I am currently planning a start up. I have got the following things done.
So, I'd say we're in the "Research Phase". We are also in the "Design Phase", working on the logo and the actual website design. I am wondering how we can do the "public phase". Make a blog and do what on it? Make a twitter and have 0 followers... how to get more? Add random people (I think that's not ethical anymore, adding random people who are not interested in you).
What should be the next step? P.S: I am doing this, but wondering how to get in social media now (get people on Twitter/Facebook). Also, as I said, what should I do on the blog? Write stuff related to my niche?
My main goal is to get some funding (under 10l) and start this thing. I don't really need money for development. I know how the get everything working but mainly need funding for "other" things.
Clearly I need a startup guru :P hehe
It's worrying that you focus on irrelevant things like registering a company. Your first and only priority should be building the project and launching it. There will always be time to register a company.
First piece of advice: focus on launching a minimal version of your product.
As to founding, you can apply to http://ycombinator.com/apply.html. If you get accepted, that will validate your idea a bit and will take care of funding. If you get rejected - tough, but you haven't really lost anything.
As to social (or otherwise) media: realize that there are no magic shortcuts. People will only follow you on twitter, if you provide value for them. People will only read your blog if you write things that are interesting to them.
There is no generic advice on how to blog or what to blog about. People who are successful at blogging have to be good writers. Then you need things to blog about. One good strategy is: blog about things that interest you. Another is to blog about things you know more about than other people and share your knowledge.
At the same time, don't spend too much time on this or other types of social marketing. I wrote more detailed post about this, but the basic idea is that the quality of your product is the best possible marketing. If you can tell a million people about a lousy product, they wont use it anyway. If you can tell a hundred people about an awesome product, most of them will use it and they will blog about it and do marketing for you. The quality of your product is a multiplier of your marketing efforts and much more important than how many people read your blog.
I can't stress it enough: spend most of your energy working on your product, launch it as
soon as possible to get feedback and improve it based on that feedback.
It's worrying that you focus onI would disagree here. Pretty much the moment you know you will do something it is a good idea to register the company and get the paperwork in order. Makes it a lot easier to claim tax returns etc. if you have proper bookkeeping an may be required for a lot of things legally - for example you can not sign a contract for a non-existing company.
irrelevant things like registering a
company. Your first and only priority
should be building the project and
launching it. There will always be
time to register a company.
Especially the contracts with the co.founders are a must have - avoids bad discussions later on.
That said, this is all technical and should not take more than a day or time (plus lawyer time). Anything else is just not needed. Get A DOMAIN, get email addresses - that is all needed.
Then go into building a product.
As part of the answer - I can not disagree with Krzysztof here, there seems to be too much focus on "visual", nothing on the product.
Build your product.
You are wasting your time and money on things that won't ever be needed if you don't have a product.
You can create a Twitter account and have no followers, but you as well can create a Facebook page and ask your friends to click the "Like it!" button. This way you won't start with a blank account when your product or service is available. If the proper website is not ready yet, creat a coming soon page that would encourage your prospective custommers to sign up for a newsletter. In the meantime, you could also write a note describing your products and collect contact details (emails) to all websites, where start-ups are promoted. Make sure you know of any existing web forums, where people talk about the kind of services you're going to offer. Don't post any comments directly boasting your products, but get involed in discussions, compare the competition, and make sure your product doesn't have faults which people most often complain about. Having a blog is a good idea, but do not only talk about your company and your products. You can encourage people to follow your blog by posting interesting articles on matters related to your business and offering some kind of freebies.
You seem to have everything in order. Why not simply sit back and enjoy the process? In a few months, as you get enough feedback from your system, make the necessary changes, then roll it out again.
There is no one-right-way to become successful. I recommend you use what is called the "spaghetti technique" -- Throw a plate of spaghetti on the wall and see which ones will stick.