3 Tips to Help You Launch Your Startup Ahead of the Competition
"How to start a startup faster than others?" This is one of the key issues to be considered prior to starting with the project implementation.
Starting a startup we expect this or that idea to be recognized immediately following the release and our project to run trouble-free. However, our expectations often differ from the reality and things are not so simple in practice:
The idea seems fresh and interesting, it has been professionally and qualitatively developed but somehow the project is not very popular, brings no income or doesn’t work properly at all…
So how to successfully launch a startup?
For many years Umbrella IT company develops a huge variety of web and mobile projects as well as helps to launch them successfully on the IT market. Therefore, Umbrella IT specialists have decided to share their experience and knowledge.
Here are the simple truths that will help you get confident in the success of your project, challengingly move in the chosen direction and successfully run the startup project after its development:
WORK IN SMALL PHASES
Detailed development of a large-scale project can last rather long. During this time our idea may lose its relevance as a minimum and we may invest money in functionality which will not be in demand as a maximum.
To avoid such problems we should work in small phases. Herewith, the maximum period of each phase should last 2-3 months only regardless of the team size. But the scope must depend on the size of the team and be estimated in accordance with it.
A scope is the amount of work that must be done to get a product completed based on the client’s requirements.
So working in small phases we:
1. LAUNCH A PROJECT WITH LIMITED FUNCTIONALITY
First, it seems to us that all the functionality that we want to start a startup with will be interesting and useful for users. However, practice shows that it is impossible to completely predict which functions will be in demand and which ones will be not: according to statistics, 50% of the application functionality which has already been developed and paid for by the client is not used by its users at all.
To avoid such problems and waste of money we launch our project with limited functionality.
Due to work in short phases and limited functionality we are able to set up the project faster and see how it works in reality.
Perhaps we will see that some functions chosen by us are unnecessary for users and, quite the reverse, instead of them we can add some other interesting and useful features. Thus, we will be able to sort out priorities and invest in the development of functionality that will definitely interest future users and will be used.
Such a strategy allows us to change and improve the project plan in due time according to the feedbacks of potential users as well as save our money and time.
2. REGULARLY INTRODUCE NEW HYPOTHESES AND TEST THEM OUT
As far as we want to get a qualitative, effective and popular startup we should not be afraid of trying new things as well as be able to quickly adapt our plan to new trends, interests, and requests of users.
Preferably we should test new hypotheses as often as possible:
- develop a hypothesis
- test it during a short period of time
- analyze the result and make a conclusion whether it is necessary to add these new features to our plan or not as well as decide what should be changed in order to improve the startup and make it even more successful
- make changes in the project
Only through trial and error, we can find the golden mean that will make our project qualitative and unique. And do not forget that the development speed of our startup is directly proportional to the number of hypotheses we tested.
3. ASK BETA-USERS TO LEAVE FEEDBACKS
It is always useful to hear the views of our future users so we should not hesitate to ask them to leave feedbacks.
We offer a small audience of potential users whether it is our friends, relatives or some people on the Internet to test our project which is still at the stage of active development. This way, we will know what beta-users find lacking in our product, what seems unnecessary to them. According to this data, we will be able to improve our startup and make it more interesting to users as far as our whole project is made for them.
ADVERTISE THE PROJECT ON DIFFERENT RESOURCES
As they say, advertising is the engine of commerce. Since we want our startup to be in demand, to be known and talked about we must launch a successful advertising campaign.
Today there are more than enough various Internet resources where we can quickly and qualitatively spread information about the startup:
1. PROFESSIONAL FORUMS
The name of our project should be familiar to everybody and it is not that difficult to achieve this goal. For this purpose, we publish an interesting, informative post at least at one specialized forum every day.
If we understand that we do not have enough information or time to write posts every day then we should regularly publish articles at least 2 times a week. This must become a habit that we spend only half an hour or an hour a day on. This way, we won’t have to search for our target audience as it will already be there at professional forums discussing the vital and important topics.
Whatever our startup is dedicated to we can always find professional forums with users interested in this field somewhere on the Internet.
To gain the attention of users with our project we shall:
- regularly talk about our project
- answer questions asked by the users and advise them to use our service
- point out the undeniable advantages of our project over others
- actively offer users to visit our website
2. OUR WEBSITE
Do not forget about our main weapon that is our website, or to be more precise is our blog. Here we set all the rules ourselves and there are no restrictions for us on either volume or content. Therefore, it is a perfect place to create large informative articles.
Having studied specialized forums, thematic groups in social networks we will find out the problems that worry potential users and will be able to publish hot topic articles. Our invaluable experience reflected in the articles will help to attract users as well as give them the knowledge they are looking for. This means that they will come back for more.
Besides, do not forget to share our blog articles and announce them on the official pages of our project in social networks.
The main thing is to write in a simple language understandable by everyone, write at least one such an article a week. And then our traffic will grow.
3. SOCIAL NETWORKS
Social networks are also suitable for advertising distribution because there are so many people out there who can be potential users of our startup.
Therefore, we create a separate personal account for our project where we post information about the latest news and updates. Then we find the target audience: add people, participate in the life of groups dedicated to our specialization and arrange competitions for likes and reposts. Thus, we keep up a high activity index of our page.
But it’s not enough to attract the attention of users. We should find ways to hold their interest and not let them get bored. That’s why we:
- publish at least one post a day
- discuss non-standard cases and situations that users can face and different ways to solve them;
- tell them about new features in our field;
- give useful advice and share training materials
PROMOTE THE PROJECT USING INTERNET TOOLS
1. GOOGLE ANALYTICS
Once we figured out the target audience of our project we need to understand whether our advertising campaign has success and people visit our website or not. Various Internet tools, for example, Google Analytics can help us in this matter.
This online service provides detailed statistics about users of our website: the number of users visiting our website, what country and city they are from, what server they came to us from, what devices they use and, the most important thing, it will show how long visitors have stayed on our website.
Having studied this data, we are able to work out in detail the idea who belongs to our target audience, what devices they use and then launch a successful advertising campaign based on this information.
2. GOOGLE ADWORDS & GOOGLE ADSENSE
These two online services are intended to place contextual ads: users of other websites will see the clickable advertising of our project and if they want they can click on it and visit our website. What is the difference between these two tools?
- Google Adwords will advertise our website showing it in the results of search engines. So the user will see the link to our project along with the results of his search for certain keywords and phrases.
- Google Adsense will allow to place our advertisements directly in ad blocks on other websites. As soon as a user visits our website at least once the system will automatically show our banners on other resources in accordance with the settings of the advertising campaign. For example, we can specify websites where our advertisement shall be displayed and what frequency we need.
In fact, using any of these services we buy leads. We pay a fixed price for the use of a tool. As a result, we get a certain number of leads some of which can convert to contracts one day.
Lead is a potential client who somehow reacted to our ways to communicate with him, a contact received to work with in the future.
And here we must understand and derive the optimal formula for users attraction, a formula due to which the customer acquisition cost (CAC) with the help of Google Adwords & Google Adsense tools will be lower than the profit that a client brings us while using our services (Lifetime Value of a Customer, LTV).
Thus, we will be able to invest more in tools while increasing proportionally our profits, to quickly scale up and achieve a rapid growth of the user base.
3. SEO OPTIMIZATION
We want our website to be one of the most visited ones. For this purpose, we need to hire SEO specialists who will help our website not only to occupy one of the highest lines in search results but also to confidently hold up this position.
Using various techniques SEO professionals will do internal optimization as well as the external promotion of the website. After all, the higher our website is ranked in the search engine results, the more often users will visit it.
We have already learned all 3 tips that will help us to outperform our rivals and launch the startup faster than others so the article must come to an end. But another useful piece of Umbrella IT advice for launching startup faster is ahead of us. Are you surprised?
There is nothing to be surprised with. Umbrella IT not only keeps its promises but always move beyond them. So, let's get acquainted with the fourth bonus tip.
LEARN FROM THE EXPERIENCE OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE ALREADY LAUNCHED SIMILAR PROJECTS
There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Being inspired by our idea we are eager for battle and are ready to pass the whole thorny path. However, we shouldn’t forget that someone has already passed this path before us, can share his experience and tell how to start our own startup.
It is the right decision to talk to people with similar experience. This will not only save our time but will also prevent us from making many mistakes. At the professional forums, for example, you can find many people running a successful startup after development and ready to share their experience and knowledge with us.
The main thing is not to hesitate to ask questions, learn others’ opinion, find out every small thing because the success of our whole business is at stake.
We save the article in bookmarks or print out the following checklist so that it is at hand at any time when we need it.
So, from the very beginning of our startup development it is necessary:
1. to develop the project in short phases:
- launching the startup with limited functionality
- testing new hypotheses
- asking users to leave feedbacks
2. to advertise the project:
- at professional forums
- in social networks
- on the website
3. to promote the project using:
- Google Analytics
- Google AdWords & AdSense
- SEO optimization
So, following the strategy given by the Umbrella IT team in this article you will launch your startup after development much faster than others as well as will sharply increase the probability that after completion of development you will get a popular project with many users which will work the way you wanted.
And Umbrella IT company will help you achieve your goal and will deliver a unique and qualitative product in the best time possible.