If you’re an entrepreneur with an idea for a product or business, trying to see it to its fruition can be a challenge if you are starting from scratch. Often, people have good ideas, and struggle to push it past the birthing stages. Fortunately, with some know-how, it’s possible to get the ball rolling for your new business.
Sisun Lee’s Morning Recovery Drink
Sisun Lee was a product manager at Tesla Inc. who started up his own company in his spare time. Unlike a large majority of motivational speaker-like business people, Lee says,
“A lot of people say, ‘If you believe in something, do it 100 percent. I actually think that’s horrible advice.”
In April he closed an $8m Series A funding round that value his company at $33m. Instead of throwing caution to the wind, Lee took some strategic steps to get his startup going.
1. Identify and Research your Cause
After personally having some of the hangover cures in South Korea, Lee looked to create his own version in America. He researched on the necessary ingredients and contacted academic researchers to consult them on it.
Similarly, you have to figure out what it is that would make your business special: what are you trying to sell? How would you get your hands on the things you need to create this product or business, whether it be ingredients, materials or manpower? Only then can you move on to further planning.
2. Define Demand and Target Audience
To see if there would be American demand for his product, Lee created a website (which now links to the actual website), posted pictures of a fake product, and pitched it on Facebook. After receiving some orders, he decided to start production, and refunded the early buyers.
Lee chose an easy way to test out the demand with a small capital. You would have to find out: would people want or need my product? If you are looking to open up a cafe or restaurant, are there similar ones too nearby? Would it be accessible to your target audience?
3. Connect with People
In order to establish some connections, Lee ordered sample batches of the drink devised by academic researcher he had contacted earlier, and gave them out to his network. After a recommendation on Product Hunt, thousands of people became interested in the product. Lee says it’s about “building a community”. That recommendation got him $450k from angel investors.
He then presold the product via a crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo. He did this with the help of a branding agency who ran the campaign.
Once you’ve solidified your idea, it all comes down to finding people, customers, and buyers who will support you till it comes to light. The more connections you make, the more likely that you will be found online, where millions of people can view your product.
If you have an idea or business that you are looking to start up, EVE can help with that. Design and branding are key to helping you connect with people, and we are well equipped to help see your idea to fruition.
More information and statistics on Lee’s startup journey can be found here.
Tricia Chee is a content writer & strategist for EVE – User Experience Design Agency based in Chicago, Illinois and Detroit, Michigan. Born and raised in Singapore, she came to Chicago to study Fine Art and is now working in the city.