Founding a startup company is a fast track to CEO but it is hard and prone to failure.

Creative HQ’s assessment criteria focus on the elements that give startups the best chance of success. The early stage business graveyard is vast and deep. Have a think on the points below and then ask yourself if you know what you want for your startup. We can help you get there, but you are the person that will make it happen.

THE MUSCLE

Founding Team: The right team can help you get started with less capital, and execute with more speed and flexibility. Have you thought about what constitutes the right team for your venture, and lined up the people you need?

THE NEED

Market Opportunity: A clear statement of your company’s strategy should provide a simple explanation of who your customers are, what you are offering them, how your products provide them with unique benefits, and how you will make money. Context often spells the difference between success and failure. Tablet computers and social networks were both around in the 1990’s, but the world wasn’t ready for the iPad or Facebook until many years later. Is the environment is right for your new business?

THE WANT

Market need validated: By knowing who your customers are, and understanding their needs, you can do a better job of providing them with products or services they want. Do you know how to recognise your target customers?

If you make sure the products you envision address an important need your customers have that’s not being satisfied, you can improve the chances that “when you build it, they will come.” Do you have objective proof about the unmet needs of your target customers?

THE WALK

Your product or service: It’s easy to get excited about all the possible bells and whistles you could offer but if you start with the most critical features (your “minimum viable product”), you can get a product in front of customers faster and cheaper, and see how they react.

Do you have a plan for your minimum viable product? Most business ideas build on concepts that have already been attempted. By understanding companies that have done things similar to yours, you can copy what works – and avoid what doesn’t. Have you found and researched ventures like this?

THE TALK

Sales and marketing: If you can attract customers in a cost-effective, repeatable way, you’ll be able to grow and generate profits. You’ll have to do some testing to find the best marketing approach, but you’ll need to have some hypotheses up front. What are the primary ways you expect to attract customers?

THE ENGINE

Business model: The basic numbers behind how you’ll make money are the easiest to calculate, and the most important to understand.

THE POTENTIAL

Investability- risk and return : Startups are inherently risky, so you’ll want to do everything possible to understand what could go wrong, and how to maximize your chances of success. You should have thought through the risks involved in your business, and what you can do about them.

Establishing clear goals for your startup can help ensure that: 1) All members of your team are striving for the same things, 2) Founders and investors have a plan for getting returns on their investments, and that 3) anyone giving you advice or feedback has the right perspective. To what extent have you identified specific goals for your new business?

THE FUEL

Resources and funding: The last step in business planning is to make sure you’ve got the resources you’ll need to get through the next six to 12 months. What do you need now, how will you get it, and where it will get you?

An implementation plan helps you, your team, your advisors and investors agree on what you’ll do next, and how you’ll measure success. To what extent do you have an implementation plan for the next six to 12 months?

 

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