KOCHI: One of the important questions that many people ask is - When you have a compelling idea that is sufficiently curated, should you opt going full-time into the ‘startup mode’?
Answering this question is never easy. It gets more difficult for the founders who are enthusiastic about the idea and find it very difficult to be objective. It gets hard to disassociate emotionally with the elements of the idea to be able to objectively prioritise or even maybe drop it.
Some important considerations on when a startup is ready to take the plunge:
Market opportunity vetted
A major part of the idea curation is to ensure there is a clear and unserved whitespace in the present market and your startup has a good way of solving and addressing this problem and reaching out to the market.
Clear target of customers
This is a significantly weak area for most early-stage startups. Need to consciously understand the target customer segments. Categorise clearly the specific segment, need, use-case and problem definition.
Market acquisition approach
For each target segment, need to have a clear plan on how the acquisition will happen. Where the targets are, how to get to them, what are the various channels available, where the influence is, how to get the audience and then how to convince. And this may vary from one target segment to another.
This is one of the most difficult aspects. Need a clear plan for the first customer, the tenth customer, and the hundredth. And beyond. Very specific. Very credible.
Advisors to validate your thinking
A key enabler here is ensuring good advisors as sounding boards. Advisors who are analytical and have a good sense of business in general and better if aware of your domain as well. Identify gaps and weaknesses in the process.
Finally, there are no magic pills that can tell when is a right time to take the plunge. But, the above tips will help in giving a quantified basis for that gut feeling!