Different startups and startup hubs share their experiences with the realization of their idea. And Cathy Oh, Startup Officer of the Chamber of Commerce, explains how to avoid falling into various pitfalls.
Implement your idea well
Develop your idea by asking yourself the following questions:
- What problem do you solve with your idea?
- What solutions already exist to that problem?
- How does my product or service differ from existing alternatives? And is it really innovative and more interesting for the customer?
- Who are your customers and users? The nuance difference, a customer pays and a user does not.
- What is your business model?
- Do you have a broad customer segment? Then divide this into small, more specific customer segments. Focus first on the group where the need is greatest.
- You need money for your innovation. How will you finance your innovation?
Cathy Oh Startup Officer at KVK says: “A good idea does not make a successful company: Your ideas and enthusiasm are an important start for a growing company. But it is essential to write a business plan with a well-thought-out revenue model. ” Only in this way can you make money with your business and make yourself strong and credible towards potential investors and your (potential) market.
Inquiries to potential customers
As soon as your idea starts to take shape, you obviously want to bring it to market. Cathy Oh: “Is the market ready for your product or service? And is your product fully developed and ready to be launched on the market? Many startups notice that the market finds their product interesting, but not everyone is willing to become a customer. This can be for a number of reasons, such as that you are ahead of your time (timing), or that the product does not meet the customer’s needs (too small, not scalable).
To avoid the pitfall that Oh mentions, you can present your idea to potential customers or involve them in the development process. For example, if you develop a new solution with customers and partners within co-creation. Onno van der Poel from Startup TicTag also experienced this: “At TicTag, we have been waiting for a first real potential customer. While you may already be researching many aspects of your product before you have a first customer. In retrospect, it would have been smarter for TicTag to set up your own test panel and, above all, more time-saving. ”
Catch your idea
Once you have worked out your idea, you can legally record it in i-DEPOT. By legalizing it, you have proof in a legal issue, for example, that you conceived, created or designed the idea on a certain date. Your idea can be for anything, such as a (fashion) design, texts, book, film, script, invention or prototype.
Only when your idea has become a product or service can you protect it with intellectual property rights. This does not apply to ideas.
Your idea becomes a business
Once you have captured your idea, you can consider starting a business so that you can sell your product or service. Take a look at the menu to start a business. In it you can read the most important steps you need to take when starting your own business.
“Money is needed to develop your product and run your business. In addition to start-up capital, you may also need more financing elements in subsequent growth phases of your start-up. Not all startups succeed in arranging multiple sources of funding at different times, ”says Cathy Oh.
To gain insight into your finances, it may be advisable to make a financing plan. Heerd Jan Hoogeveen from the startup hub Utrecht Region, adviser: “Think carefully about your financing and make a plan for this. Also for the following phases. An investor understands that there is also a need for financing in the next growth phase. And nothing is more awkward than getting to the point where all the money is gone and you can do nothing. ”
Have you ever thought about business angels? They invest in companies from a business point of view. Startups are an interesting target group here. In addition to investing, they can help you with advice and assistance.
Coaching for startups
For you as a startup, there are many organizations and associations that will help you further on your business adventure. See which organizations and associations are right for you.
Startups are more and more ambitious students. Do you have big plans and want to grow fast? Read how to approach product development, what opportunities there are for startups and how you can make extra money with innovation alongside your studies.
The growth of your startup
When your business is running well, you will start making money and you can grow into an upscaling. As a scale-up, you have a business plan that is suitable for a broader market and provides space to enter the international market. During this growth you will be faced with various choices.
- Hiring staff for the first time: There comes a time when you can no longer do the work alone. Time to think about hiring staff.
- To lead: As you get older, tasks are added. You become a leader. Management is a profession in itself. If you realize this is not for you, then hire a manager.
- Financing your growth: If you are taking steps with your business, you need money to invest. But how do you find financing? Many forms of financing are possible, such as grants, schemes and investors.
- Selling your business: Do you want to continue to grow? Or do you want to make money fast and would you rather sell your business?