Articles

How to Sharpen and Refine your Startup Concept

by APSense News Release Admin

Your entrepreneurial spirit might be strong, but the biggest hurdle involved in getting your concept off the ground and on its own two feet is determining what, exactly, your concept is. Your chances aren’t infinite; startups take planning, resources, confidence, and most importantly, time, so it’s natural that you want to be certain of your idea before you make any solid commitments. Don’t make the mistake of spreading your efforts across several different ideas. Take advantage of these tips so you can distill the right one: a refined, intentional startup concept that feels right and inspires dedication.

 

  1. Brainstorming

You’re already doing it, but you can do it better. If you want to have a real plan, it’s time to clear up that fog of ideas and organize them in a way that allows you to make decisions. The last year has inspired a boom in the development of software tools meant for solo and collaborative brainstorming, and you can take advantage of these tools to clarify your desires, your goals, and ultimately your startup plan.

 

Bubbl.us is free, browser-based, and simple enough for new users to dive right in. Its colorful, bubble chart interface updates and restructures itself automatically as new information is entered into the app, but users can also hand-draw their bubble tree to better suit their organizational style.

 

For those more corporate-minded, Lucidchart might make you feel like you’re in the office. Its optional post-it note visual layout might remind you of corporate environments you’re used to, or that you may want to emulate as you develop your idea for a hit company. Lucidchart is specially tailored to collaborative brainstorming, perfect for those in partnership situations.

 

For those looking for a new take on their old thoughts, there’s something a little bolder: Braincat, a tool designed just as much for thought restructuring as thought organization. Braincat’s approach to brainstorming is creating a question-and-answer dialogue between the user and the app which is used to create manageable thought categories. These categories can then be sequenced into an idea map. Braincat’s process is particularly useful for reinterpreting stale ideas as well as generating entirely new ones, and is an invaluable tool for those struggling to refine their startup idea.

 

  1. Be Your Own Critic

When it comes to business ideas, no criticism is too much, and it should foremost come from yourself. Once you have a few solid concepts down, analyze them -- ruthlessly, if you have to -- to determine who stays and who goes.

 

A business always has a mission. What’s your mission? A refined startup should have a refined purpose, so avoid vague, unclear, or non-specific goals and focus on developing a mission that’s as surgically precise as possible. Once a mission is established, determine your audience. Do you want to target consumers, other businesses, or adopt a hybrid approach? If consumers, which demographics are the most realistic for you to pursue? If businesses, which industry or industries are you most interested in, or show the most promise? No matter what, you should have a target, whether you’re aiming for broad reach or settling into a small but lucrative niche.

 

Once your mission is clear and your mark is set, think a second about your appeal. How is your startup concept unique? Or rather, how can you present it uniquely? Startups that see early success do so by rallying interest, so figure out what makes you different and get ready to use that as your battle cry.

 

That was the fun part. Now, it’s time to think about money. Your projected costs should be accurate, or even inflated to account for any missed details or unexpected complications. Remember the boring stuff, like insurance and marketing budgets, or else you might see your rock-solid startup turn to sand in your fingers. Even if your cost estimates seem overly careful, it will only make you look more professional and cogent in the eyes of potential investors. After all, the initial impact of your startup will rely almost entirely on the amount of seed money you can secure from interested parties.

 

  1. Get External Feedback

You’ve got your plan. You’ve looked it over. You’ve butchered it, rearranged it, and sewn it together. You might have done that ten times, but now, you’re satisfied, so it’s time to get some outside feedback.

 

You could pay for the services of a consulting firm or free-roaming consultants, but why spend capital on what may turn out to be a dud? This is an occasion to be thankful for the internet, where countless strangers will be willing to critique or validate your idea in good faith. Reddit is the preeminent example, since it includes so many specialized, dedicated subforums pertaining to every type of topic, including industry and business topics, and is populated with active users eager to lend a helping hand or give you the kind of tough love you might need. Also consider Quora, an online community purpose-built for asking questions and giving advice.

 

If those don’t suit you, or you want something a little closer to home and more personal, just ask a friend. You can even ask several friends at once. Reach out on Facebook, Instagram, or other social media platforms, and see if your peers have anything helpful to say. They might be excited to be part of your startup planning process, and that enthusiasm might be part of the push you need to get moving.


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Created on Apr 9th 2021 13:07. Viewed 44 times.

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