IT Business Start Up Guide

IT Business Start up Guide

By Larry Battle
The following are 10 simple steps that you can take to successfully turn your idea into a marketable product or service. This guide is more geared to software startups.

  1. Create a Business Plan & Product Document
    Construct a product or service that solves a problem.
    Verify with others that the product or service is marketable.
    Or find at least 3 potential customers willing to buy your product or service.
    Note that you need to involve at least one customer throughout the entire start up process.
    Process: Develop a document that describes the following information.

    • Your product or service
    • Audience / Marketplace
    • Competition
    • Schedule with deadlines
    • Financial Projections
    • Startup cost
    • Business Plan (How are you going to make money?)
    • Market and Sells Strategy
    • Limitations
    • Team Members
    • Exit Plan
  2. Create a Requirements Document
    Define what your product or service does, what it come with and how you’re going to make the customer happy.
    Process: Develop a document that contains the following information.

    • Product Name
    • Deliverables (what is it you’re making)
    • Customer Requirements (What are the customer wants)
    • Functional Requirements (What are the functionalities)
    • Environment / System Requirements (What will this work with)
    • External components
    • Diagrams for Overview, Software and /or hardware
    • Hardware components
    • Limitations
    • Assumptions
    • Team Roles

  3. Create a Architecture Document
    This documents converts the requirement/product/services into simple abstract layers.
    Process: Develop a document that contains the following information.

    • Programming Language / Framework / Software Used
    • Layers
    • Customer Requirements to Layers Matrix
    • Diagrams of Layers and Data Flow
    • Simple Data flow
    • Use Cases
    • Simple GUI Mock-up
  4. Create a Detailed Design Document
    This document will discuss the sub-layers within the layers and define data-flow between them.
    Process: Develop a document that contains the following information.

    • Layers
    • Sub-layers
    • Diagrams of Layers, sub-layers and Data Flow
    • Data Flow Definitions
  5. Create a Test Plan Document
    Create Test cases.
    Process: Develop a document that contains the following information.

    • System Test Plan
    • Integration Test Plan
    • Unit Tests Plan

  6. Develop a working prototype of your Product or Service
    Develop a prototype of the working system.
    I prefer to use test driven development (TDD).
    TDD steps are to Write a test case, watch it fail, program it to pass, re-factor.
  7. Convert your product from beta to a final product / service
    Work with beta testers and customers to improve your product / service to a final working product or service.
  8. Perform System Verification
    Check to see if the system works and have fulfilled all the requirements.
  9. Get ready for release
    Create the following items

    • Product/Service Packaging
    • License and warranty
    • Support information
    • Company website release page
    • Demo setup
    • Payment System
    • User guide and other documentation
  10. Release and start marketing
    Release to the public, market the product/service and rake in the cash.
    You can do stuff like …

    • Video Demonstrations
    • Buy Ads
    • Press Release
    • Attention getting stunts

Done.

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