies, you'll notice they're fiercely passionate about their work. They're willing to spend 24 hours a day working on developing, improving, and testing their product. Generating startup ideas and then choosing the best among them is a critical part of the process, just as important as the actual implementation. Picking the wrong direction for your startup can render even the coolest project useless if it doesn't resonate with people's actual needs.
There are three main pillars of a successful IT startup idea:
- It solves a pain point
- It addresses a current need
- It is innovative
To validate your idea, we recommend using the "10-second test" by Janet Kraus, a Harvard Business School professor. The goal of this exercise is to answer the following question honestly: Is this idea an "Oxygen," "Aspirin," or "Jewelry " for potential customers? According to her classification:
- "Oxygen" refers to necessities such as food, clothing, and funeral services.
- "Aspirin" is a solution that saves you from pain and makes your life less stressful. Take coffee, for instance. While not a life-or-death necessity, it's such a pleasant morning ritual, isn't it?
- "Jewelry" is something that evokes emotions and is remembered. For example, desserts, movies, video games, travel, and so on.
A strong idea typically includes all three components. Nevertheless, it's crucial to remain objective and evaluate it realistically.
2. You don't need a business plan to get started
The most common advice you'll find online when asking "How to start a business?" is to write a business plan. Unfortunately, many startup founders spend too much time at this stage. You can spend a whole week analyzing your audience, competitors, calculating detailed unit economics, and the required investment only to scrap it all and toss it in the bin in a minute. What's the point of a business plan, then?
Remember the third pillar of a good startup idea? It is innovation. Innovation is a fundamental element that pervades modern startups. And that's what sets them apart from traditional businesses that stick to conventional approaches. A quick startup launch is possible. And you don't need a 100-page business plan to do that. You can create a brief presentation with the essential information and update it every day. At that point, you can start to grow, find your first investors, and move on to the next stages.
3. Build your startup team
Forming a startup team requires careful consideration. The success of your startup will depend on the people who are in the same boat. It's important to clearly define responsibilities at the start, and consider which processes you can handle independently, and where you need the help of professionals. For instance, if you need to create a website for idea-testing purposes, you can quickly set it up using a website builder. If you have an IT project that involves developing a product, then you cannot do without specialists.
Pinga, a German company, has contacted FreshTech with a similar request. Pinga is a 24/7 mental health support service, so it was important for them to develop a high-quality service that could be accessed at any time and would be intuitive to use.
The latest design and marketing trends, combined with cutting-edge development technologies, have been incorporated into the user-friendly web platform and mobile app created by our IT team for Pinga. With PRM KIT, we created a unified system with dedicated accounts for both psychologists and patients. They come equipped with all the necessary tools and features for providing psychological support in a text-based format.
4. Be flexible
If you explore success stories and case studies from various companies, you'll see that their path to success was far from easy. It's more reminiscent of a children's game of skill, where there are many tangled paths and the goal is to guide the character through a maze. The key factor that assisted them here was flexible thinking.
Any project is full of risks: the team may stumble, and hypotheses may fail. However, if you are resilient and can quickly bounce back from a setback, you will inevitably achieve growth and success. After all, it is crucial for any entrepreneur to make quick decisions and take responsibility for their outcomes.
5. Develop an MVP
A minimum Viable Product (MVP) for a startup is created based on two principles: fast and cheap. You create a basic prototype with essential features and functions to test various hypotheses and determine the optimal direction for investing your main capital.
We leveraged such an approach when developing The Joy mobile app for our client from Germany, just as we do with all of our clients. This is the first project of a unique ecosystem where regular people can quickly and conveniently find beauty salons, private specialists, or consult with doctors. The app includes separate accounts for clients and service providers; booking and payment systems are connected; a comprehensive salon and healthcare management, monitoring, and accounting system is integrated.
As part of our MVP strategy, we developed an app that first was launched only for the German market. We iterated on its interface and refined the product functionality to ensure convenience for our clients. The minimum viable product enabled us to test hypotheses, establish the brand's credibility, and then expand the startup to a global level.
Based on our experience, we will share with you some more tips:
- Prioritize the MVP's purpose over its perfection. Remember that MVP development should be fast and cheap, and a fully-fledged solution will be refined later.
- Implement a monetization strategy from the start. It is not necessary to spend a lot of time on testing, analysis, and user surveys. Create both a free and paid version to draw the most relevant conclusions.
- Don't view setbacks as defeats but as chances to improve. Don't underestimate the power of positivity. Work on your mindset and attitude towards developing your startup.
- Begin your marketing and user acquisition efforts from the very beginning of your MVP development. The larger your audience, the more hypotheses you can test and the more comprehensive your evaluation will be.
6. Analyze the results and expand on the successful hypotheses.
Once you've tested your startup, you can analyze actual results instead of guessing or speculating, and use data to develop growth strategies. Consider seeking external investment to effectively scale your startup. This will give you a significant boost compared to other companies, allowing you to use all the tools for development and quickly establish a presence in the market.
When scaling your startup, actively involve other specialists in your team, such as lawyers, marketers, and sales managers. Encourage everyone to stay in their lane, while you take care of the big picture and product development. We strongly recommend paying attention to the packaging and visual components of the product. The FreshTech team not only fine-tuned internal business processes for Pinga and The Joy but also created distinctive designs that made a lasting impression on their clients and set them apart from competitors, which is crucial for startups.
A few extra tips to consider
Beyond the obvious recommendations, you can find inspiration from other companies, gain insights from successful entrepreneurs, and seek guidance from startup founders through consultations. Cultivating a mindset of openness to the world, embracing a sense of flow, and a genuine passion for the project will empower you to accomplish what ignites your inner flame. Additionally, we recommend reaching out to professional teams who have the knowledge and expertise to guide you in starting your business. FreshTech is a company that assists in launching and scaling startups while helping them become unicorns. Please leave your contact details in the form, and our manager will get in touch with you to discuss the most effective ways to bring your business idea to life.