Sergey Bondarenko 17/10/2018 #Tips 9 min readAll companies wish to be “unicorns”, someone outside the rules, however, creating a startup in year’s time simply is not an option for most companies. Those who appear to be created instantly, in fact simply have been working low key for quite some time before getting a big opportunity. Are there secrets to building a successful startup? You have to be all in, and a fire burning inside you and you have to see things long term. With most startups, it’s not that they fail, but rather they just surrender right away. Be realistic about your plans for advancement and building your business, be involved and make sure to take everything little by little. By knowing the steps below on what you need to do to launch a startup, can be what propels your business to the next level. How to Start a Startup: Steps to TakeFirst of all, creating a business is hard work, but it is also relatively easy once you have the idea. Fortune 500 companies were founded by resolving problems, making things convenient or they noticed that something is lacking in their working environment or society. They committed to work hard to develop their idea, invention or discovery because they had a lot of passion. Without passion, the hard, early years would have been impossible to get through and they would have given up. The steps to launching your startup should resemble the following:IdeaTechnical assignmentsDevelopmentTestingRelease!A Successful Startup Needs ValidationEven though you probably would not give such advice to your children, but making sure there is a demand for your product on the market is a big step towards creating a successful startup. 0The whole point of starting a business is resolving an issue or filling a void or vacuum. If you cannot ascertain that there is a market demand for your product or service, you might as well start thinking about your next great idea. Conduct stress tests, talk to knowledgeable people and get as many people as you can on board.How Will You Fund Your Business?It may be tempting to focus on global issues such as developing a website for your business, but be sure to earmark money (no more than half) for promotions and marketing, focus groups and building your business. When starting from scratch remember that not everything will come straight away. Start by creating a clickable prototype so your product is not abstract for investors. A lot of startups have been in business for an extended period of time before they started hiring people which may seem like a critical step. Because of this founders and employees wear multiple hats in order to support each other. Building a Relationship with Your CustomersOnce you have launched your company and started to advance in various marketing channels, you need to start creating a relationship with your customers. Start with the most valuable proposition (MVP). Obtaining new customers is very expensive, therefore try to follow up with existing customers in terms other needs that they may have. Serve customers by honestly caring about their needs and earnestly wishing to help them. Flexibility is KeyAll though criticism can be difficult for many to handle, but it is important to accept it and make adjustments where needed. While you should trust in the original concept, do not get overconfident with hubris that you forget about the feedback from customers. Flexibility is key early on, but it also applies to every stage. Methodically prioritize and incorporate the feedback that, in your opinion, will help you get new customers and help your business grow. Don’t Get Too ComfortableOne of the biggest enemies of progress is a comfort, therefore you should learn to enjoy being uncomfortable. Make dynamic plans for growth, trying to grow the number of customers by 4-5% a week and be sure to benchmark this goal as you go along. Having had the experience of creating Skywell Software development company from scratch, I would like to share some advice for entrepreneurs about the qualities a businessman should have. Always play an active roleAs the company’s founder, there may seem like tons of things to do and not enough people to do them, but remember to be active, but do not micromanage. Build a company culture by providing accurate and detailed technical assignments, learning to manage your employees and checking in with them regularly. The happiness of your employees leads to your customers being happy as well, which ultimately, will equal higher growth.Patience is a VirtueSuccess will not occur right away, and it could take some time for you to feel any growth. One thing is for certain, if you invest in yourself, plan ahead strategically, you can be in the black at your third year in business. However, since each company is unique, it is difficult to make a projection for each individual company. Even though Steve Jobs founded Apple in 1976, they appeared on the map only in 1984 with the unveiling of the Mac computer, and even then, they were having a hard time until the iMac and consumer products arrived in the late 90s.As the leader of a company, be sure to find out if you have a great idea or a great company on your hands and you are in it to win it, no matter how difficult it gets. Launching a startup is always a risk and your strategy should not be about achieving perfection, but rather how to increase the chances of success. Since there are no guarantees in life or business, constantly communicating with your customers is a good way to acquire knowledge and minimize losses. Do not wait until you have obtained a lot of funding or moved into a cool office to start approaching them. All you need is passion, belief in yourself and everything else will fall into place. So do not be shy, reach out to people because it will be well worth your time and investment.