Starting a new business and surviving the first 12 months in any economy is tough, but it’s not impossible. Startups are literally a journey into the unknown and entrepreneurs should to be comfortable with taking on ambiguity, uncertainty and multiple challenges. On average, 9 out of 10 startups will go out of business, and the remaining that are able to survive and succeed are the ones that capture the qualities outlined below. These are the signs your new business is likely to succeed in any economy.
1) Visionary founders
A well-defined vision is a skill or gift that every company leader needs in order to cross the finish line. It will be the major force behind an entrepreneur’s success and will serve as a compass in tough times. A startup needs to envision how to monetize from the very beginning. The first dollar counts, especially for potential investors.
2. A great sense of timing
Did you pick the best moment to launch your company? This is always a balancing act determined by a great many factors including: the ebbs and flows of your industry, the success or faltering of competitors, the availability of startup funds, and your own personal circumstances. Making decisive moves to get your business off the ground quickly. Don’t rush but by all means, take the necessary time to plan ahead carefully –so many startups fail simply because they wallow in early development and never even get off the ground.
3. A super detailed budget (before you spend a single penny)
How clean can your budget be? A common mistake new business founders make is thinking as long as they can get their hands on a big enough chunk of money, they can plop it in a business checking account and surely it will suffice to cover their expenses. This is wrong and stupid and no – we’re not even going to pick nicer words to say that.
It is crazy important to have a super detailed budget before you spend a single penny. If you aren’t an expert at budgeting, enlist the help of someone who is. Considering that a lot of startup CEOs tend to be more “big picture” thinkers, crunching numbers is not a popular favourite task.
Just…don’t glaze over your budget. Every area of the business should be carefully accounted for and the budget should be adhered to as closely as possible.
4. Speed is of great importance!
Getting things done in a quick manner is one of the many reasons why startups are able to reach their goals and milestones. It makes a difference when a startup is able to launch on time or when it’s able to move much faster than competitors. Successful startups never delay the process of getting things done, and have to work as much as needed until something is complete. The faster you can make the mistakes, learn from them and improve your offering, the better.
5. Ability to adapt to change
The best startups are always willing to adapt to new technologies. Adapting to change can lead to major breakthroughs. During the early years, the startup will need to iterate the product plenty of times until they are able to find the secret sauce and get it right.
When you put so much time, effort and faith into one business plan, built on one business model, it’s logical that you would have trouble accepting that maybe it needs to be modified, or worse yet, scrapped and rebuilt entirely.
Unfortunately, at any point in the startup process – from concept to actually being in business – new factors can arise that illuminate parts of your operations, branding…any part of your business really, that need to be tweaked and altered to work better.
6. You have money to take you a step further (seriously, you need money)
Just how much money you need can vary – maybe it’s as little as $50k or many millions of dollars – and there are a lot of different ways to get it. Whether it’s seed money from your own pocket, angel investments, or small-business loans, figure out which path to funding is best suited for your company and pursue it.
7. If you can deliver on your promise
Lastly, having an idea is just the beginning and really, execution is 98% in determining each business’ success. For this part, the experience of the team is critical as their backgrounds will help towards making more good decisions than bad ones.
All the successful startups you know about are always looking for opportunities to do something better by thinking outside of the box and constantly questioning the status quo. They learn from their mistakes and fix them quickly as they continue their long, challenging and soon-to-be successful journey.