Startup – Market Competition Analysis

Startup – Market Competition Analysis

“Startup culture” has become so much dominant since past few years that people prefer it as their career option to conventional choices. The everyday news of startups getting funds and expanding their business have motivated a lot of young people to jump into their own business ideas and making it a huge success. Any business is started with two major objectives in mind –

[A] To become a leader in some domain and acquire small business models

[B] To become a competitor in some vertical and get acquired by some big player

The clarity of these objectives and developing your business strategies around those objectives is very crucial since the startup idea phase itself. A recent survey comprehended that startups are failing because of lack of clarity on their vision. Once the target of startup business model is clear, one can easily align all the strategies as per need.

To estimate the level of competition that startup is going to face is one of the most critical step of “Startup – Idea Evaluation Phase because it gives the complete insight of idea acceptance in long run. Also, the required setup changes are determined by the business model analysis of startups running in same domain.

As per Jatin (changed name) founder of few startups, “Our initial startups failed because we underestimated our competitors. As soon as we were trying to penetrate into the market volume of a competitor, they changed their tactics based on consumer response on our model. So, I analyzed all of competitors business tricks, changed our strategies to reach our consumers and focused on our strengths more rather than running behind our weaknesses. And finally, the lessons that I learnt during my journey, I was able to utilize it in new venture.

Never underestimate your competition. It may totally crush you if you are not careful. Startups based around an idea generally get too sure of their success and they start ignoring the market trend and start neglecting to keep watch on market. Unless you ensure that your startup is different and you service is more appealing than the thousand other startups out there in market, nobody is going to pay any attention to whatever you do.

Here is FS Analysis on startup competitions that need to be considered since initial phase.

Each incoming startup faces two type of competition- Direct and indirect. Direct competitors are those which share any of the following with your business model – product or service, distribution channel, geographical area, key concept. Indirect competitors are those which are either working in some other geographical area, are having altogether another product to serve the same need (which is being served by your product or service).

To understand the entire scenario of “startup expected competition level”, let’s divide all the competition into three categories based on their strength to stand against you.

FS Labs Startup Market Competition Analysis

Level 1 – Same Domain Startups with Limited Funds and Reach

These are the startups/ventures that are limited in terms of access to customers and are having limitations in terms of resources, funds, geographical limitations, marketing tactics, and can be considered as direct competitors of your startup. These startups/ventures have made a move in the market ahead of you and target customers for them and you is common.

Level 2 – Same Domain Startups with Huge Funds and Moderate Reach

These are the startups that have passed the initial “establishing the business” phase of startup, have achieved some operational excellence, have enough resources and funds in their kitty and are trying to expand their presence, business model, market volume, and can be considered as the biggest short term challenge for your startup. In some way you are trying to breach the loyal customer base of those grown up startups.

Level 3 – Big Players getting Diverse

There are players in market which have already said bye to the evolution phase. Now they have billion dollar sales or revenue and are commanding quite a big league of loyal customers. These are the startups that have established a lot of verticals in there business model and trying to get diverse by introducing more verticals and can be considered as long term challenge for your startup.

The only motive of all of these competitors is to stop you from penetrating into their market volume. So it’s necessary to decide tricks and strategies to be able to stand against them.

Strategies to Stand against Competitors

A comprehensive competition analysis is must to make a great start in market. This allows you to assess the strength and weakness of your competitor and to devise strategies to improve your competitive advantage. Here are some strategies to tackle different level of competition –

Level 1 Competitors –

The only reason why these small players survive in the market is because of their operational excellence and loyal consumer base. Why would you prefer to buy fruits and vegetables from a nearby shop rather than placing order online? It’s just because you have already evaluated the quality and cost of their products. Plus the excellent customer relationship management by the shopkeeper is forcing you to go there.

Strategy for tacking this group of competition could be as follows –

Do not limit your product or service to a particular area. Showcase the extra feature that your startup carries over and above the existing model of same domain. Try to provide the best CRM as possible. Try to grab the seed funding ASAP. Pump enough money to provide little more discount than the existing startups.

Level 2 Competitors –

Grown up startups have large funds at their helm. Customers are attracted toward these startups due to the lucrative deals which they offer. “Cash burnt” technique of market capturing is common in these days. Why would you book a hotel offline if some startup is offering you say 40-50% discount.

Tackling this kind of completion requires lot more than timely funding and following cash burn tactics of the startup game. It requires target marketing – selecting a set of customers and focusing on their requirement. It requires constant review and rate type of engagement with customers. It requires selecting the area of your operation more carefully. It would be better to grow in an area which has poor presence of other big startup.

Level 3 Competitors –

The competitors are mostly underestimated and never evaluated at initial stage. Once your business model is live in the market and starts attracting consumers, big players also start showing worry on how you are breaching into their customer base. Their huge funds, resources and tactics are sufficient enough to kick your model out of the market.

Say your model is just an addition to the existing verticals of a big startup, that they can easily introduce in their model, why do you think the probability of your survival in market is high.

So, one of the appropriate approaches to handle such situation in future is by comparing your business idea with others that are running near around and developing your business model around the anticipated expansion of these big players. Based on their acquisition trends of past years, analyse the anticipated verticals in which it might grow its business. Then target that business as your option and begin the proceedings.

Read here more about the acquisition trend of Flipkart- E commerce giant, Snapdeal – growing e-commerce player, Housing – growing property portal.

FS Outlook

FS has evaluated the trajectory of lot of startups, and found that the expected level of competition is never evaluated at initial stage. Newbie entrepreneurs get so much fascinated with their concepts that they declare it instant hit. When faced by stiff competition from existing market players, they are seen running out of business after burning their funds.

FS Labs emphasizes on making a move after proper competition analysis and devising strategy for complete business growth. Direct as well as indirect competitions must be evaluated for your startup idea and then the business model should be molded as per the best strategies of survival.

Wish you luck for your startup. Stay tuned with FS for more updates.

Startup Market Size Estimation

Most of the businesses are started with one and only one objective of addressing a problem that is faced by mass. Bigger the size of mass that is facing the problem; more will be the chances of solution to be appreciated. Hence the selection of business model is also dependent on the market size that is being addressed. The targeted market base of Facebook is every person that is using internet, while that of linkedin is limited to professionals only.

Most of the startup struggles during the initial phase of startup journey because the targeted market base is not identified properly and hence the marketing strategies to capture that market base would not be defined properly.

Here are few tips from FS Labs to identify the market base prior to execution of startup business model.

Startup - Market Size

1. Define the Problem Facing Market Base – Starting point for market size determination is the size of mass that is facing the same problem. The simplest approach to understand the market base is by analyzing the basic parameters: gender, age, profession, time etc.

If the product or service that you are planning to launch pre-exists in the market, the number is quite easy to determine. Based on the data of the competitors’ sales and marketing strategies, it’s quite easy to determine the same. You can categorize the same in different verticals as per your startup need.

If the startup is coming with an innovative product, the market size estimation requires a more precise and qualitative approach.

Case Study – Let’s assume the concept of startup is an e-commerce website for men and women clothing. Since every person needs the clothing so the targeted market base is the entire population filtered on the basis of affordability limits of the product.

2. Identify the Potential Market Base – The next step once the problem facing market is identified is to estimate the potential market that will be attracted towards your solution immediately. This will be the major focus area of marketing strategies.

The main factors that filter the problem facing market base into potential market base are the easiness, affordability, age etc. Answers to these basic questions will help in deciding the potential market base size:

  • Who is ready to keep switching among available solutions?
  • What will be the benefits to targeted market base by your solution?
  • Why your solution is better than the existing solutions and people would be ready to pay?

Case Study – The potential market base for e-commerce website of men and women clothing can be decided by following factors –

  • Age Filter – user attraction towards online shopping over window shopping
  • Affordability Filter – actual customer among different age groups
  • Acceptance Filter – user attraction towards easiest solution

Startup Market Size

3. Estimate the Infiltration Rate – Since the assumption of capturing all the potential market at once is invalid, so next step in determining the market size is to estimate the rate at which your product will capture the market. The factors that determine the penetration rate are the combination of features and facilities that your product or service offers as compared with the existing products or services.

  • Competitor Data – Based on the sales records of competitors with time and the major drivers of those sales figures, you can estimate the penetration of your product into the established market.
  • Industry Reports – Industry reports might be helpful to estimate the acceptability and switching reports of the product.
  • Google AdWords – Date from keyword search is also helpful to understand the market need.

Case Study: The infiltration rate for e-commerce startup business model would depend on the product cataloge, features, discounts etc. Since a lot of players are dominating the men and women clothing e-commerce business model, so comparative analysis of sales figures and marketing strategies of competitors and your strategies of market capture will help in estimation of infiltration rate of your product.

Startup - Market Size Calculation

4. Calculate the Market Volume – Based on the infiltration rate of the product it’s easy to determine the market volume. Market volume is a function of potential market and infiltration rate. Since infiltration rate is a function of time, so the market volume will grow as based on the penetration strategies in the market.

Case Study: – Market volume of e-commerce startup would be a function of identified potential market base and the estimated infiltration rate.

5. Identify the Scalability Rate – Ideally, the market volume shall be equal to the problem facing market base. Hence the target should be to enhance the infiltration rate to reach to the potential market base and then capturing the gap of remaining problem facing and potential market by awareness in the untouched market.

Benefit of identifying the market base of startup, infiltration rate and scalability limits is that during execution of startup one can easily track the progress and improvement scope in the startup business model.

These were few tips from FS Labs to estimate the size of market for your startup.

Read here more about the startup planning strategies.

Wish you luck for your startup. Stay connected to know more.

9 Signs that you are ready for Startup

Whatever may be the source of motivation for you to be an entrepreneur, the definitive purpose of any of the startups is to address a problem that is being confronted by people and provide an attractive, achievable and affordable solution. The success probability of your solution is a function of proper planning on each area and flawless execution. Premature execution of startup without having proper plan is the main source of startup failure.

The proper sequence for your startup planning is to understand the problem, prepare a solution for it, know the market base, plan on each of the knowledge areas, understand the legal requirements, decide the marketing strategies, and prepare a revenue model, plan for scalability and at last look for funds requirements for expansion. Improper planning on any of the area will definitely lead towards failure.

The benefit of this planning is to have a long term trajectory of your startup objectives. The other major benefit is to get the sustainability limits of the solution without funding needs.

9 Verticals

Here are the 9 signs of planning that make you ready for startup journey-

1. Problem Analysis – Driver for the short and long terms objectives of the startup is the solution to any existing problem. So to have a clear understand of the problem is essential for defining the solution for the same. Proper analysis of problem statement defines the guidelines for possible feasible solutions and comparison with the existing solutions.

Read here more about the problem analysis.

2. Solution – Product / Service – To delimit and comprehend the best feasible solution to the problem is the next vertical of planning trajectory. For new solution, acceptability limits are defining criterion for success probability. So the best practice to evaluate the potential of your solution is to design a prototype and based on the feedback alter the solution as per requirements of time.

Read here more about startup prototype.

If the solution is betterment in the existing solution, it’s important to do the comparative study of the new concept against the existing solutions to check the acceptance of new solution. The comparative analysis of positives and negatives of both the concepts will also provide a direction to think for improvements in future.

Read here more about new vs existing solutions analysis.

3. Market Base – The greatest challenge for startups is to understand the market base of their product or service. Defining the size of market base helps in deciding the marketing strategies to capture the same, Answers to these questions will help you to know your targeted market base-

  • Who is facing the problem? Categorize the market base as per age, gender, region, time etc.
  • What will be the benefits to targeted market base by your solution? Ease, economical etc.
  • Why your solution is better than the existing one and people would be ready to pay?

Read here more about startup market size estimation.

4. Planning on all Knowledge Areas – Planning of startup is critical as the future success during execution is proportionally dependent on the accuracy of planning on all the knowledge areas involved in the startup. Scope, schedule, cost, quality, manpower, communication, purchasing, risk, integration are the basic knowledge areas that require attention of entrepreneurs.

The outcome of startup planning is that it would give proper direction to each team member during execution phase to avoid any of the issues. The mismatch in any of the defined base line will raise a red flag for attention itself. More is the precision of planning; more are the chances of startup success.

Read here more about the startup knowledge areas.

5. Legal Requirements – Legal requirements are again a mjor area that requires attention of startups. Law changes as per your business model, so it’s good practice to know and define the legal terms and contracts to avoid issues in future.

Here are some of the legal requirements that are generally missed.

  • Founders and stakeholders agreement
  • Payment contracts with vendors
  • Registration process and taxation issues

6. Marketing – Planning the marketing strategies to reach the targeted consumer is the next planning vertical. The success of a startup often depends on its approach to market capturing. Unfortunately the vast majority of new entrepreneurs have little to no experience on marketing or managing a marketing budget. This dangerous contradiction could be avoided by defining the proper marketing strategies.

  • Strategic Positioning, Web or App Presence
  • PR, Blogging, SEO Strategies, Youtube Videos
  • Advertising Strategies

7. Revenue Model – Self-sustainability of any business model is the only vertical that determines the future growth of startup. If the startup business model generates sufficient amount of profit, it attracts investors for scaling. So, to plan revenue model for your startup is necessary to estimate the life span of its sustainability. Based on the product or service you can plan your revenue model to generate money:-

  • Free Model – Like facebook where you give free services and generate revenue by ads.
  • Cost Model – Like any of the service/product that generates revenue by direct involvement of money.
  • Mixed Model – Like linkedin where some of the services are free and some are cost based.

8. Scalability – Scalability plan for your small size revenue model is the next priority on startup planning. With a limited revenue model the chances of its survival in the market is only till the date no big giant enters in the market. So to have a scale up plan that is suitable to capture the entire market is required.

  • Scalability by enhancing presence
  • Scalability by growing market base
  • Scalability by introducing new verticals
  • Scalability by mixed model

9. You need Funds – Funding is a concept that is understood in the most wrong way. Investors are looking for those business models that are sustainable and have scalability. So, if you have all the above planning properly and executed as per the defined lines, you are in need for funds to grow your business model.

So if you are ready with all the 9 verticals that indicate you are ready for your startup. So, execute your startup as per the defined baselines and get on the success track.

Wish you luck for your startup. Stay connected to know more.

Startup Planning – Communication

Planning is the most critical stage for any startup as the precision of its mapping will define the success probability during execution stage. Planning includes all the knowledge areas for startup activities. Its like developing small buildings separately and combining all of them together to generate a useful structure.

Communication is the only bridge that aligns all the vertical of any of the startup activities. Scope, schedule, cost, quality, procurement, manpower, risk, integration – all are linked via effective communication to produce effective and reliable results.

When different stakeholders are involved in any of the startup activities, the most critical task is to bring all the stakeholders on same page. Every person has his/her own way of thinking and hence it introduces a scope of reality vs expectations gap. The major and critical communication flow gap could be detrimental for any startup. The best way to avoid such situation is to have a proper communication plan at the planning phase itself.

Read here about the planning verticals of startup.

Communication Planning – Requirements

The requirements for communication planning includes all the basic but important questions related with information flow. For eg: exact progress vs planned timeline, contract terms with vendors, timely payment information etc. Here is the list of requirements for startup communication planning-

  • What & Why – The first requirement is the information that needs to be shared with the stakeholders. The best way to define the required information on each vertical at every stage is by aligning the startup activities with the stakeholders. The precision of information mapping will reduce the chances of errors during execution of startup.
  • Who & Whom– The second requirement is the mapping of information flow among stakeholders ie who is going to send the information to whom. Linkages of stakeholders aligned with the activities will define the reciprocal of information among all the contact points.
  • When – Timely communication is the key factor for success of any of the startup activities. Schedule base lines of startup activities must be aligned with the timeline of information flow.
  • How – To define the mediums of communication flow is also important for the success of startup.

 

communication planning

Communication Planning – Steps

Here are some tips to map your startup communication plan:

  • All the verticals that involve flow of information is the starting point for startup communication planning. So generate a list of all the verticals/activities that are important from communication point of view.
  • Thousands of information flow are associated with startup activities. Capture at least all of the critical information associated with each vertical.
  • Assigning the responsible stakeholder against each information flow will define the responsibility of each person and it would also reduce the chances of error. So assign responsible stakeholder against each of the flows.
  • Sender and receiver are two ends of any of the communication flow. Draw a map for these end points for each of the flows.
  • Timely flow of information is as important as the payment against deadline. Any delay will result a gap in the defined baselines. So draw a time frame for information flow as well.
  • Also, define the medium of communication among stakeholders.

communication matrix

Communication Planning – Outcome

The outcome of above exercise is the communication mapping among all the stake holders –by what, why, who, whom, when and how analysis. The precision of communication map will generate the desired results during execution phase.

The next step in startup planning is to integrate all the knowledge areas of startup planning into one master plan.

Read here about the integration of planning.

Wish you luck for your startup. Stay connected to know more.

Startup – Unleash the Entrepreneur in You

startup

As an entrepreneur what do you wish for? Obviously – Name, Fame and Money. But before that you need a brilliant startup idea, business model and list of common mistakes that entrepreneurs generally made, to ensure the success in one shot.

So here are the details of information required to unleash the entrepreneur in you:-

Startup Guidelines: Every single concept survives in the market if and only if it is executed in efficient and effective manner. Most of the startups die because the new entrepreneurs have very little knowledge of startup execution and business model. Take any example of startups working in same domain. Majorly one player survives because of its perfection in execution.

  • E Commerce – Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal, ebay are running smoothly capturing a large market base while other small e-commerce startup are struggling to survive in the market.
  • Food Delivery – Foodpanda, Tiny Owl, Swiggy are known names in the domain of food delivery that are running because of their excellence of business model and perfection in execution.
  • Grocery – PepperTap and Grofers are known name in the grocery market while hundreds are struggling for their survival in the market.

Definitely one of the major reasons behind their success is “Timely Funding” but still another major factor is their excellent execution to win the consumer trust. So, perfect guidelines at every stage are always required to ensure the success.

  • Startup Idea Evaluation : To evaluate your startup idea on the possible vertical is important to check the feasibility and acceptability of your idea.
  • Startup Planning : Planning on each vertical is required to minimize the probability of mistakes before hand.
  • Startup Execution : Flawless execution is key factor to win the race of startup.
  • Startup Monitoring and Control : To mitigate the risks and enhance the opportunities is critical to survive in the competitive market.
  • Startup Closure (Exit Strategy if it fails) : Parallel development of exist strategy is important to ensure the minimal loss.

Startup Mistakes and Failures: Success stories are always inspiring, but failure stories are equally important to understand the major and common mistakes made by new entrepreneurs.

There are lot of platforms that provides stories of successful startups like YourStory, TechStory, TEDx. But almost none of the platforms capture failure stories.

The comprehensive analysis of startup failure is always beneficial for entrepreneurs so that all the common mistakes could be avoided.

RewardMe – CRM for Local Commerce, Fastr – Business Service App, Wattage – Customized Hardware, Gugo – Social Intelligence Platform are few examples that died because of no proper guidance.

Startup Business Model: Having a brilliant startup concept is different but converting it into a sustainable business model is different. New entrepreneurs are generally inspired by existing platforms, but the scope of improvement in those successful platforms is more important to understand the startup business model.

Eg: Better Shuttl, Better Flipkart, Better TEDx, Next Housing are few such examples that open the mind of entrepreneurs from business model point of view.

Here is Fuckedup Startups:

All three information combined are the guidelines for any entrepreneur. Fuckedup Startups is constructed to provide all these information under one umbrella to help new entrepreneurs to write their success stories. Apart from this, it also gives a scope of discussion on the thoughts.

Fuckedup Startups is helping a lot of startups in writing their success stories by providing all the possible support. So feel free to contact us on contact@fuckedupstartups.com if you need any support or write us your suggestions.

So unleash the entrepreneur in you. Wish you luck for your success.

Startup Prototype

A prototype is a simple working model of your product that is capable of explaining the concept, potential, functionality and features etc. Though it’s not fully functional, but by creating a rough prototype of your startup vision you’ll have a much easier time explaining the concept to potential investors, clients, folks at meet ups and anyone you encounter when evangelizing the potential of your startup. It’s also a step between idea evaluation and execution stage.

Prototype

Categories of Prototypes:

  • Proof-of-Principle Prototype: it explores functionality of the product up to some extent, but not all aspects of the intended design.
  • Form Study Prototype: it explores the size and appearance, but not the functionality, of the intended design.
  • User Experience Prototype: it captures enough aspects of the intended design that it can support user research.
  • Visual Prototype: it captures the size and appearance, but not the functionality, of the intended design.
  • Functional Prototype: it captures both function and appearance of the intended design. It may be created in with a different method and scale from final design.

Importance of Prototype

Product prototype is essential as it gives some picture of feasibility and real time problems analysis. Also, it is the easiest and convenient way to influence team members, people and investors to understand the functionality of the startup concept.

Here are the key intentions that you can accomplish through product prototype, which are really the reasons that partners, people and investors will give you a whole new level of credibility as they evaluate your startup as potential idea:

  • Real Time Feel: Presentations are nice way to tell people about your concept but a prototype will give a real time feel of the actual product and will help you in convincing the people.
  • Feasibility and Challenges: Prototype helps to find the answer on feasibility and the future challenges while executing the idea.
  • Acceptability Analysis: Based on the feedback of prototype you can decide the necessary changes required in your product/service/model.
  • Risk Reduction: Based on the prototype results, you can decide the way forward and reduce the risks.

Once your prototype is ready, you can also decide the right planning of team members based on the required skills. Also, the startup planning gets an advantage with the help on a prototype as it combines the required resources for your startup.

Facts to be considered for Prototype:

  • A Fully Featured Tool: prototype should be a capable to show the full features of the product so that a comparison could be made between new and existing concepts.
  • Comparison with the Existing Platforms: prototype should be designed in such a way so that it can highlight the positives of new and negatives of existing.
  • Communication Tool: prototype should be designed as communication tool among all the stake holders to avoid any disruption.

Prototype also helps you to focus your creativity to explore all the possibilities that are available for your startup concept. Limits for your prototype are nothing but the limitations that you put on your creativity while brining your product idea to life.

Wish you luck for your startup.

Stay connected to know more.

Startup Planning – Integration

As per basis understanding of calculus, “Integration is the process of joining small slices to find/make the whole

Startup planning integration is the process of joining the information of all verticals into one thread.

Example:

One single activity is associated with multiple resources. For example :- Vendor selection and development for your e-commerce startup requires multiple areas-

  • Cost – Cost associated with the development activities/meetings/proposals, cost associated with other legal and non legal documentation etc.
  • Time – Time frame required or decided for vendor development process
  • Quality – Bench marking standards associated with the product
  • Manpower – Required or selected manpower for the activity
  • Procurement – Purchasing of products/services required to develop the vendors
  • Communication – Information flow for flawless execution
  • Risk – Degree of risk associated with the activity and mitigation plan to overcome the same

Thus, at the time of execution of the said activity – vendor selection and development, the monitoring of each vertical/ resource needs to be done.  The proper execution of each single activity of the startup will depend on the successful integration and monitoring of each vertical.

Integration

 

How to Integrate the Information:

So here is the guideline to integrate all the verticals in one plan:-

  • Work breakdown structure is the starting point of integration
  • Integrate the cost associated with each activity to get an estimate of your entire expenditure
  • Integrate the timeline of each activity to ensure the overlapping of parallel and sequential activities
  • Integrate the quality benchmarks associated with each activity/product/service to ensure the proper outcome during execution
  • Integrate the manpower requirement for each activity to ensure the on-time execution of the same.
  • Integrate the purchasing of products/services for each activity
  • Integrate the flow of communication among all the stakeholders
  • Integrate the risk identified with each activity and associate the mitigation plans with each activity

Integration Plan

Outcome:

The result of above mentioned process will develop a master plan for your startup. This master plan shall be your guideline to track any roadblock in your execution phase of the startup.

Wish you luck for your startup.

Stay connected to know more.

Startup Planning – Risk Management

“I have learned that nothing is certain except for the need to have strong risk management, a lot of cash, the willingness to invest even when the future is unclear, and great people.” – Jeffrey R Immelt

Risk

If you are at the stage of startup risk management planning, the assumption is that you have completed following steps:-

The combination of above work packages will give the major risk areas while executing your startup. Lets again stuck with our previous example of e-commerce website.

So the major work areas of your eCommerce startup are:-

  • Website Design
  • Product Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Marketing
  • Execution and Control

The detailed work breakdown structure gives you all the activities required for above mentioned work packages. So here is the tips for risk management planning:-

Identification:-

Based on the work scope of each activity, decide the rating/availability/feasibility of required resources: cost, time, quality, human resources, communication, procurement etc.

Risk Assessment:-

Decide a rating scale for each resource and give as much accurate rating as possible to each activity.

The individual result and cumulative rating would give you the required areas of more attention.

Mitigation Plans:-

Once risks have been identified and assessed, all techniques to manage the risk fall into one or more of these four major categories:-

  • Avoidance (eliminate, withdraw from or not become involved)
  • Reduction (optimize – mitigate)
  • Sharing (transfer – outsource or insure)
  • Retention (accept and budget)

Risk Assessment Matrix

Hence you can ensure the success of your startup at planning phase itself. Though the clear picture of each risk will come once you are running in actual field, but to know your limitations at starting phase is better as mitigation plans could be developed easily.

Wish you luck for your Startup.

Stay Connected to know more.

 

 

Startup Planning – Team Selection

Startup planning is the most critical stage for any startup as the precision of this framework outline will define the success probability during execution stage. Planning includes all the knowledge areas for startup activities that are going to take place in near future. Planning is building small units separately and then joining all those units into one to produce a large fruitful unit.

Manpower involved in the startup activities are the pillars of upcoming success story of the startup. Doesn’t matter how well you have defined all the baselines for your startup, ultimately its manpower who are going to execute the same. Scope, Schedule, Cost, Quality, Communication, Risk, Procurement, Integration – all the verticals will be handled only by the team members involved in the startup.

Self motivation is the key quality required for all of the startup members when there is less source of motivation like fixed salary, appreciation etc, that’s the only difference between entrepreneur and employee, startup and job. Selecting friends is a great idea for startup team as all the people will have perfect running, but simultaneously, the required skill sets is also another important factor to avoid the workload and another major issues in coming future.

Read here about the planning verticals of startup.

Team Selection – Requirements

The requirements for team selection include all the activities that require human to execute it. For eg: Website design needs a web developer, marketing needs a marketing guy etc. Here is the list of requirements for startup team selection –

Work Breakdown Structure – WBS is the list of all the activities that need to be executed for successful launch and running of the startup. WBS is required as it gives the entire scope of activities that require manpower to execute the same.

Read here about the Work Breakdown Structure.

For example- if you are working on an e commerce website, the major classification of activities is as follow:

  • Website Design
  • Product Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Marketing
  • Execution and Control

Skill Sets Required – All of the startup activities require a certain skill sets while executing the same. With the help of WBS, list down all the skill sets against each activity. The mapping of skill sets required for all of the major activties will define the number of team members for your startup.

For example – e commerce website major activties require following skillsets –

  • Website Design – IT skills
  • Product Management – Product management skills
  • Supply Chain Management – Logistics, Vendor Development, Negotiation, Scheduling skills
  • Marketing – Marketing skills
  • Execution and Control – Monitoring skills

Skill Sets

Team Selection – Steps

Approach 1 – To be used if the new team is being formed.

Assumption is that you don’t have any team in your hand and are free to choose are per your wish. Here are the steps to be followed for selection process –

  • All the activities that require human is the starting point for startup team selection process. So list down all the activities that need manpower for their execution.
  • Mapping of skill sets required for each of the activity is critical as it decides the manpower need. So highlight all the skills required for work breakdown structure.
  • Now choose the person having the required skills against each task based on his/her skills evaluation.
  • One another major factor to be considered here is the time frame of skills required. Lets say your need a marketing guy after 4 months so there is no need to keep that manpower idle for that much span of time.

Approach 2 – To be used if work to be distributed among team members

Assumption is that you have already defined the team members for your startup and you need to do the mapping of activities against each team member. Here are the steps to be followed in such scenario –

  • So you have defined the work breakdown structure for your startup and have mapped the required skills against each activity.
  • Next step is to find the skill sets of each team member. Don’t go with intuitions but get the exact level of skill sets of each team member.
  • Now assign the activities to each team member that are suitable based on the skill sets evaluation.

Team Selection – Outcome

The outcome of above exercise is the selection of team members and assignemnt of responsibilities to each team member based on requirement and skill sets mapping.

The next step in startup planning is to integrate all the knowledge areas of startup planning into one master plan.

Read here about the integration of planning.

Wish you luck for your startup. Stay connected to know more.

 

Startup Planning – Timeline

Once you have decided work breakdown structure for your startup and also estimated the cost required for each activity, the next step is to define the time line for your entire work.

Since the initial stage of startup is without profit margin and hence most frustrating phase. Unlike a job, you or other members might feel down as their is no instant source of motivation like salary. So the best way to keep track of the progress and to provide motivation to team members is a “Pre-defined Timeline” for each activity.

Here are the guideline to define timeline for your startup-

Work Breakdown Structure – Since work breakdown structure is in the sequence of execution, so starting point is the same. Estimate the time frame for each activity or assign a realistic time frame for each activity.

Sequential Activities – Next step is to identify the activities that are related with each other and can’t be executed in parallel. So these activities will define the time span of your startup work.

Eg:- Website design and supply chain management are dependent activities and could be started after the end phase of first activity.

Parallel Activities – Next step is to fit the activities that could be executed in parallel. So these activities shall get overlapped with the above sequential activities.

Eg:- Website development, social media accounts, market survey, vendor and supply chain development, all these activities are independent to each other and could be executed in parallel.

So the time frame for your startup is ready. Now, only thing you need to do is to check the progress as per the defined time frame.

Wish you Luck for your startup.

Stay connected to know more.

Fuckedup is a phrase that captures all the emotions associated with the startup journey.

If no concept clicks in your mind, you feel frustrated. If you are not able to manage a proper team for your startup, you feel irritated. If funds, revenue, expansion etc don’t take place as per planning and expectation, you feel infuriated.

To keep you away from all these feeling, FS is continuously providing you to the best guidelines, practices and market trends. Please share your feedback at contact@fuckedupstartups.com