Guest post by Catherine Eibner, Chief Startup advisor, BlueChilli
When putting together the #99toLaunch startup course content it was a great reminder to me that there are some really simple and seemingly obvious things that new founders always seem to forget, miss or just plain ignore!
I thought I would share with you my top 5 tips that I bet you would have missed!
We all make Assumptions – how many of yours have been proven to be true?
An assumption is something accepted as true without evidence. Without even realising it you will have made assumptions about your business, your customers and their needs. Use Lean Experiments to start testing these assumptions as early as possible in your startup journey as you may need to make some changes based on the results.
Share your Story in all its ups and downs
Blogging is one of the most important ways to continuously add fresh and relevant content to your site for SEO and to build and engage with your community. Blogging can commence right away, you don’t need to have a website launched or the product ready to be able to commence. Being open and honest about your startup’s journey via a blog can help build trust with your potential customer so don’t be afraid to disclose the lessons you learn along the way.
Understand that Startups are risky and put some protection in place
A startup is inherently risky business. But the good news is that there are insurances you can take out to mitigate some of the risk for your business, founders and investors. Ensure that you understand the minimum insurances you should have in place before launching.
Don’t launch to everyone till you have proven your product with a trusted few
I know it’s exciting to have something ready to hand over to your eager users – but there is a big difference between quietly letting your trusted beta users start playing with your site and shouting from the rooftops that the site is live and everyone should sign up. Having a small trusted group use your site/product and give you feedback first so you can make changes is key to a successful grand scale launch in future.
How are you going to turn your earliest users into lifelong fans
On the topic of a few trusted early users, put time an effort now into deciding how to show the love to your first users. Plan how to reward those first users for their feedback, patience and contribution to the product you are building. Are you going to give them bonuses in your system? Send them stickers, t-shirts or gift vouchers? Make sure they feel the love as you can guarantee that if you do, and they love what you do, they will more than pay it forward.
These mistakes are best avoided (and many others) by signing up today for BlueChilli’s 99toLaunch self-paced online education program for entrepreneurial people who’d like to become a world-class startup founder.
In partnership with Microsoft BizSpark, we are offering 50% off the normal price for anyone who signs up before the end of 2014. Meaning, for just $149.50, you can make your startups one of the successful elite by starting #99toLaunch