The job of an entrepreneur is not as easy as it might sound at first. Yes, it is a truly unique path that leads you through various startup stages while having benefits and risks on each end. And almost all the risks are difficult to foresee or even to overcome. If this goes on and nothing will be done, then, just like other startups, who thought that they can succeed, yours will fail too.
“What’s the deal?“ – you might ask us. The thing is that they don’t have a clear future vision on what kind of startup stages or startup stages they should go through. To identify the most optimal journey that your startup and your business product should take, JetRuby prepared this article for you. So, let’s figure out the core startup stages and how they can benefit your enveloping young business!
What is a startup?
Many entrepreneurs already know precisely what a startup is, how d works, and what you need it for. But let’s revise this knowledge and see whether we can grasp something new. So what is a startup?
A startup is a company created by a founder(s) to meet the market demand with the produced product or services under uncertain conditions.
As a rule, such companies are funded by founders, their families, and other investors at different startup development stages. However, what makes them so unique is how they are operating. You see, apart from a typical small business, a startup is being formed to solve some kind of company and demandable problem.
Several startup goals are to secure an investment, produce a product that solves a problem, and create a marketing campaign to gain more customers. That is a story of any given startup in a nutshell. But what are the startup stages an entrepreneur should go through?
What are the main startup stages?
We’ve all heard famous stories about startups and how they have started in their home garage. However, what many young entrepreneurs may not know is how exactly your rapid startup development should unfold? What are the steps it should go through? And what are the challenges? Whether you are a young startup or an amateur one who is revising his knowledge, we present a 6-step ladder of any startup development.
Startup Stage #1: Birth of your Idea
Any startup or company creates an unbeatable and iron idea that solves some kind of demandable problem. In 2020, the statistics showed that up to 34% of all startups have failed due to no market fit of their product. Meaning that they just created a product/service/ code without knowing where to apply it.
Ergo, most of them didn’t do proper research and analysis of their idea, its value, and its business model. Before you begin crafting your product and releasing it to the market, go over the idea stage of a startup and follow our recommendations. Those that every entrepreneur should know and implement before your product release.
Conduct customer interviews
One of the best ways to understand what exactly your potential customer will want to have is to ask him directly! Let’s say you are creating a clothes online store, and you are questioning yourself if you wish to make a male or female one? Should it be for slim models or plus-size models? What kind of clothes should be on the list?
The list of questions may go on and on, but the important thing is to go ahead and formulate these questions for your customers. They are the ones who know the best what they want. This is important if you are building your product in a very narrow area on a specific customer group. Your final results of this step should be very concrete and detailed.
Analyze your competitors
One of the essential researches that your startup has to perform is to research your product competitors. The ones that have failed will give you a valuable experience of hidden milestones. The others that succeeded will show what kind of path they formed to reach their business goals. At the same time, you’ll see where you can add value and secure a market niche when your product analogs prefer to ignore it.
As an experienced digital agency, we tend to help entrepreneurs to form a concrete future business vision and reveal their product’s value. Our team is capable of building your brand image and prioritizing the development process of your future creation. Our digital agency strongly believes that you can conquer your fear of failure by constant planning and hidden milestone prediction. All of that you can experience and receive during our tech development flow that starts with the Product Development Strategy Session. Leave your idea in the inquiry above, and we’ll be on our way to implement your product into reality!
For example, let’s say you want to develop a healthcare application for your startup to gain a more competitive advantage. However, as you scroll through the list of various health startups and their products, you notice that every popular section has already been reserved. What exactly should you do? In that case, choose a niche that is very specific in your desired field and perform deep research with relevant experts. And most probably you’ll hit your target successfully since some medical niches are still waiting for a digital solution.
Want to know what are the other essential points you should consider when solving a business problem? Find out yourself in our article, dedicated exclusively to this topic!
Startup Stage #2: MVP
Once you scored your business idea and started to make plans about your product development strategy, then it is time to think about MVP. This is your very first step towards the product development process and should be implemented only if your first startup stage has been polished.
Most likely, your very first product iteration won’t be ideal. It won’t have a rich functionality or even a proper monetization system. Since what you should do first is to test out your product in your target market and see the feedback of the users. Only then, if it gains a good amount of attention you’ll get to see the rest of it with your own eyes.
Here are some tips and tricks for you to get started with developing your very first MVP product:
Make your priority list
Due to various reasons, every software product needs to have a specific amount of features at every development stage. Which is divided into three parts: MVP, Core Product, and Full-Scale Product.
The first part should have only the most important and key features, to test the marketing theory, as it was previously highlighted. The second part consists of the core and essential functions that cover all the key user scenarios. The last one is allowing users to use the product at its full potential and mostly have scaled features due to the increased user base.
So, try to understand what feature should be included for each product development stage individually.
Highlight your key feature
As we just mentioned, your product won’t have much functionality at first. Since all it needs to do is test whether your users are going to be using it. So, try to answer the following question as detailed as possible: What is the key feature that your application is going to have? What will be so different about it compared to your competitors?”
Don’t be shy to ask questions regarding the correct product development process. Since you are at the wheel of your product, you should understand each step that your digital solution is going through. Observe its current state and make adjustments, if you see that there is a necessity.
Another key aspect that you should always keep in mind is your future vision of your business product. Nearly 35% of all startups fail due to producing just a bare product without knowing its application in business terms. Therefore, you should correctly identify its value and seek approaches for user attraction, without the risk of immediate failure. If this resonates with you, schedule a free Product Development Strategy Session. To gain a more concrete understanding of how your digital solution should be developed.
Startup Stage #3: Traction
The traction stage is one of the most interesting startup stages. Here you’ll get to see your product prototype to slowly gain more awareness from the public. You’ll acquire your very first customers and hopefully, you’ll get the loyal ones too! Focus on enriching your customer base while continuing to collect feedback.
Just to give you a little example, we’ll illustrate how the founders of Uber attracted their clients with a creative strategy. As you know, there are UberX and UberPool app versions that allow drivers to use their cars for taxi purposes. However, before implementing all of that, the founders have started with professional drivers who were riding black cars. That way, they have ensured that their first customers would receive an ultimate and both satisfying experience. They can leave the most attractive feedback from their first rides.
For your startup to get even more attention and seek public approval, we recommend you going through with these strategy aspects:
- Giveaways & Promos – To gain clients, you should put your product in front of thousands and give out free trials. Depending on your target audience location, try to pick a few different promo channels.
- Partnerships – Search for partners who can assist you tell the world about the product you’re creating. People have more trust in recommendations rather than ads.
- Flashy Brand Image – Make your product visually appealing and easily recognizable. This is the first thing that your customers will look at, so capture their attention.
- Startup Directories – These are very specific platforms dedicated to startup lead generation. For more information about the most recent ones, follow our article here.
Startup Stage #4: Seed Stage
You’ve already created your first working product version, published it, and slowly are getting your first users, it is time for a seed stage. Why is it called the seed stage of a startup, you might ask? Well, because any given startup is associated with the seed that you plant in the ground to nourish its results. Meaning that what was previously described has been completed and your product is slowly getting more public attention. Sp your next step would be to seek an investment plan.
The seed startup stage is all about the investment firms and pitching techniques to secure the desired amount of capital. All startup founders should focus on Venture Capitalists, as they should be the ones who can assist you. Not only financially, but they can also provide valuable experience, office spaces, and even more. All of that just for your business to go through another business development iteration. To understand what are your other options and what benefits do they provide follow our article to gain a more detailed insight.
As your startup journey continues, you’ll probably need to understand how exactly your product can present its value gem. More than that, you’ll need to show it and explain why exactly your solution deserves investment and further development. But, as you are progressing through your startup, you might not understand how to effectively use your money to achieve these goals before you. The Design and Discovery Phase is built for those who are looking for a correct development approach. If you got interested in it, leave us a short message about your idea, and we’ll contact you within 24 hours!
Startup Stage #5: Early Stage Startup
Following next, the early stage startup is dedicated to those who completed their business model and are confident in their revenue. They already have some constant customers and slowly attract new ones. However, what they are lacking in this startup stage is the scaling process. All of that just to satisfy the demand coming from the public.
To do that, a founder should go through a round of investment pitches. Your main goal is to make your investors confident in your business processes. Show them that you have a stable revenue income, present your strategy and explain how exactly your startup is working. The investor can also assist you in achieving your goals and maybe even take over new market sectors.
Startup Stage #6: Growth & Exit
You’ve reached the final goal of your journey! Now your startup or rather your company is generating a stable amount of revenue. You gain new customers every month and your cash flow management is not looking so bad! Since all the expenses are being completely covered by your income, so it’s a fine time to seek your further profit improvements.
The biggest challenge here consists of managing your time to handle completely new tasks and priorities. Such as: gaining a more competitive advantage, renting extra workspace, managing increasing levels of revenue, and hiring more people with specific skill sets.
And look at yourself, you’re ahead of the company, the very top of it. Now that you have a qualified team, it is up to you to decide how your company should move forward. Now you are the captain of your ship, directing the path for finding new adventurous business journeys!
Aspects worth mentioning
If you’re in one of your startup stages, we want to highlight the core principles that you should always keep in mind. They are not strict ones, but rather are an example of how you should guide your business.
- Learn from your competitors – Researching and analyzing your competitor’s product is a very good way to start identifying your product value. As long as you will study their approaches and learn from their mistakes only then you can raise your startup from the ground.
- Always be patient – It’s always fun to dive into each startup stage, research it and enjoy it. But do not let that temptation take over you so easily. Remember, the entire process of startup development takes a few months to understand. At the same time, it takes a few years to fully understand and master them.
- Focus on your customers – Just as the title says, do focus on what your main consumer should have in his product. Determine what keeps your customers stay longer on your platform and learn how to try to enhance it by listening to their feedback.
All the described startup stages are very essential ones, but it doesn’t mean that every entrepreneur should go through each. Some startups can skip the pre-seed stage, while others may have a mixed development path, meaning that you can have your development path.
However, one startup stage that almost 99% of all the entrepreneurs are going through is funding. Without it, your startup or your business won’t live that long. Yes, there are cases where some famous businesses didn’t need any funding and operated solely on their services. However, to go through at least the main development startup stage, you should go through the pitching process.
If you’re an entrepreneur looking to launch your startup, you might need assistance — like a product prototype, MVP, and even pitching. Then JetRuby can help you with that. We create digital products for startups that are both successfully launched and steadily developed. During the Product Development Strategy Session, we will analyze the correct development roadmap. While the Design and Discovery Phase will allow your product to avoid lots of hidden milestones. Got interested in how our experts can dash your product to a successful product path? Leave a short description of your project and see how exactly we can help you build your product!