Our focus is on teams that are bootstrapping. We typically see them go through five distinct startup stages of evolution: idea and team formation, open for business, early customers, finding a niche, and scaling up. If you like, take an interactive self-assessment to find out what stage are you in.
Startup Stages: Idea to Revenue
The Idea and Team Formation stage starts with one or more ideas and may end with a team formed around a working consensus on how to evaluate the technical and market feasibility of the idea(s).
In the Open for Business stage you have a business ownership structure, and you have the necessary documents and tools in place to transact business: business license, Federal Tax ID, software license, etc…
Early Customer stage is where you develop your first customers. First sales are generally to friends who know and trust you. These customers can act as a reference for future customers.
The next stage, Find Your Niche, is where you find a core set of customers and establish your first niche. These core customers reference each other’s buy decisions and act as useful references for additional customers.
In the Scaling Up stage you grow a sustainable business by growing your core customer base and expanding into new niches. Cash flow has become more stable and predictable. You need to expand from a small team of generalists to a collection of specialists.
Risk Reducing Milestones
This is Sean Murphy for SKMurphy, Inc. I want to talk to you about our startup stages model and understanding that risk reducing milestones that separate each stage.We break the startup journey into five stages. In each stage you will explore different options and converge on a key risk reducing milestone. Starting from idea or formation, moving through open for business, early customers, finding your niche, and scaling up.