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6 Things to Consider Before Starting a Startup.

6 Things to Consider Before Starting a Startup.

In this modern digital age, many youngsters are planning to start their own business. In spite of lacking of adequate experience, these young people have creative ideas and enough determination to become their own boss. But this lack of experience can seriously threaten their dream of becoming an entrepreneur and if not handled properly, can completely destroy it.

Any business start-up needs lots of time and financial investment. Hard work and continuous efforts with determination are required to make it work. But aside from these, there are a lot of things that one should consider before starting a startup.

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Your Idea

The first and the most important thing is the idea. It’s the idea only that will make you unique and attractive. Every business is based on the idea and before starting the business, one should be clear with the positive and adverse effects of their idea. It is important to recognize the strength, potential opportunities, weakness of the idea and lot of research is required to be done on this basis. You need to analyze the feasibility of your idea. Try to resist the urge to move on to action, and really work out every aspects of your big idea. Many businesses fail because of moving too quickly from the idea phase into the action phase.

Your Customers

Success for your business will be based on client satisfaction. A business always has a targeted market, and focuses on a particular section of customers. There are loads of ways to attract the client. Websites are now a day common marketing trick, and there are lots of web designs available.  Depending on the type of business you are starting up, you may want to consider other types of promotion, like flyers, business cards, advertisements, or sales.The real challenge lies in converting visitors to buyers. At any rate, you’ll want to be sure that you are thinking about your customers first and devising an appropriate way to attract them to your business.

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Your Competition

The third most important thing to be considered is your competitors. Today’s market is a competitive one, and there are lots of businesses of all types. You’ll need to study your competitors and analyze them. Looking at the practices of businesses similar to your startup will help you analyze your strengths and weaknesses. Then, not only can you learn from them, but you can figure out how to make your product or service perform even better. To stay in the race, it is important to know your competitors and their policies very well. So before starting any business, analyze the people you are standing against.

Your Capital

One of the biggest hurdles for starting any start up is the initial investment. Many investors back off when they see any youngster with the lack of experience planning to launch a startup. Arranging for the capital for the startup is probably one of the toughest jobs. It is very difficult to convince people (especially investors) to trust you with their money. So before going for any big step, try to arrange the capital first. Make sure you consider how much money you will need to pay employees, live off of, and run the business for at least the first 6 months or a year before you can feasibly expect for your business to return on your investment.

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Your Core Team

Tata Industries founder, Ratan Tata, stated once “If you want to walk fast, walk alone, but if you want to walk far, walk together.” His words symbolize the importance of teamwork. Every company whether it is a start-up or a well-established state requires an efficient core team. Especially if you are planning to start your own business, first finalize the core members of your team. Carefully choose who you are going to have surrounding you. They together will decide the future of the company. One of the most important tips for selecting the core members is, “Don’t hire friends for the company.” Hiring friends can get complicated, and you may find yourself stuck between professionalism and friendship later down the line.

Your Business Plan

Last but certainly not the least is the business plan. A clear plan of activities is just like the map to success. Sit down with all your core team members and come up with a clear and realistic business plan.  It will give a much clear idea of your intended business. With this plan in your hand, you can calculate the resources, investment, and potential required for any phase. A proper business plan is required to execute everything properly.

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Featured photo credit: strictlybusinesslawblog via i0.wp.com

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Erick Clifford

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

How to Mind Map to Visualize Your Thoughts (With Mind Map Examples)

How to Mind Map to Visualize Your Thoughts (With Mind Map Examples)

Traditionally, when you have a lot of ideas in your mind, you would create a text document, or take a sheet of paper and start writing in a linear fashion like this:

  • Intro to Visual Facilitation
    • Problem, Consequences, Solution, Benefits, Examples, Call to action
  • Structure
    • Why, What, How to, What If
  • Do It Myself?
    • Audio, Images, time-consuming, less expensive
  • Specialize Offering?
    • Built to Sell (Standard Product Offering), Options (Solving problems, Online calls, Dev projects)

This type of document quickly becomes overwhelming. It obviously lacks in clarity. It also makes it hard for you to get a full picture at a glance and see what is missing.

You always have too much information to look at, and most often you only get a partial view of the information. It’s hard to zoom out, figuratively, and to see the whole hierarchy and how everything is connected.

To see a fuller picture, create a mind map.

What Is a Mind Map?

A mind map is a simple hierarchical radial diagram. In other words, you organize your thoughts around a central idea. This technique is especially useful whenever you need to “dump your brain”, or develop an idea, a project (for example, a new product or service), a problem, a solution, etc. By capturing what you have in your head, you make space for other thoughts.

In this article, we are focusing on the basics: mind mapping using pen and paper.

The objective of a mind map is to clearly visualize all your thoughts and ideas before your eyes. Don’t complicate a mind map with too many colors or distractions. Use different colors only when they serve a purpose. Always keep a mind map simple and easy to follow.

    Image Credit: English Central

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    By following the three next steps below, you will be able to create such mind maps easily and quickly.

    3 Simple Steps to Create a Mind Map

    The three steps are:

    1. Set a central topic
    2. Add branches of related ideas
    3. Add sub-branches for more relevant ideas

    Let’s take a look at an example Verbal To Visual illustrates on the benefits of mind mapping.[1]

    Step 1 : Set a Central Topic

    Take a blank sheet of paper, write down the topic you’ve been thinking about: a problem, a decision to make, an idea to develop, or a project to clarify.

    Word it in a clear and concise manner.

      What is the first idea that comes to mind when you think of the subject for your mind map? Draw a line (straight or curved) from the central topic, and write down that idea.

        Step 3 : Add Sub-Branches for More Relevant Ideas

        Then, what does that idea make you think of? What is related to it? List it out next to it in the same way, using your pen.

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          You can always add more to it later, but that’s good for now.

          In our example, we could detail the sub-branch “Benefits” by listing those benefits in sub-branches of the branch “Benefits”. Unfortunately, we already reached the side of the sheet, so we’re out of space to do so. You could always draw a line to a white space on the page and list them there, but it’s awkward.

          Since we created this mind map on a regular letter-format sheet of paper, the quantity of information that fits in there is very limited. That is one of the main reasons why I recommend that you use software rather than pen and paper for most of the mind mapping that you do.

          Repeat Step 2 and Step 3

          Repeat steps 2 and 3 as many times as you need to flush out all of your ideas around the topic that you chose.

            I added first-level (main) branches around the central topic mostly in a clockwise fashion, from top-right to top-left. That is how, by convention, a mind map is read.

            In the next section, we are covering the three strategies to building your maps.  

            Mind Map Examples to Illustrate Mind Mapping

            You can go about creating a mind map in various ways:

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            • Branch by Branch: Adding whole branches (with all of their sub-branches), one by one.
            • Level by Level: Adding elements to the map, one level at a time. That means that firstly, you add elements around the central topic (main branches). Then, you add sub-branches to those main branches. And so on.
            • Free-Flow: Adding elements to your mind map as they come to you, in no particular order.

            Branch by Branch

            Start with the central topic, add a first branch. Focus on that branch and detail it as much as you can by adding all the sub-branches that you can think of.

              Then develop ideas branch by branch.

                A branch after another, and the mind map is complete.

                  Level by Level

                  In this “Level by Level” strategy, you first add all the elements that you can think of around the central topic, one level deep only. So here you add elements on level 1:

                    Then, go over each branch and add the immediate sub-branches (one level only). This is level 2:

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                      Idem for the next level. This is level 3. You can have as many levels as you want in a mind map. In our example, we only have 3 levels. Now the map is complete:

                        Free-Flow

                        Basically, a free flow strategy of mind mapping is to add main branches and sub-topics freely. No rules to restrict how ideas should flow in the mind map. The only thing to pay attention to is that you need to be careful about the level of the ideas you’re adding to the mind map — is it a main topic, or is it a subtopic?

                          I recommend using a combination of the “Branch by Branch” and the “Free-Flow” strategies.

                          What I normally do is I add one branch at a time, and later on review the mind map and add elements in various places to finish it. I also sometimes build level 1 (the main branches) first, then use a “Branch by Branch” approach, and later finish the map in a “Free-Flow” manner.

                          Try each strategy and combinations of strategies, and see what works best for you.

                          The Bottom Line

                          When you’re feeling stuck or when you’re just starting to think about a particular idea or project, take out a paper and start to brain dump your ideas and create a mind map. Mind mapping has the magic to clear your head and have your thoughts organized.

                          If you can’t always have access to a paper and pen, don’t worry! Creating a mind map with software is very effective and you get none of the drawbacks of pen and paper. You can also apply the above steps and strategies just the same when using a mind mapping tool on the phone and computer.

                          More Tools to Help You Organize Thoughts

                          Featured photo credit: Alvaro Reyes via unsplash.com

                          Reference

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