From “Plan” to “Action”: Making the Leap

So you have come up with a great idea. You’ve done your research, come up with a financial plan, written a business plan and maybe even design a screen shot or two. Now what? In an industry where time is everything, most would say “Find someone to program it.” Not so fast, hotshot. You’re going to need a little more planning before you get to that point. Here are a few tips and tricks to turn your idea into something real.

Polish your concept. You may think that your concept is the best in the world. Well I have news for you: it’s good, but not great. The problem with most concepts is that they are too broad. You should be able to take all the fluff out of it and narrow your whole idea down into one simple sentence. Think of it as a tag line. For instance, Bounty’s is “The quicker picker upper”. Burger King’s is “Have it your way”. These simple phrases have become iconic, mainly because they give a great mental image of what each company is about.

Function, Features, Screenshots. In order to get to this point, you are going to need to have a clear concept (see above). This step is probably the easiest of all of them once you have the concept defined. When you know what you want your company’s image to be, then you are able to know what the function of your company will be. The function of the company (as well as your website/app/network/etc) will lead you to the features that you want and need. Once again these should be defined by your functions. The last step in this process is screenshots. This part is easy. You know that you need a utility that will allow people to look at other people’s photos. Now you just have to come up with a GUI to go along with it. Just remember, this is an important order, and each one builds upon the other.

Plan the technology. A lot of people jump too fast into the programming and architecture of their startups. If it is not planned correctly, this could lead to devastating results. Things you need to decide are: what language will you program in? What type of database will you use? What server/hosting options will you be using? If you mess up on one of these steps, it could mean that implementation will be nearly impossible, so don’t forget to plan before you build. It could save you a lot of headaches.

At this point, you should be able to get people interested in financing (if you need it, and assuming you can sell). When all of those things come together, it shows that you’ve really done your homework and are very serious about getting your startup off the ground. Assuming everything has gone well up to this point, move on.

Now, start building. Now that you have money (hopefully) and interest in your idea (hopefully), you can start the actual building and implementation of your idea. By this point, if all your planning has gone well, you should start seeing some significant progress.

Just remember that if you really want to get to this point, you must really have the vision and passion to keep pushing through difficulties that you will face. And remember, you should be doing it because you love what you’re doing and believe that it is really something that will make a difference … Don’t be looking to get rich quick.

Have I left anything out? Do you have stories about getting your tech startup off the ground? Let me know!

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