Startup tips: Putting creative ideas into action

Here at Tap, we’ve learned quite a lot from our humble chat around a pub table startup beginnings in 2013. Our WordPress hosting company now has thousands of happy users and we’re continuing to push forward; new updates, greater features, excellent support and thinking for the future.

While we’ve hit some bumps along the ride, we’ve learned from them, adapted and worked out how to build Tap into a product people have come to know and love. We’ve come up with some of our top startup tips for from along the way that we’d like to share:

1. Get started

You’ve come up with your idea and you think it could just fly! Tell people about your idea and listen intently; don’t be blinded by ‘how good your idea is’. Be humble and be prepared to take some criticism. If you believe in your idea enough and people you trust believe in it too, it’s a good starting place.

It might sound simple, but get started.

Getting started may be the hardest step you take, but it will also be the most rewarding. Once the ball is rolling, you can slot everything else into place.

So many great ideas are hidden away in notebooks, scribbled down on napkins or held tightly as a futuristic dream because people don’t have time, don’t have the budget, don’t have resources.

As I mentioned, Tap started back in 2013. We came up with a name, Pete got started on developing the beta version, Matt threw together some designs and Joe got started on some marketing thinking.

It’s easy to look back on the early startup days and laugh at how little we knew or how basic things were, but we’d started and that was the scariest but the best step to take and we’re here now as a result.

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2. Prioritise your plans

What is absolutely essential for you to get your minimal viable product? What do you need? How long will it take?

Write a list of all the steps you need to take to get your business off the ground and work to them, one stage at a time.

Ask yourself: How do you plan to make money? They call this monetising in the startup world and it’s something you need to have thought about.

Once you’ve got your plans in place and your product ready to go, get people – friends, family, anyone you know to help test it out. Think about how you’re going to spread the word, then get it out there!

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3. Know your sole purpose

Ever heard the phrase, ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’? Don’t try to do too many things. Focus on what you’re good at and do it really, really well.

Think about what makes you stand out from your competition. What is your niche? How can you set yourself above the rest?

Your sole purpose will define who you are as a company. Choose wisely!

At Tap we decided to specialise in one thing, managed WordPress hosting with excellent support. It’s our bread and butter; what we know best, do well and are passionate about. We’re there for every question and query in a flash!

People should be able to visit your website and know what it is that you do in less than 10 seconds.

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4. Understand your product

People are always going to have questions/ need support or want to find out more. It’s really important therefore to know your product like the back of your hand. What are the highlights? What does it do best?

What are the really amazing features you need to tell the world about?

We know that Tap has some really great features as a WordPress host so we tell the world on our website. All the team on support know what we’re talking about and can help, advise and explain things well because we understand our product.

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5. Be prepared to put in the hours

Success doesn’t come overnight. Your great idea might be worth a million dollars further down the line, but right now (sadly) it’s probably only worth the paper it’s written down on.

Stay up late, wake up early and be willing to put the hours in. Pick up your laptop on holiday, answer that support ticket at bedtime… it will be worth it in the end.

You might have seen our post, ‘Life’s a beach when you’re an entrepreneur… Or is it?’ (If you haven’t, I’d really recommend giving it a read!)

As a startup founder today, there is no off switch.

Some days you’ll need to work morning, noon and night. Put in the hard graft at the beginning and one day you’ll start to see the returns come in.

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Bonus Tip: Love what you do

Starting to think this all sounds a bit taxing? Don’t worry… If you love what it is that you are doing, you will be fine.

Yes, there will be hard days where you don’t want to get out of bed early to work on that new feature, or you don’t want to answer that support ticket. You might have days where you’ll wonder why you ever started or might feel like there’s just too much to do.

But then the testimonial comes in from a happy customer, a new user signs up to your service, you make a breakthrough in product development, or you turn over your next £1,000… Days like these you’ll know that the entrepreneur life is for you.

Some say, ‘Love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life’.

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So there are a few start up tips that we hope to encourage and inspire as you take that scribbled thought jotted down on a post-it and make it a reality.

Started your own entrepreneurial journey? We’d love to hear your story and top tips, so do leave a comment down below!

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About the Author

Rachel Heslop

Hi I'm Rachel, content producer for Tap. Lover of travel, photography and a real foodie. I enjoy writing blogs so much that I also do it in my spare time!

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