How To Start a Startup

Haven't got a clue how to start a startup? Find out from YouTube, MeetUp, and a ton of classes from Cal Berkeley to Stanford, online and/or on campus. Or follow the directions, in order, below:

1. Productize your idea—Take it from your head to the whiteboard:
a. Define products/services features & benefit that fulfill the need/s of projected target market/s.
b. Identify and analyze competition; redefine product/service in response to competition.
c. Establish immediate and long term growth goals.
d. Determine projected income models on release and over time.

2. Brand company—Create a face and voice for your startup:
a. Develop a strong corporate identity to brand startup [or any new product], as dynamic on a Twitter feed as on ads, packaging, website/s, or the side of a building; And tagline that embodies company/product message and 'voice.'
b. Produce PR and marketing tools to corporate identity standards: websites, social media and PR campaigns, corporate and direct communications, mobile marketing and more directly targeting startups and/or product's market/s.

3. Launch marketing campaign/s—from website/s and online presence with social media strategies, to full advertising campaigns with consistent branding across all media.

Marketing isn't rocket science.

Marketing is SELLING.

Selling what? (It's always the same.):

Marketing is selling FEATURES & BENEFITS.

Selling features & benefits to who?

MARKETING is SELLING FEATURES & BENEFITS to fulfill the NEEDS* of TARGET MARKET/S.

That's it. An MBA is just complications on this very simple truth, trust me.

Easy? No. And you can't do it alone. You need a team, but there are tons of qualified people out there looking for work. Put ads on Craigslist, go to MeetUps of entrepreneurs and seedling startups and make or find yourself a team.

Need and idea on what to start up? Answer the following:
● What do you love doing?
● What are you good at? What do you do well?
● What have you found in the process of what you love doing that you need? (i.e. what tool [software, hardward, product or service] will make the process of what you love doing easier, more efficient, more fun...etc.)

Love to cook? Sell baked goods online. Lots of competition in that space. You bet. But no one cooks (fill in this blank) like you, and you can get your delectable anywhere in the US in 24 hrs for any party size, at a really good price (to start).

Are you an exercise junkie? A serious athlete? Give online exercise classes, diet tips; offer a [dating-type] service for partnering with other serious athletes in their area and in their sport/s.

Find differentiators that separate your product/service from everyone else, optimally one that you can defend for a bit, i.e. not easily copied.

Think! Learn. Then make it happen. Act!

Just follow the steps and do them again and again, because all business, startup or not, is done in iterationsin response to customer's desires, changing times, competition...etc. With today's technology, from free e-commerce storefront platforms to social networking's global reach, there's no reason NOT to try and launch a company doing what you enjoy. Like most everything, with startups (or any business at any stage) you've only failed when you quit iterating your product/service and/or marketing to find and fulfill the needs of your target market/s.

Start somethingDon't quitIterate. Getting absorbed in the process of creation provides us an intrinsic sense of value. And who knows, keep at it and you just may establish something great!

*'Needs' can be created desire.

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