While many people like to talk about starting their own businesses, only a few have the motivation and drive to actually do it. Insecurities, lack of funds, and lack of motivation are some of the reasons why people don’t chase their dreams.

Every startup needs a great idea, the best skills to execute on the idea and enough funds to build a successful company. But it could take more than that for your startup to survive in the face of challenges.

The most important thing is an absolute unwavering belief that your business will succeed. Everything else is secondary.

Enthusiasm and talent can carry you for a short time, but professionalism is what keeps clients coming back and recommending colleagues.

Startups do better when there is more than one person to brainstorm new ideas and think through everything needed to keep the business alive. You really need to get a good team around you as fast as you can. The first few hires can make or break a new business.

Talent and skill can keep your business running for a very long time, but what will it take to keeps clients coming back and recommending your product to colleagues and friends.

Startups that run out of cash, run into problems. While money is a major concern for new businesses, when and how to spend business funds is crucial to keep your company running as long as possible.

Although many startups get money from venture capitalists or private investors, the true profits come from customer satisfaction. Focus on delivering amazing customer service once you register the first user or customer.

Every industry will have its own unique risks including time to obtain licenses, legal issues, when to launch etc. A contingency plan will provide options of how to handle common problems so a startup can grow and prosper even in the face of setbacks.

After looking at companies in his portfolio, combined with industry knowledge, Bill Gross, founder of Idealab (a business incubator focused on new ideas) has come up with five factors, which he believes, “account the most for company success and failure.” They are the idea, the team behind it, a company’s business model, funding and timing.

Timing, according to Gross, is the biggest reason startups succeed.

“Timing accounted for 42 per cent of the difference between success and failure. Team and execution came in second, and the idea, the differentiability of the idea, the uniqueness of the idea, that actually came in third,” he said.

Some businesses need to go back to the basics: have a clear business model, strategies for implementing the business model and management tools for running the business.

Speed to market. The market changes quickly. Don’t delay until you are 100% ready, or risk loss of sales/revenue/users in the process. Get out there and then adjust to the inevitable and make changes where necessary. Be agile and go to market fast for feedback purposes.

Its very easy to distract yourself from your goal, be smart and stay on task! Speed to market is crucial to your success. Make sure your product is highly differentiated and solves the customer, market need or pain.

The relationships you build and maintain can also help you survive. You need to establish good relationships even if they seem unrelated and unprofitable. The people that know you will connect you with clients, partners and investors.

As your startup expand and grow, leaders need to consider how to retain paying customers and hire smart people. Challenges of starting and growing a company have always been a setback for most entrepreneurs.

A failed business can be very disappointing, but that doesn’t have to be the end of an entrepreneur’s career. In fact, greater percentage of successful startup founders have attempted or succeeded at a previous venture. One of the most important keys to startup success is never giving up and to be always looking for new opportunities.

Key takeaways

1. Address a real problem.
2. Build something people will look for, will talk about, something we would miss if it were gone. Not for everyone.
3. User experience is everything.
4. Don’t take timing for granted.
5. Think about how fast you could possibly get to the market and then get there faster.
6. Stop Focusing on iterating your business Plan. Build and iterate instead. Progress is the ultimate motivation.
7. You make your product, your community designs it.
8. Cultivate an agile culture.
9. Effectiveness is contagious. A business is only as strong as its people, which is why it’s so crucial to hire the right ones.
10. Don’t market at people, or even to people. Market for them and with them.
11. Take that a step further: get a mentor.
12. Never miss an opportunity to ask “How did you find us”
13. Don’t market at people; communicate with them.
14. Do not re-invent the wheel.
15. If your company isn’t innovating, it’s likely because no one is facilitating the right conversations.


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