You did it! You thought of an amazing, disruptive idea to bring to the market that can change or improve the way a specific target group does or acquires something. It can be very intimidating once you realize that taking the step to going from ideation to execution of a concept won’t be as seamless as a straight line from point A to point B, but it also doesn’t have to be so daunting. We came up with a list that you can use as a blueprint to check off your completed items as you finish them, and allows you to see in a big picture what the small tasks will help you accomplish. Here are 10 steps you can use to guide your journey from idea to reality:
- Draw a clear strategy: who is your target customer demographic? If you think everyone, you’re starting off on the wrong foot. You need to be clear about what type of person can benefit from your product or service, and what they’re typically willing to pay for it. You can do an exercise by creating a few profiles or “buying personas” where you establish your ideal customer, so you can design your sales pitch and marketing according to their needs.
- Get funding: you’ll need to have some wiggle room financially in order to make sure your team is well compensated, and you have the resources to invest in technology. Set aside savings that can carry the expenses until your idea becomes a profitable business.
- Build a team: people say if you want to get things done fast, do them yourself, but if you want to go far, get help. It’s incredibly important to take your time in building a team that complements your shortfalls and brings to the table skills and expertise that is different from what you already have. Make sure the company vision and mission are clear to them from the beginning.
- Invest in technology: having had the chance of being born digital, there’s no excuse to not have the newest technology available to your prospects. Technology should be one of the aspects that sets you aside from the competition, and a reason for customers to choose you. Make sure you’re investing in technology that is necessary and will be easily updated to accommodate for growth sustainably.
- Create a stunning website: your website will be a first impression of you to prospective customers, so make sure it fully represents your brand, showcases your service or product benefits clearly, and that the navigation is flawless and is mobile-optimized.
- Build a great application: what better way to not only interact with your customers but to show up in their lives every day than by having your logo on an app pop up on their screens every time they use their phones? Applications take time to develop, so make sure you’re using the best resources available to have an app without bugs, with a flexible bandwidth and good support in case of issues. You don’t have to build it in-house, and you don’t have to build from an existing template. You can get a custom app built for your needs, the needs of your employees, and for your customers.
- Surround yourself with a symbiotic ecosystem: you don’t need to do everything yourself, and instead of hiring one person to do a job, do your research to find out how an agency or third-party vendor can better support your needs, usually with a full team of experienced industry experts. See how you can support each other in business and growth.
- Automate tasks: now that you’ve gotten this far, evaluate your business operations and see what tasks you can automate through or eliminate altogether. As a small company, your employees are going to be wearing many different hats, and it’s essential that they don’t waste time on menial rule-driven tasks that a computer can perform for you. A virtual workforce can be the key to your rapid success!
- Establish top of the line customer support: today’s market is very unforgiving when it comes to business mishaps or less than stellar customer service. Prepare for different scenarios by setting up a customer service team with support available around the clock and through different avenues (call center, app support, chatbot, etc.). You don’t need to tire your team out for this, so rely on technology and innovation – virtual assistants carried by machine learning and artificial intelligence are here to stay and improve.
- Marketing: design your go-to-market strategy with experts that have done this in your industry and have a track record of results. You can have a great product or service, but if people don’t know about it, what’s the point? Your marketing needs to be a top priority!
These steps are broad brush strokes on a canvas, that carry many subtasks and activities under it, but they are a clear roadmap any startup hopeful can follow to establish a timeline to help you get to market faster and more steadily. We’ve been there before, so we understand how overwhelming this might seem, and we can provide support far beyond technical innovation. Reach out to us at any time with any questions, and our team of experts that spread across countries can become part of your team.