Beginning a start-up is no easy task. There are plenty of things that you need to account for, and even then, some may slip through the cracks, and end up coming back to bite you. Nevertheless, as an early-stage entrepreneur, you will also have some of the most fun that you can have in your professional career. Fueled by uncertainty and fear, this can, indeed, be the most exciting time of someone’s life.
But those that manage to come out the other end are usually those who have a mission and the willingness to see their business work to the end. As we said, there are plenty of things that can go wrong, and only those that have the qualities above and who are not tempted to quit at the first sign of trouble will be the ones that will prevail.
One other trait that all successful entrepreneurs have is their power to inspire others. As most of us are fully aware, it’s tough, if not next to impossible, to make it on one’s own, meaning that you also need to build a team that sees the mission of your start-up the same as you do and who are there for the long run.
But with that said, what other steps can you take to ensure and even accelerate your start-up success? Here are ten examples.
1. The Market Need
This first step needs to be taken into account, even before you start on this journey. In short, the product you sell needs to satisfy a need. It should be obvious, but as it turns out, a lack of market need for their product is the number 1 reason why startups fail. It accounts for 42% of all failed start-ups, followed by a lack of cash with 29%, and not having the right team at 23%.
Another factor that plays into this is that the market needs to be growing to move you one step closer to success. And to back everything up, your start-up will also need to have a robust and viable economic model that will act as a sturdy foundation and keep everything from falling apart at the first sign of trouble.
2. The Capital
Many early start-ups begin their journey by making fairly optimistic financial predictions and assumptions. Unfortunately, this can also be seen in the high number of start-ups end up failing because they eventually run out of capital (29%). To counteract this common pitfall, it’s better to imagine the worst that could happen and then put some money aside that can exceed that. Of course, it should be capital you should have right from the start, or at least on top of your to-do list.
3. The Team
Like most of us know, a business is only as good as its employees. And for that reason, the team you put together will have a tremendous impact on the success or failure of your start-up. There are a few things that you need to keep in mind here. During the hiring process, make sure that the people you end up choosing will all be a good fit for your company and what you hope to achieve.
Ensure that their values, vision, outlook, and personality all align with your mission, while their skills are fine-tuned to their respective job positions. Finally, keep their morale up by giving them assignments that they like doing and have plenty of opportunities to grow and develop.
4. The Culture
Many entrepreneurs disregard the importance of good company culture, rarely giving it a second thought. But unbeknownst to them, it is the company culture that is the glue that keeps everything from falling apart every time you encounter a hurdle. It is from the company culture and what it has to say that every leader draws the necessary motivation to inspire others. The leader and the employees losing the focus accounts for 13% of all startups failing.
5. The Marketing
Poor or no marketing strategies account for up to 14% of start-ups failing in the end. And in a business environment filled with competition, a lack of exposure or reach can make the difference. You may have a product that satisfies the need for a growing market, and it may even satisfy that need brilliantly. But if consumers aren’t aware of you, all of those efforts may be in vain. Digital marketing is probably the best way of addressing the issue as it has a high ROI. Advertising, though it has its uses, can result in ad fatigue.
6. The Customer Experience
In a world of instant gratification, the importance of excellent customer experience cannot be overstated. Ignoring the customer is, after all, tied with poor marketing at 14% regarding why startups fail. Social media is a particularly useful tool for improving this experience.
Customers frequently turn to it to express their opinions about your brand or your product, and you should also be there to address any issues that may arise. But if you find this task to be too time-consuming, consider implementing chatbots to automate the process. We do live in an Age of Efficiency, after all.
7. Pursuing Venture Capital
No financing opportunities or a lack of investor interest result in 7% of start-ups not realizing their dreams. Venture capital is a good financing option, but it should not be a sort of quick fix to your problems. With this in mind, pursuing venture capital should only be done after you’re sure that this is the business you want to scale over time and only after you truly comprehend how your economic model influences all the aspects of your company and have the base value proposition figured out.
“Feedback is the breakfast of champions,” says Ken Blanchard, a distinguished author, speaker, management expert, and business consultant. And as it turns out feedback is more important for start-ups than it is for big companies. Luckily, however, implementing a feedback loop is also much easier to do within a start-up than a large business, mainly due to the smaller number of people involved.
9. Accepting Failure
Failure is a natural part of development and growth, but many entrepreneurs fail to see that. Instead, they keep at it hoping to make things work but only ending up repeating that same mistake over and over again. A good leader will, thus, be able to determine what’s worth keeping and pursuing and what should be accepted as a failure and move on. A failure to pivot does account for 7% of start-up never achieving success.
If the inability to accept defeat isn’t what brings a start-up down, success may be able to. Bolstered by early achievements, sometimes even beyond their initial expectations, some entrepreneurs may lose focus and disregard their still fragile situation, by beginning to invest boldly in more personnel as a means of keeping up with what seems as exponential growth. Keep a constant eye on the metrics and finances to ensure that you are expanding your business on a firm and stable foundation that will not fall like a house of cards at the first sign of trouble.
Having the determination to see your startup succeed is an outstanding quality that all entrepreneurs need to have. But they also need to keep themselves grounded and perform regular reality-checks so that their business doesn’t fall apart when the going inevitably gets tough. For more information on how to successfully build your start-up, visit our website.