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How to start a startup in five steps

Starting a startup?

Having founded or co-founded five start-ups in five years (including Hey Influencers, Drop Bottle, SkinnyMe Tea, The 5th and Skintox) Gretta Van Riel hit the Vogue Codes stage to discuss just that. Sharing her advice for starting a successful start-up and some of her failures along the way, van Riel laid out her five key steps and we’re taking her word as gospel.

I had an amazing time speaking at @vogueaustralia’s #VogueCodes Summit in Melbourne today. ⠀ A highlight was getting to speak at the same event as my beautiful (step) sister @bree_take_two for the first time. ⠀ ⠀ So my keynote was called: ‘5 Years, 5 Startups, 5 Ways To Start A Startup’ and, as promised, the slides are here: ⠀ bit.do/gretta-voguecodes ⠀ I actually missed a couple of my favourite slides (somehow I didn’t add them in, my mistake) which were on the importance of building an audience before you launch (and apparently you cannot re-upload on Slideshare so I’ll upload them elsewhere and link to them in the slide description later). ⠀ Thank you so much to @zara_wong, @nat_headland, @edwinamccann and the whole Vogue team for an amazing day. ⠀ If you want to see more from the day I’ve put up a story highlight called ‘#VogueCodes’… Now, bed ♥😴 ⠀ Oh P.S. dress is @zimmermann (thanks @pancayx), hair and makeup by the amazing @fotinihatzis and skin of course is @house.of.maxx ✨

A post shared by Gretta Rose van Riel (@gretta) on


So how does one start five startups in five years?

Don’t reinvent the wheel
Van Riel doesn’t believe it’s necessary to create or build something the world hasn’t seen before. By simply changing a “single dimension of a product to reach an audience” you can solve a problem or reach an audience easily. Dimensions to consider include function, design, time and price, once you’ve settled on how your product will be altered by design (think the customisation trend sweeping Australia right now), price (how competitive is your product) or any combination of, you can keeping moving and building.

Build an audience before you launch a product
“You need to start building a market before you build the product,” says Van Riel, advising it’s often wise to create a product around your market. If you have a captive audience, with a similar interest or need, ask what you can create to solve a problem or fill a gap for them and forge ahead.

Start collecting emails as soon as possible
This is one of the best ways to build yourself a dedicated audience and garner access to a market before your product is ready to launch. Van Riel says incentives or free content can reel in a customer base before you’ve got your Instagram grid on point!

Start building relationships with influencers
Van Riel believes building relationships with influencers is key to reaching your customer and converting sales. It’s “all about relationships” and yes, these “relationships are complicated” but having a solid base of influencers you can call on can do wonders for a start-up. Just be sure to reach out to influencers who truly reach of have ‘influence’ with your desired customer base.

Start small, iterate then scale
It’s imperative to be flexible and start small before you jump in, full steam ahead says, Van Riel. Take baby steps, learn as you go, pivot and iterate as your business or customers’ needs change. Once you feel confident you have the best product or service, move forward but continue to monitor the landscape and remain flexible.

Taken from Vogue Australia. Read the original here

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