Money & Career

How To Tell If Your Start-Up Idea Will Be A Success

And asking yourself the tough questions.

When marie claire partnered with business-education company Tech Ready Women for a two-day masterclass, our mission was to help women reach their full potential. Below, Magda Griffiths, Senior Product Manager, Gumtree, shares her top tips for success and the one skill you need to be a successful entrepreneur.

What’s the one piece of advice you would pass on to women thinking about launching a start-up?

Your great idea may not be so great. I’ve seen some entrepreneurs convince themselves their idea is incredible or unique. They can then become anchored to the idea and drawn to customer feedback which supports it. This can lead them into making bad decisions, create a product nobody wants or miss an opportunity to iterate that would make their idea truly amazing.  

Did you know, the main reason small businesses and startups fail is that they start with a bad idea – an idea that was never going to work.  It’s critical to speak to potential customers (not only family and friends) to validate your business idea to ensure you’re solving a problem. Then test your idea in market with an MVP (minimum viable product) and iterate, iterate, iterate.

What’s been the biggest learning/takeaway along your business path journey so far?

Understand demand. Don’t sell what you can build, build what you can sell. For a product to be successful, focus on customer needs and wants and create products that solve their problems.

If you could go back in time what would you do differently?

Your product will never be 100% ready. Don’t wait until it’s perfect to launch. It’s important to get your idea out and see what resonates with your users. There’s no point in investing time or money in releasing a product with, say six features, when your customer is using just two. Launching with an MVP (minimum viable product) can help you identify the features your customers desire. 

What are 3 main personality traits a founder of a startup should possess?

1. Resilience: Your first idea may not be great but your next idea could be.

2. Curiosity: Curiosity allows us to discover opportunities.

3. Flexible: Your successful business may be quite different to what you originally envisaged. 

What’s the one skill you need to be a successful entrepreneur?

An ability to draw insight from data. Learn how to collect and interpret data to make better decisions.

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