There’s a lot of advice out there for women ready to launch their own startup – and a lot of it can be confusing. Be strong and un-wavering! But also flexible and willing to adapt. Throw everything you have at your business! Just make sure you don’t go into debt. Protect your idea at all costs! But never be afraid to ask for advice, oh yes and get a mentor.
It’s enough to make a woman turn on her heels and head back to that nine to five desk job. Stop!
Your dreams are important and they have just as much chance of success as the next startup. Before you set started, all you need to consider are these five essential tips:
1. What’s the need or problem?
Sure your idea is clever and sassy and creative – but for a startup to be successful it actually needs to solve a problem or satisfy a need your consumers have. That doesn’t mean it can’t also be awesome: look at the Post It note or the iPad, we didn’t even know we desperately needed them until they were invented!
2. Get to know your customer
Think you know your target customers? Ask yourself, how much of that knowledge is assumption and how much is actual information. To really nail a market you need to get out there and talk with the people who will be buying your product. What are their real problems or difficulties? What would they like help with? You might be surprised…
3. Develop a roadmap
Now you have a fantastic offering, what you need is a plan to achieve your business goals. A great business plan should cover marketing schedule, logistics, growth, and potential setbacks.
4. Embrace being a student!
Most women embarking on a startup have never started a serious business before, so don’t feel bad if you don’t know what you are doing! Know the organisations and businesses you can trust and go to for advice. Learn from your mistakes and complete every project – successful or otherwise – with honest analysis of how it can be improved next time.
5. Be prepared to flounder
Most business advisors will say, “be prepared to fail” because you will inevitably stumble on the way to success – but we don’t say that, simply because you never really fail until you give up. But you will stumble and there will be times when you question, is it all worth it.
At these times, it’s essential to look back on why you started out in the first place. Was it the thrill of seeing your idea out in the world? Was it to escape the nine to five and create a better work / life balance? Whatever the reason, if it’s still relevant, dust yourself off, lift your chin up, and onwards and upwards!
Every business needs a guiding hand and Startups for Grownups offers regular small, friendly and creative events and masterclasses designed to support and development mature women wanting to launch their own startup.
Our next event is happening in November. It’s a one day event in Melbourne’s west where women can bring in their ideas for a startup, hear advice from the experts, and have their idea individually workshopped in a safe and nurturing environment.