sobota, 17 maja 2008

Tips and tricks for start-ups

The internet is lastly like a wild west. We move from the east coast and it seems like we are still far away from the Pacific Ocean. Instead of the run for a ground, we reserve the domain names. The cost of establishing your own business in the internet is nowadays very cheap or even free and there is plenty of people with various specialization, who saw the gold in establishing their own web page. If you have the vision how to put particular process on the web and make the money on it, you just need to give it a name, find doers who code it and partner who will host it. This causes that number of enterprises, which did not have a chance in the past, have the chance to exists now. Very good sample of it, are the survey services and web page like - one man can do a change.
The reality is not though so colorful and most of start-ups die quickly. If you think about starting your own business and you do not want to finish it as the silent tomb, consider couple of points below...

1. ALWAYS FOCUS ON CLIENTS OR POTENTIAL CLIENTS – do not loose yourself having a fun watching your desings becoming true; that is a business and business is where the money is. Most of start-ups bankrupt before the first invoice appears – if you cash your first client you WON the first and the most important point.
2. Keep your costs low at the beginning – if you fail you will not loose too much and you will have the strength to start up something new. Pump up the money in the working business - if you cash the first invoice, there will be a time to invest money.
3. Check the competition – you always think you have invented something unique, but there is number of smart people over the world, who do amazing things and you must position your idea among them. Very good way to do it, is to discuss with various people and learn to convince them why your idea is better than the others. If you do it couple of times, it means you truely have something.
4. Find the partner – if you can not convince at least one of your friends to the enterprise, it means that you are probably Don Kichot. No... even he had a partner - Sanczo Pansa. Yes... If plan long journey, you should not do it alone.
5. Leave the solution opened and do not spend too much time on details – the only thing which you can be sure of is THE CHANGE
6. Do the nice graphics – if you do it smart the cost of it is low and this is what clients like.
7. Create the prototype as soon as possible so you can quickly show it to the potential clients and ensure what they truly need. There is a big difference between talking about the solution and showing it. That is also about the agile approach and if it is possible the best way to create the product, is to do it iteratively with your client.
8. Reserve quickly nice domain names – it is quite cheap and you never know who may buy it before you, when you start to discuss it with peoples.
9. The best way to promote you idea over the web is to get the partnership with one of big national portals or worldwide vortals. The other option is to buy the positioning service, which will let your dot-com be found, when people search for certain words in Google, but… you will have a time for it later on. You should find your first client personally at the beginning.
10. When you consider the technical realization of the project ask about proposals couple of companies and verify they offer with some of your technical friend or independent consultant. Set up the key criteria like performance or security and ask straightforward how possible doers plan to realize it. Higher the cost of realization is – more formal the process should be.

Start-ups are exiting and challenging, even when that is a high risk mission. Everybody wants to be a cowboy. If only you will put the attention more on your cows and less on a revolver, everything should be fine ;)
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