Today, more and more people are dreaming of quitting their day job and launching a startup. Some are fed up with corporate life, some want to be their own boss, and some just want to make a dent in the universe. We’ll explain how to launch a startup without taking too much risk.
If you think that launching a startup is time-consuming, you are absolutely right. Launching and running a startup will take all the time and energy you can spare. But it doesn’t mean you have to quit your day job to launch a startup, at least till you are confident your startup idea will work out.
Here’s how you can launch a startup without quitting your job:
1. Validate your idea
Just as parents think their babies are the most beautiful in the whole world, so startup founders think their ideas are genius. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. There are countless examples of seemingly great ideas that didn’t work out; therefore, you need to validate your idea before spending any money. Here’s what you can do:
- Research the web. Check if there’s any competition or any signs of unsatisfied market need
- Talk to people whose opinion you value, what do they think about your idea?
- Talk to your potential customers. What do they think of your idea?
- Collect feedback and use it to improve your idea
- Create a Lean canvas to get a better understanding of your business model
2. Get ready to launch a minimum viable product (MVP)
If you think your idea has market potential, you can start getting ready to develop Minimum Viable Product – a first working prototype of your startup idea.
- Create a list of absolutely necessary features of your first prototype; no bells and whistles, only the essentials
- Create mockups of your web application
3. Outsource development of the MVP
A good web application development company will assist you with refining functionality of your minimum viable product and mockups. Here are a few tips on choosing an outsourcing company:
- Outsource overseas – this will help you to cut the development cost significantly
- Don’t hurry to select the cheapest option: compare offers, check reference letters and portfolios
- When signing a contract, insist on a provision to cancel the contract if you are not happy with the quality of work. This way, you may lose some time but you will be protected from losing money
4. Collect feedback from real users
By now you have a working prototype with minimal functionality. Spend a few bucks marketing your startup and get some early adopters to use it. Collect feedback from your new customers and get a true confirmation of the validity of your idea.
Now when you have a proven idea, working prototype, positive market feedback, and, above all, confidence, you can quit and work on your startup full-time. If you’re still not confident enough, you don’t have to quit – just keep implementing new features and correcting the product according to collected feedback until you gain the confidence.
With this approach, you don’t have to quit your day job to work on a startup. Sure, working evenings and weekends is tough, but this is the price you need to pay if you want to launch a startup without risking your paycheck and your family welfare.
Disclaimer: Talk to your lawyer before launching a startup. It’s a common legal matter and it shouldn’t cost a lot, yet it can protect you in case your employer doesn’t like what you do.