We went from idea to launch in six weeks and we put most of that down to our involvement in the UK based incubator; Webstart Bristol.
Here are some lessons we’ve learned during our journey on the program so far:
Go To Networking Events
Incubators provide aspiring entrepreneurs with invaluable workshops held by experts within varying aspects of business. To take in and apply this second hand knowledge can be integral to your business development. It is very easy, especially as a Brit, to take down notes and never bother the expert again… I mean they must all have very busy schedules.
We couldn’t stress how important it is to go out of your way to question a person you believe may, and almost definitely will, have valuable information your business could gain from. As an aspiring entrepreneur you have a common goal with these experts and you’ll be surprised at how generous they will be with their time, possibly at the price of a beer.
Seek out networking events and actively search for varying and educated perspective on your ideas, never be afraid to share your idea… No one is going to steal it; they’re too busy with their own lives.
MVP is Market Research
Due to the fast nature in which a website can be developed and how more and more sites are being created we believe it is vital to get to MVP as quickly as possible. In the first chapters of a startup you can be incredibly agile and pivot with ease without damaging an established brand.
It is easy to hang back from committing to any development and instead read months worth of complex market research data to find out whether your customers want your idea or not. But we feel that this is, in a lot of cases, just procrastination and soft. Just go out and create your MVP even if you have to manage it manually. You will learn a whole load more from hard evidence generated through metrics than you will plucking fictional figures out of the sky.
Earn Less, Work More
I’m sure you can tell what we’re going to say. The same thing your parents told you from your early days at school: Work hard! In the case of Huskr we set ourselves intangible goals but in our minds they were strict deadlines.
Failing fast is almost as beneficial as succeeding fast and setting yourselves deadlines is a great way to not only keep you on your toes, but it will speed up the process of your development getting you ever closer to success or failure. Working hard and making a quality MVP quickly also shows investors that you are active, skilled and passionate about your business and gaining funding is a competitive game.
Know Your Weaknesses
It is important to establish a quality team; your team is the substance behind your company. You can pivot an idea with a quality team easily enough but it’s a lot harder to edit team members without sacrifice.
Identifying your strengths and weaknesses on day one will eliminate a lot of future flaws and faff. It is also means you can employ people with skills that will fill voids in your business. If you’re prior to funding and don’t have a budget to employ, it is also very helpful to not only intuitively distribute roles within your established team but also allows you to understand who to approach for advice.
The main thing we can teach those of you that have read this far is to use your intuition. You will hear a lot of varying and conflicting opinions on what you should do, or how credible you idea is. Gain as many perspectives as you can though your development and don’t necessarily take one piece of information as final, just allow it to shape your own beliefs and opinions.
This article was originally published by Killer Startups
Author: Peter Edlin is a Bristol based Graphic Designer and Marketer. He has recently entered the world of startups, co-founding Huskr.com, with the primary role of Marketer and Curator. With an eye for design and a flair for sales he acts as the florescent jacket for Huskr.