In this article, we are going to review and explain the needed steps to execute a startup, based on 4 parts: 1 - Idea to POC, 2 - From POC to Business Plan, 3 - Create a digital product, 4 - Launch plan. Let's start!
Part 1 - Idea to POC:
Entrepreneurs go to a long and dangerous journey, they have a vision of reaching their idea and win the big jackpot. During this journey, a lot of money and time can be spent, we have collected some tricks to save you time and money:
1. Set your primary target - set your MVP (minimum valuable product) - start with the first thing that without having it on the product, your users can't enjoy from the primary value of your startup. Write it down - what is the most significant target of my product?
This is the first product that should provide you some conclusions that could assist you with getting business conclusions for your startup.
2. Be focused - focus your product and MVP, this will lead you to success. It requires looking at things from the outside and making tough decisions about the product you imagined, but it cuts your significant features that might delay your launch, delaying your launch will block you from getting feedback rapidly from the users.
3. POC is a kind of experiment, we must examine and define the measurement.
Define what are the cases when you launch the product, and it is succeeded and what are the cases when you face some failures.
Start with the first thing that without having it on the product, your users can't enjoy from the primary value of your startup
Part 2 - From POC to Business Plan
OK, so once you've done to analyze about your idea and proved that the POC is correct, meaning that the idea is applicable and has a market of people who would be happy to pay for it, now you can start to build the business from bottom to up, we will start with developing a business plan:
1. Executive summary - your business needs to be snapshotted to verify its type and options
2. Company description - required to describe what is the mission, primary targets, etc.
3. Market analysis - research on your market and competitors
4. Organization - specify who is going to be the management of the business, why they have been chosen, what are going to be their positions and skills
5. Marketing and sales - build your sales and marketing strategies, how you'll market your business, how's going to work the sale process, etc.
6. Funding - how much money you’ll need for the next five years
Part 3 - Create a digital product
Following the last part which was describing how to prove your idea with the market, this part is about building a digital product, based on the conclusions you collected before.
So, what are the required steps for building a digital product?
1. Product specification - you need to map the entire application or website and think what are the main pages I would need in my product, then - think where every page should be located within the product (what is the hierarchy) and which elements are required per page. Will give you an example - form is an element that needed under contact us page.
2. UX&UI - to whom who don't know what these words mean, UX=user experience and UI=user interface, following the specification you've done and in addition to the business goals and product research, the UX/UI designer has all the needed information to start sketching the website or the application, you should see all the screens and their elements presented. Once the sketching is done and you approved it, allow the designer to place colors, fonts, branding, and images per page.
Test the user experience and interface with users, before you are running to develop the product - show the screens and the elements you sketched and ask for their feedback, try to have it for at least 20 people, promise you - you'll get critical feedback that will allow you to improve the product in early stage and not when everything is already built and difficult to change it.
3. Developing the product - if you're not a digital developer, you should use a web or an app developer who can take the screens the designer made and built them. Basically, he/she needs to take care of 2 essential things - client side and server side. The client side is about all the elements that should be working on the user's screen, the form is sent, buttons are clickable, etc. Server-side is about allowing you as a site manager to control the presented content and configuration on the user's screen.
4. QA - you must test everything before the website, or your application goes live, test how these look on mobile devices, browser, all the described functions are working, every screen that designed is matching to the developed screen and more
Test the user experience and interface with users, before you are running to develop the product
Part 4 - Launch plan
We would love to talk about how to plan and launch your digital product to the users.
1. Marketing and sales teams have been "played" and trained on using the product, answering Q&A and knowing who the customers that might be calling are.
2. The support team well knows the features and where to do every function.
3. You have documentation that can be shared with customers and employees.
4. Your team is aware of the launch time (designer, developer, tester, marketer, salesman, etc.) - everyone should be dedicated to you on that day to manage events that will be raised.
5. Tracking code and user behavior tools are installed and in place, so feedback could be generated from day one.
6. Your launch date has been communicated to potential customers, and now there is an expectation of meeting the product.
7. Your digital marketing plan is ready - where to market, when, to which users, how many budgets per day, in which channels (Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
8. Launch and don't look back.