| Part 1 of 4 |
Ever wake up one morning with an idea so massive that you know it would probably solve half of the world’s problems? Or maybe a solution so grand that it would possibly be the definitive “game-changer” to how an area operates? Well, that’s what many entrepreneurs have in their minds when they start a start-up and unleash their big idea onto the world.
Here at Unicorn Workspaces Portugal, we know how important it is to assist new start-ups to liberate their potential and get them going in the right direction. So we’ve come up with a 4-part series to give you clear insights into how to build your start-up from scratch. With these tips and thoughtful pieces of advice, we hope you go from ideation to full speed ahead with a launch of a product or service that may revolutionize the market.
Nothing is more important than this single concept - your Brand. Your brand is how the world and market will perceive you, it’s a representation of everything your product, service, or both is all about. This is your first step into how you will develop your vision, mission, and creative process into naming and design thinking of your start-up. To put it simply, build your brand and everything else will follow into realization.
Step 1: Put your VISION on paper.
Make a clear and concise context of what your vision is about. You know better than anyone else what the endgame is and what you plan to see once your start-up is up and running. By writing out your vision on paper, computer, or website - you become one step closer to elaborating your mission statement. Your vision is what others will see, identify with, and how you will be perceived as a growing entity within the realm of goods & services. But, most importantly, it’s how your vision resonates with people to be part of your organization, a business partner, or a happy customer.
When creating a vision statement, ask questions that represent the future magnitude and effect of your company. These are some of the questions you should ask yourself to figure out what your vision statement is:
- What do I want my brand's ultimate influence to be in my neighborhood, industry, or the world?
- How will my brand communicate with customers and clients in the end?
- What will my company's culture be like, and how will it affect the lives of my employees?
Your vision has to be equipped with crystal ball-like capabilities in order to adapt, fit in, or revolutionize the future. Your vision must flow in time like water in a river. So keep these 8 points in mind when creating your vision statement:
- Envision where your startup will be in 10 years time
- Big dreams come with big responsibilities
- Always speak within the "now!" (present tense)
- Be clear, concise, and free of complex business jargon
- Be passionate while transpiring inspiration in your vision
- Coordinate it with your mission, business values, and goals
- Network your vision statement with all your employees and collaborators
- Prepare yourself to commit to your vision with valuable time & resources
Pro Tip: Your vision statement should not exceed 1-2 sentences, and must be clear and simple enough for any of your employees, partners, or collaborators to memorize and understand.
By answering these questions, you've constructed a path from the present to the future — a future where your vision is the world’s business.
Step 2: Plan your MISSION to launch!
While your vision statement focuses on your long-term goals and how you'll get there, your mission objectives and plan will focus on where you are now and why you're here. Both serve as your start-up’s north star, a shining guiding light, the representation of the end goal - a purpose.
A clearly stated mission provides direction to your startup and aids in employee engagement and retention. It's crucial to be honest and sincere to your own beliefs as a founder when working on your goals and to think critically about how you want your company to influence the community.
Developing a start-up’s purpose also helps your businesses establish their values, leading to expansion and future growth. So lead by example. The leader (you) is the first to go forward and take the weight of the startup on their shoulders. As the leader, you must be the first one to take charge if you want a culture where people are honest, recognize their mistakes to learn from, and have a well-rounded work ethic to get the job done.
Being the leader is no easy feat, as you will represent both mission and vision - the embodiment of your startup’s ethos. Build a great mission plan while pairing it up with a solid vision statement, and others will follow.
Step 3: The Brand’s Creative Process
“Just Do It”
This part is not as simple as it seems, because it involves a great deal of brainstorming and ideation. Don’t brainstorm so much that you’ll get blown away by your own storms. Because this is where the magic happens, the following bullets will serve as nothing more than mere guidelines for you to do the heavy-duty work of creativity - and remember, even though you may not consider yourself a “creative”, we’re all creative at heart (it’s no secret).
- Naming: Most people approach their startup as a newborn child, something they themselves gave birth to, to take on the world by storm. But naming this newborn can be tricky, naming it something accessible to all tongues is key to unlocking a wider audience that can pronounce its name. So say it loud! Say it clearly! And, most of all, say it proudly!
- Logo: A symbol, one that attracts immediate attention to its identity and connects those who see it - to it. This can be a tricky ordeal to take on solo, so it’s advised to seek professional assistance to build a logo with a concept and a context to your brand. Check out spectacular resources, such as: upwork, 99designs, fiverr, and people by the hour for some great freelancers that just might ‘get you’!
- Creative design process: Even though most design processes are fun to elaborate your creativity on, sometimes it’s time to get serious about how some elements function and operate. With a ‘simple’ 4-step process, creative design takes a scientific approach to how your vision actually works in the real world:
1. Observation: Also known as the “discovery phase” it’s important to collect as much information in this stage as possible to compile a healthy dose of research before moving onto the next phase.
2. Brainstorming: In the ideation stage, you’ll brainstorm key functionalities, concepts, tools, and the narrative around your brand and product or service.
3. Prototyping: By building a technical dummy, you’re feeling out what another human being not part of your organization actually thinks of your big idea. This will let others provide the necessary feedback to build better and create a more solid version of your end idea.
4. Implementation: Once you’ve gone through steps 1-3 enough times to churn out your MK1, it’s time to ignite your engines and launch your product and unleash it upon the world. But, in order to reach infinity and beyond with your launch, an entire marketing and PR service, in-house or out, must be finely tuned around it to reach your entire audience.
- Branding (yes, again, and again): Be a brand that builds long-lasting relationships and forms an inseparable bond. A brand's value is essentially the sum of four fundamental pillars: the impact it makes in a person's life, the relevance it has on one's memory, the esteem of how it makes people feel, and educated consumer referrals to the entire brand.
The important takeaway here is to run with your ideas, “just do it”, and rely on your intuition (gut feeling) to go forth with your start-up’s creative process from branding, naming, logo, and design thinking. What matters most is that everything flows, and all the elements are connected to your mission and vision, and, above all else, is that it’s also accessible to those looking for what you offer.
Even though you can go ahead and develop most of these concepts and ideas on your own, be ready to have a professional team of creatives alongside you for these steps to fully accomplish the vision you have in your mind. For no one does anything on their own.
As stated at the start of this article, this will be only 1 of 4 steps forward to help you build your startup before launch. It’s important to think about each process carefully to implement your idea as seamlessly as possible for fast integration or adaptation. For any assistance on how to start your startup in Lisbon, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.