Are you passionate about bringing your startup idea to life but feel overwhelmed by the daunting process? Bhavisha Patel, the founder of She Founds is here to guide you on your entrepreneurial journey. Bhavisha led September’s Women in Business lunch at our Plexal Stratford workspace for our members, sharing insights on building a startup with confidence specifically focusing on female entrepreneurs and their role in solving diverse problems. Let’s delve into the key takeaways from her discussion.
Passion for Women’s Equality
Bhavisha is passionate about women’s equality, and this passion is at the core of her startup philosophy. She believes that the startup scene needs more diversity to address a broader range of problems effectively. By encouraging more women to enter the ecosystem, especially in fields like femtech, we can tackle women-focused issues and create innovative solutions.
Lean Methodology and Solving Real Problems
Bhavisha emphasised the importance of adopting a lean methodology when building a startup. Start with a problem you’re passionate about, and use technology to develop solutions. She stressed that you don’t need a tech background to start a tech company; what matters is identifying and solving real-world problems.
Understanding Your “Why”
Quoting Simon Sinek, Bhavisha highlighted the significance of understanding your “why”: “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it”. This understanding serves as the foundation for your startup’s purpose, and it helps you stay resilient in the face of challenges. She introduced the concept of the “golden circle,” consisting of three layers:
- Why: Your purpose, cause, and belief
- How: What makes your solution special
- What: The product or service you want to sell
As an example, she shared the story of Bundle by Eve Kekeh, which revolved around solving the problem of children outgrowing clothes quickly. By understanding their “why” – creating a better future for babies to grow into – they developed a sustainable solution that reduced clothing waste through a rental subscription for baby clothes.
Problem-Solution Fit and Validation
Bhavisha stressed the importance of achieving a problem-solution fit. To do this, she recommended using the Business Model Canvas, a tool with nine sections that helps you assess your assumptions, identify customer segments, and define your value proposition. She advised creating a persona using the ‘Lean Persona Template’, including behaviors, demographics, and needs. Conducting interviews with potential customers and gaining insights through open-ended questions or “a day in the life of” exercises are essential steps in this process.
Developing Your MVP (Minimal Viable Prototype)
Once you’ve validated your problem and solution, it’s time to develop your MVP. This minimal version of your product or service allows you to test what your customers do, conduct mock sales transactions, create landing pages for sign-ups, perform A/B testing, and even use the “Wizard of Oz” approach for testing purposes. The Wizard of Oz approach refers to a user experience research and testing method where participants interact with a system that they believe to be autonomous or intelligent, but which is being wholly or partially operated by a hidden human being.
Finding Your Startup Idea
Wondering how to find that brilliant startup idea? Bhavisha suggests looking at your interests such as the books you read, your hobbies, your skills, and the people you enjoy spending time with. These elements can provide valuable insights and inspiration for your entrepreneurial journey.
The Frameworks Remove Daunting Barriers
Bhavisha’s insights and frameworks remove some of the daunting barriers to founding a new business. By understanding your “why”, validating your problem and solution, and developing an MVP, you can bring your startup idea to life with confidence. With passion, persistence, and a focus on solving real problems, you too can make a meaningful impact in the world of startups. So, whats your “why”, and how will you build your startup with confidence?
Stay tuned for October’s edition of Women in Business, at Plexal Stratford.