Entrepreneurship

Lean Startup Methodology: Getting Things off the Ground

People who are at the initial stages of their business operations could avoid different costly mistakes with employing a bit of common sense. If there’s a way for you to decrease the product development cycle and reevaluate your business model, including the base idea, you should look no further than the lean startup methodology. Following certain steps before you even start your business could help save a lot of time and money. Here are the most important things you should pay attention to from the very beginning.

Do you have a sound idea?

The first thing you’re supposed to do is to opt for an idea and make sure whether it’s good and promising, or not. Not having a trustworthy idea means that you shouldn’t start your business at all, and if there’s not a single positive feedback on your idea, better reconsider it right away. You can ask anyone about your idea, from your coworkers and friends to potential customers or even people who have nothing to do with you or your idea at all. Also, find out if your idea has a market that you can go for, unless you want to make something brilliant and not have anyone to sell it to.

What are your expectations?

Think hard and figure out what are the assumptions that should support your idea. What is it that has to exist or has to happen in order for your idea to turn into something bigger? Imagine a situation with a potential customer in it and see how things would go on. Define the steps that you would take, as a product owner, and steps that a customer would take, and come up with answers you would need to get in order for them to buy what you’re selling. Write everything down, you’ll need it for this experiment, or as some may call it, for this precaution.

Prove your expectations

Now that you’ve established your assumptions, it’s time to see if any of those would actually work. Keep in mind that you’ve made your assumptions based on your knowledge and some of your previous experience with various things, but the real deal can be a lot different from what you’ve imagined. Make a plan based on your expectations, go out there and test your idea in a real situation with real, although potential, customers. Track the results!

What have you learned?

Perhaps nothing went wrong, but maybe everything went down the hill. The reality is that we can’t predict anything, we can only think, believe, and hope that something will happen. That’s why you shouldn’t feel bad in case your test didn’t go well, especially since you can learn from your mistakes. An undergraduate degree in business design, for example, enables future professionals to combine their creative skills and sense for design, with a methodology that helps boost your business and makes it more stable and trustworthy.

What went wrong?

In order to see if your expectations were correct, you had to perform a kind of experiment. If everything went well, that’s great, but it’s most likely that at least something didn’t go as planned. Now, it’s up to you to identify your experiment’s flaws and find a way to make it more trustworthy. Next time, you could maybe set your expectations lower and see if that could work, and also you could change your approach since it probably wasn’t well planned.

Should you abort everything or keep pushing forward?

Now that you’re done with the experiment, it’s time to make the final step and that’s deciding whether you should stick with your idea or maybe it’s time to take a step back and focus on something else. It’s completely natural that a person will, sometimes, come up with something that looks like a great idea in the beginning, but it turns out to be unsuccessful. That’s why you shouldn’t feel bad if you realise that you shouldn’t force your idea, but rather take a break or start thinking about something new. New beginnings can always bring something great, and every mistake you’ve made can be used as a great study material.

Starting something on your own is a brave and respectful choice, but keeping in mind the cruel world we’re living in, you have to do everything you can in order to start off on the right foot. There are some intelligent and experienced people who have come up with a methodology to help start your business the right way, and you should definitely give that methodology a change. Best of luck!

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About the author

Jennifer Hahn Masterson

Jennifer Hahn Masterson is a senior business strategist, holding an undergraduate degree in business design, as well as an MA degree in business communication. She is always doing her best to help her clients find their place in the ever so competitive business arena. You can check her out on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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