Startup Community: Six essentials for your startup – The Post

Startup Community: Six essentials for your startup

Your ideal customer is RocketMan? Is that Peter Madsen or Kim Jong-un? (photo: RawPixel)
September 22nd, 2018 6:00 pm| by Thomas N Horsted
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One of the main reasons most startups get rejected for investment or ultimately fail is because they don’t have a well-thought-out growth strategy in place.
So let’s do something about that, shall we? Let’s look at the essentials for your startup.

#1 Identify your ideal customer
As a startup, it’s important to build a buyer persona – and it is a great way to begin. Why, you may ask. Well, if you worry about what the product is first, you run the risk of overlooking who you’re going to sell it to. And your product might very well fail. A buyer persona helps you to identify your ideal customers and their needs.

#2 Do alpha and beta tests
It’s always better to test the product on a small audience to gauge results earlier. This will equip you with enough data and direction to determine the viability of your product/idea and if it has the potential for other opportunities.

#3 Construct a business model
One of the first things you need to decide is to choose the type of payment model that will suit your product. For this, keep a few things in mind, such as the customer-satisfaction threshold, product attractiveness, market position, life-cycle etc. Is it a recurring subscription model or a one-time purchase?

#4 Follow a sustainable growth model
The growth model is defined as ‘an equation that tells you what are the different variables in your business and how they work together and translate into growth’. Your business should have a hook to grab visitors (SEO, inbound marketing, paid marketing, social media marketing), a ‘magic moment’ that brings out the emotions in them when they visit the website, and core unique selling points that provide the solution to their problems.

#5 Scale vertically or horizontally
Depending on your type of business, you will come across opportunities to scale once you get started. Think about whether you scale your business vertically (selling more of the same) or horizontally (by adding more products to your catalogue and creating niches).

#6 Track progress and monitor KPIs
Finally, it’s extremely important to track your startup’s progress. To do that, you want to set some Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). KPIs are not the goals of a company’s success, but they will help you reach those goals. KPIs can be anything from website visits to downloads, conversion rates, churn, customer acquisition cost (CAC) and Life Time Value (LTV). Create a dashboard and measure early and often.

Thomas N Horsted


Thomas (@thomas_hors) is the former co-founder and COO of Startup Guide – The Entrepreneur’s Handbook. He now works as a startup scout for IKEA Bootcamp in collaboration with Rainmaking (ikeabootcamp.rainmaking.io). As an entrepreneur with an academic background in media studies and kaospilot, he understands the combination of praxis, reflection, creativity and theory needed to bring startup projects to life.