What “should be” the minimum??
Nothing. It takes nothing to start:
- Do the Marketing about the industry, competitors, history, potential partners and investors. All that is freely available.
- Start talking to hundreds of people about the idea, mission, and vision. Validate it. Not with “customers” but with everyone and anyone. Does a 13 year old understand it and think it’s a solid idea? No? Keep talking till you get that right.
- Build an audience and community online. This is also free by the way, start some social media groups, stand up a landing page and get email subscribers. Go.
Total spent? Zero dollars.
Now, is it worth proceeding? It should be otherwise why would you do anything else?? You should now have confidence and clarity that any spend will be worthwhile.
What do you start with? Build a website. This could be free too, but may cost a bit. A few hundred dollars.
Use that to prove you can grow demand and carve out a market. Also free by the way.
Finally, clear you have something?? Incorporate, which does cost something, to protect it. And start building. Now we’re spending money, but you should be certain of an ROI (return on that) because you have an audience and clarity to who customers would be (and that they’ll pay).
Most founders don’t proceed this way.
90% of startups fail.
Don’t be most founders.