I'm not trying to be harsh, but that's just the way it is. So, if you're startup is probably going to fail, then why pursue your dream?

The thing is is that if your startup fails, you can learn from those mistakes the next time around. Or, you could take my advice and get on your way to startup success by doing everything right in the beginning. And those early stages of your startup require a roadmap that will give you directions for both the short-term and long-term.

Without leaving you hanging, here are the five necessary steps you'll need when creating that roadmap to startup success.

1. Identify a Problem in a Proven Market

One of the most common misconceptions about launching a startup is that it has to involve something revolutionary or one-of-kind. And that's not always the case. Instead of wasting your time trying to develop a product or service that's the "Next Big Thing," focus on fixing a problem in a proven market. Remember, if it doesn't exist, than that's because there was little to no interest in the idea.

By identifying a problem in a proven market you already know that there's an interest. In fact, doesn't sound easier to take a piece of an existing market than trying to discover who's going to purchase your product

2. Build Your Niche and Generate Buzz

If you already know who your product or service is intended for and how it solves an actual problem, then you're already on the road to success. From there you can begin targeting your audience to generate some buzz. Online Expert John Rampton says, "take advantage of social media and develop a content marketing strategy to spread the word about your startup. Despite having an incredible product or service, if you're not marketing it correctly no one is going to know anything about it."

This means that you have to create quality content--graphs, videos, blog posts--that can be shared across all social media channels. It not only will get your audience talking, it will also establish you and your startup as industry leaders.

3. Assemble Your A-Team

Your team contains more than just you and maybe a developer. There a number of skilled professionals who will be needed to build, promote and sustain your startup. Depending on your field this may change, but generally you're going to need not only the people to complement you and make-up for your shortcomings, but also professionals outside the immediate team. For example, you're going to need someone to handle the books or legal issues. In those instances, you can't rely on a software programmer to handle those matters. You would need a bookkeeper, accountant and lawyer.

In short, find the right people for the right job.

4. Have a Vision, Mission and Strategy, But Be Flexible

Always remember who you are, where you want to go and how you will get there. Whether that's through a mission statement or business plan, having a crystal clear vision, mission and strategy will guide through the entire startup process, as well be used to attract talent entice investors.

However, you also have to be proactive and flexible. the market changes all of the time, which is why you need to be on top of trends and willing to adapt. I recommend that your startup undergo an SWOT analysis, which is just a list of of your business's greatest strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

5. Build The Best Product

Many startups make the mistake of seeking an investment before they actually have a product in place. This means that instead of actually perfecting the product or service they're spending time preparing and meeting with investors. If you build a great product not only will the customers come, so will investors. In fact, if investors see that the product or service is up and running with people lined up to buy it, they will be more inclined to fund your startup.

Always remember that you should seek funding at the right time and for the right reasons. If you don't need funding to launch a content marketing campaign, then skip that meeting with a VC until you need money for a physical location.

Published on: Aug 27, 2014