To get the ball rolling for a startup is one thing but to survive the competition and yield success is altogether a different story. Out in the real world, there is no perfect recipe to cooking success. No matter how great your idea, service or product is; it stands a chance of utter failure or a colossal success. There are a bunch of factors, both internal and external in a business environment that can make or break the deal.
Here are few basic key points that are quite essential to make a startup a high-flier.
Personal motivation – As an entrepreneur self-motivation is a key factor in running a good business. Diving in the pool of cash and riches is one ultimate motivation for every entrepreneur. But keeping that aside, what else keeps your engine running, matters most. How many painstaking hours are you ready to spend as an entrepreneur? What compromises are you willing to make? How long are you going to hang in there, when things go wrong? Being the head and leader of the business, self-belief and motivation is the key to success.
Skill management – Hiring a skilled workforce is one of the most important ingredients for success, unless you are going solo. The perfect mix of experts will bring experience and work in coordination with one another. Get professionals on board who have in-depth knowledge of the market and product. As a startup, your team should have the right number of talented professionals in every field. For example, for an E-commerce team, Chief executive officer, marketing manager, operations manager, human resources, finance head, administration manager, customer service executives and so on, will be essential.
In case of a one-man show, it is always helpful to get guidance or counselling from experts from a similar field.
Realistic product – Marketing a realistic product or idea requires half the effort in comparison to a less practical product. Keep your eye on the ball and deliver a product or idea that is crafted around the needs of the customer. The product or idea should meet the customers’ expectations and should satisfy their needs. It should be useful to the customers in one or the other way.
Innovative product – A product with useful novelty is always welcomed by the consumers. A startup’s product or idea should have some unique feature that should gain the attention of the consumers’ unquenched needs. Moreover, the product should be marketed to consumers who need them. For example, while starting a maid agency, the target customers will be homemakers and working women, not shopkeepers or site managers.
Don’t go overboard – With limited experience and cash reserves, it is always prudent to control your business conduct. Never go overboard by doing too much too soon. Do a test run, select what works well for the business, fine-tune the process and discard the unyielding aspect, product or service. This implies in all aspects of the business, like skill management, material procurement, expansion and marketing as well.
Networking is essential – Build a network that your business can rely on. As a startup, networking from day one creates a solid foundation for the business. By creating a web of acquaintances and associates, a lot of information and data could be exchanged. Information related to market, trend, customer’s preferences and needs, new financing means and more, can be discovered through regular communication. These bits of data can be later on fed into the business system and utilised for bigger turnover.
Adaptability – A real market is a dynamic place and it keeps changing every day, except for a few monopolist markets. In general, adaptability of a startup increases its chances of both survival and success. Be flexible enough to adjust to the changes in the business environment. For example, any changes in tax regime or business regulations by the government should not put a hurdle in your startup’s growth.
Realistic expectations with risk-taking appetite – Keep your expectations related to the business as realistic as possible. Do not expect windfall gains from day one. The key to success is to expect the unexpected. Be willing to take risk and expect failures. Some ideas might boost the success of the startup and some might take them one step backward. As a startup, you have to try.
Sort out the financial aspect – A startup should develop a proper financial management system from day one of the business. A defined structure, process and documentation of all financial dealing will keep the business smooth sailing. By knowing from where cash is coming, to who it’s going to and who do I owe, will help in developing an effective business plan.
Learn from mistakes – As a startup, never repeat the same mistake again and again. The idea is to learn from the mistakes and make corrections to alter the path of business course. Also, you can keep a keen eye on the competitors and compare notes of where they are making mistakes. As a startup, you could completely avoid making the same mistake or take advantage of it. Take lessons from your own mistakes as well learn from others.
Cyberspace visibility – Nowadays, cyberspace has become the heart and soul of a business entity. This low cost and widely visible tool has helped many entrepreneurs build their empires successfully from scratch. With the right approach and thoughtful marketing strategy, you can reach everyone everywhere having a smartphone and internet connection. Creating a user-friendly website, Facebook page, setting up an email account, twitter handle and so on, can increase the visibility of a startup by many folds.
Effective marketing strategy – The success of a product or idea depends majorly on how it’s marketed. Great product but bad marketing is an ultimate disaster. A unique and effective marketing strategy, highlighting the best features of your product will boost the chances of succeeding. Some of the best examples of exemplary marketing strategies are Uber, Hubspot, Alibaba and Mint.
Proactive – By being proactive, you can create an effective business plan for your startup. Making plans of short, medium and long-term goals will pave the way for success. By scrutinising all the available options, resources and funds will assist in purchases, arranging funds, leasing and expansion of the business.
To sum it up, the success of any startup depends on constant learning and applying of the best practices. What is effective today might not be valid tomorrow. So, to bear-fruits of success, a startup should constantly learn, adapt, trim and grow.
– Sumaiya Khan