Top ten tips for launching a start-up

The phrase “I have a dream” means different things for different generations. Martin Luther King, Jr. used the phrase in his speech highlighting racial inequality in America. 

Not many years later, the 1970s Swedish pop group Abba put a different spin on the phrase in one of their songs. Many entrepreneurs use the phrase when describing the inspiration that led to their start-up. Regardless of the context, the phrase carries the same meaning – a hope for something new or to work on something that is of importance.  

How we know these tips?

IronRooster has helped many start-ups come one step closer to their dreams through their expert solutions, consulting and mentorship. Our colleague and Business Development Manager Krisz Szabó has great standing in his local start-up ecosystem in Hungary, so we asked him to share his top ten tips for start-ups.  

1. Make sure your product or service solves a problem in the market 

When you have a great idea for a start-up, you may become so tied to it that it is difficult to stay focused on the market needs. To stay focused, ask this question: “Does my idea solve a problem in the market?” One of the most effective (and cost-effective) ways to find out is to create a prototype highlighting the most important feature of your solution and test it with potential users. Alberto Savoia’s book Prototype It is a great reference on this topic. 

2. Learn to ask the right questions and stay objective 

It takes time and conscious effort to learn how and what to ask your target audience. It’s great to receive approval for your idea, but the question “Do you like it?” is not always the right one. “Would you buy it?” offers a more objective and useful answer. The book The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick gives you tricks on how to ask the right questions that even your mom would answer objectively.  

3. Find your brothers/sisters in arms 

Don’t be a lone wolf, even superheroes need sidekicks! It’s immensely difficult to succeed alone in all walks of life, and this is especially true for start-ups. According to the statistics, start-ups with 2-3 founders achieve the most success. If you have an idea and you need partners, go out and explore the local start-up ecosystem, join the community, go to events, find like-minded people. We promise, they are out there! 

4. Have a global mindset 

Start-ups have a unique way of transcending local boundaries and finding opportunities globally. Start-ups with a global mindset achieve greater success. Broaden your horizons, change your perspective and the world will truly be your oyster. 

5. The worst thing you can do with an idea is to not share it 

Our Director of Innovation, Pál Molnár lives by these words. If you have an idea, share it with whoever listens to you, shout it from the rooftops if you need to. There are many benefits of brainstorming with others. You can gain new inspiration, motivation, and find new perspectives that will help navigate the business world. 

6. Money talks 

A business needs money, plain and simple. You can have the most innovative idea, if you are not able to find investors, you won’t be able to get your business up and running. However, there are many ways to find funding for your start-up. Angel investors support start-ups financially if they see potential in the idea. If you are trying to fund your business, don’t be afraid to talk about finances. Decide if your start-up is viable as a for-profit or a non-profit business and talk to as many potential investors as you can. Know your worth – don’t agree to conditions that don’t move your business forward. 

7. Take part in start-up competitions 

Companies with programs focusing on start-ups often organize events where you can compete with your idea. Accelerators like gBeta Medtech offer pitch nights where entrepreneurs can present their ideas, and the best ones win various mentorship opportunities. Name recognition is a huge benefit, too. Get your name out there, get recognized, be the most trusted expert of your field! 

8. Age is just a number 

Many people have the preconception that start-ups are for the young. However, according to statistics, the most successful entrepreneurs are actually in their 40s and 50s. We believe that age doesn’t matter when it comes to start-up success. You can see 19-year-olds achieve success like Steve Jobs did, but don’t forget Colonel Sanders, who got his big break in fast-food with Kentucky Fried Chicken when he was in his 60s. Drive and determination are what matters, not the number of candles on your birthday cake. 

9. Find a mentor 

All the greats before you had someone show them the way. Don’t be shy to ask for help. Find the leading figures in your industry and initiate a conversation with them, find out their best practices, their strategies and try them for yourself. The world of business can be a terrifying place, a great mentor can help you in so many ways. Leaders with a mentoring mindset will be happy to share their stories with you. Don’t forget, they were once like you! 

10. The road to success is paved with failure 

As clichéd as it may sound, no story is perfect. If you talk to a successful businessman, they will surely tell you about their failures, too. There is no perfect formula for start-ups, no guarantee for success. Some say “the first step is the most difficult”, but actually every phase of your life (business and professional) has its own challenges. The work for a start-up founder doesn’t end after the first month, year, decade, and each of these milestones will bring you failure and triumph, so figure out how to learn from both and grow. 

Here you go, these are IronRooster’s ten tips for launching a start-up. Now go and work on your idea, and find out what your dreams are made of! 

At IronRooster, we are committed to helping start-ups with custom software solutions, so please feel free to book a 30minute consultation so we can help you achieve your dream. 

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