How To Come Up With Startup Ideas: Your First Business Steps
The key to successful startups is having a good idea, but there’s more to the process than meets the eye. An "aha" moment is the beginning of a genius startup idea, but it's certainly not the end. Ask any successful entrepreneur: coming up with great startup ideas can be challenging, rewarding, and a little overwhelming.
The makeup of any great startup idea is creativity, a standout product, and a dedicated founder and motivated entrepreneur. I'm a three-time founder, and I've learned a lot about the ideation, iteration, and execution processes of startup ideas. Here is some of what I've learned so far on my journey through entrepreneurship.
How To Create A Startup
If you’re ready to launch your own successful startup company in 2022, it’s time to go over how to build a startup.
Here are the 10 steps to follow to create a startup:
- Consider your skills
Each of us have different strengths and weaknesses. If you’re planning on seeing your company all the way to launch, you’ll need to identify what entrepreneurial skills you have that will help you succeed. For example, passion, self-discipline, and the ability to motivate others are all great assets.
- Choose an idea
All startups begin with an idea. You can find your business idea by looking at what you’re already good at. For example, maybe you’re an excellent cook and you want to start a meal prep business. You can also identify any gaps in the marketplace that need filling. If you’re troubled by the amount of food waste in the world, create a startup that addresses that issue.
- Create a business plan
Your business plan can be formal or informal, just so long as it lays out all the important aspects of your journey along the way. This should include aspects like the problem, how your startup solves it, and who your customers are. You’ll also want to include factors like infrastructure, revenue models, and cost models. Once you’re pursuing investors, you’ll need to provide them with a formal business plan.
- Build a team
Startups have the best chance of success with more players at the table. You’ll want to build a team of like-minded people who bring their own advantages that help the startup grow. For example, you’ll want co-founders who have experience in the industry you’re entering or with creating a startup in general. To find co-founders, you can try networking with other entrepreneurs at local events and gather a supporting team.
- Establish your startup
This is a step with many individual tasks that define what exactly your startup is going to be. Here you’ll name your startup, choose a formal or informal business structure, and choose a physical location. You’ll also need to do all of the due diligence of registering and obtaining the necessary licenses and permits.
- Secure funding
You can’t run a startup without money. At this step in the process, you’ll need to determine all of your startup costs before pursuing funding. Once you have a number in mind, you can get funding through:
- Angel investors
- Venture capitalists
- Friends and family
- Business loans
- Business credit cards
- Set up accounting
Once you’ve begun to secure funding, establish an accounting system to manage these finances. This can be anything from using an accountant, a bookkeeper, or small business accounting software.
- Begin marketing your brand
Marketing is how you’ll get your startup off the ground, so it’s important to come up with your own unique brand. Design a logo, build a personalized website, and start working on a social media presence. Begin writing press releases to start generating buzz about your company.
- Hire your team
You’ll need roles like a Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and Marketing Director. Depending on what service you provide, you’ll likely also need roles such as a Product Developer/Engineer and Head of Sales. You’ll be able to find people to fill these roles through recruitment agencies and online job boards in your industry.
- Launch away
Now is the time to launch your company and begin making sales. But just because you’ve launched doesn’t mean the work is finished–you need to be prepared to constantly adapt to changes. This means keeping up with market trends and continuing to expand your business. You should constantly be looking for growth opportunities both internal and external. Come up with strategies to motivate growth and define where you’d like your company to go.
My Startup Journey
When I was coming up with the ideas for my startups, I asked myself what the world needed and what I had to offer. I founded The Doe (now Nota) to be the world’s first anonymous digital publication because I noticed a real need to restore civil discourse during my time at Huffington Post.
I also founded Audo to help provide Gen Z with the tools they need to become skilled workers because I believed in investing in our future. My sister and I co-founded Guin Music to provide a sustainable record label conglomerate that puts artists before anything else.
Each of these companies was born from a specific need and related to something I was passionate and knowledgeable about. To come up with your own idea for a startup, you’ll want to ask yourself what’s needed in the world and what kind of business you feel capable of building.
Here are a few ideas to help you on your way:
- Create educational content
- Start a drop-shipping business
- Sell subscription boxes
- Build a local grocery delivery service
- Make custom clothing
- Create online courses
- Develop an app
- Open a food truck
- Make a smart appliance
- Create a zero-waste product
These ideas and the steps above should give you a taste of how to build a startup. If you can spot a good idea and have the resources to make it happen, the sky’s the limit.