As with the highly sought-after animal of its namesake, unicorn startups are coveted businesses. They’re rare, valuable, and respected companies with an investor valuation of over one billion dollars.
It’s easy to see why there are so few of these startups in the world and why you’re trying to add your company’s name to this prestigious list.
It’s difficult to reach exclusive unicorn startup status, and compiling enough data to copy the paths of successful businesses has been challenging. It takes an average of seven years to see the results of your hard work.
There’s no time like right now to start, and we have the expert-recommended ultimate checklist right here to begin your unicorn startup journey.
Table of Contents
Focus on Your MVP
Having a minimum viable product (MVP) is the crucial first step to building a scalable business. You likely have one in mind already and want to build it into a successful startup. If not, the key is identifying a user problem and creating a solution for it.
Once your MVP is established, define your target market and use the appropriate demographics to adjust your product to meet those desires.
It’s best to have a target market that is large and homogenous so your product is in demand by many people. Make it user-friendly, easily accessible, and cost-effective. Then, everyone with that particular problem will want your product to solve it.
Perfect Your MVP
Your product rollout isn’t going to be perfect. Even massive corporations like Apple and Microsoft continually tweak their products to meet changing needs and innovations in technology.
Start out with the essential features and get your name known as a brand that’s reliable. Consider your first product to be a test design, and adjust it according to the feedback you receive.
Keep track of the costs as you build the product. Ensure it’s feasible for you to make a profit and still charge a competitive rate when you launch the finished item. These costs will take you to the next step as you develop a business model.
Develop a Business Model
Initial data shows that you have a product that solves a problem, and people are willing to pay for it. It’s time to develop the business model that will take you from inception to scalable startup.
At this stage, it’s smart to get your finances secure using an expert in fintech, like VictorFi, and hire an attorney to make your business official. You’ll use your business model with legal advice to target potential investors.
In this document, you’ll want to include detailed information regarding the following:
- Your primary customer/target market
- The niche and value you provide that differentiates you from the competition
- How you’ll price your product using a combination of value, competitor pricing, and the demographics of your target market
- The sales channels you plan to use
- How you’ll execute a small-scale rollout before your large-scale rollout
- Current customer reviews
- How you plan to secure funding
Whether you plan on bootstrapping, investing personal funds, seeking contributions from people you know, getting bank loans, or raising capital through seed rounds, you’ll need this legal document. It will guide you as you prepare your pitch deck for investor pitching and for negotiating contracts.
Determine Scaling Potential
When your product fits the market and is successful, you’re not done. Now, it’s time to determine where you can scale and grow.
Scaling involves more than building a better product or expanding your services. It includes identifying prospects that aren’t in your current target market, growing your advertising and marketing, and automating processes.
As you scale, you’ll figure out ways to expand your business to reach other locations and add new features that attract new markets. You may add a budget that allows you to hire expert designers or engineers and insert new departments.
Scaling in these areas will bring investors and capital opportunities you didn’t have with your previous products. This is the money-making arena that turns basic startups into unicorns.
If you can keep your business consumer-centric while building a product that adjusts to the needs of the users, you have the makings of a unicorn startup.
Becoming a unicorn in a world full of “regular” businesses isn’t easy. If it were, it wouldn’t be so sought after. But you have the drive and a product that scales. Now, follow this checklist, and the rest will fall into place.