“An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.”
– Oscar Wilde
This sentence could well sum up how the new-age entrepreneurs feel about starting their own business ventures. Now many starry-eyed, budding entrepreneurs believe that a great idea, coupled with the right amount of grit and passion will be sufficient to the meteoric rise of their startup ventures. But sadly, just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, your startup too would need nurturing.
There are many things that ensure a startup can emerge as successful even after overcoming rough weathers. Any entrepreneur venturing into a startup should be aware that there will be fierce competition, ample amount of risks and uncertainty, and considerable investments that they have to take care of. Only then they can think of having a flourishing business prospect.
With all this mind, let’s discuss in detail how to make your startup scale the heights of success.
1. Decipher the scope of your chosen industry
Before diving head first into the business venture, you need to decide the industry on which your startup will be based. For instance, in recent times the industries that have flourished include interactive technology, fitness, and little luxuries, such as baked goods. Once you determine which area your business will focus on, you can consult with advisors and the industry veterans regarding your venture.
2. Start with a solid plan
For any organization, whether big or small, putting together a plan acts as a stepping stone towards building a successful startup business. Now preparing a well-informed business plan can be daunting specifically if you are new to this. However, a business plan is more about just writing down what was in your mind, to begin with. It should highlight both your short-term and long-term objectives.
The short-term objectives mentioned in the business plan should present the details of what you are going to do in the immediate future and how will you carry it all out. The long-term objectives for developing your startup can be more flexible, but you must always maintain accuracy to reduce the number of risks in the long haul.
Also, you must understand that you can alter the plan anytime in the future. In fact, it’s highly likely that are you will change your ideas in the course of your business operations. That is basically the whole point of pivoting, and that’s what creates a successful startup.
3. Use your networking skills to your advantage
In order to have a successful startup, building a professional network is mandatory. Having the right connections work well for your business because your professional networks will propel your venture to the next level. So never under-estimate the power of word-of-mouth promotions and marketing. Today 88% of people tend to go by the reviews from online consumers just as they rely on the feedback from their friends and acquaintances. So start networking for all the right reasons.
Also, effective networking can present you with plenty of great talent going forward. The large organizations often have the best talents because the talent pool isn’t available to the open market, and proper networking allows the organizations to recruit the talent before anyone does.
So, make sure you are active on LinkedIn and join different groups. Attending the focused events in-person also does the trick.
4. Reach out to the distinguished VCs (Venture Capitalist)
To make the renowned venture capitalists to notice your humble startup venture, and provide adequate funds to direct it towards growth and success, you need to prepare a business plan elaborating on the aspects of what your startup offers that others businesses from the same industry don’t.
Being in association with a VC often allows the startups to have the necessary funding that they need to ensure the smooth operations, build a solid workforce and further invest in the development of the company. Having a reputed name to back your business decisions can be the driving force for your startup.
5. Adopt efficient marketing and sales strategies
To ensure the smooth operations of your startup, you need to hire a credible chief marketing executive (CME) so that the individual can come up with a marketing strategy that aligns with the company’s objectives. The CME has to churn out innovative strategy, and should also be able to leverage the distinguished features of the brand and keep track of the drawbacks of the competitors. All in all, employing a unique approach can help elevate the sales figures and present with new audience potential.
6. Determine your USP (unique selling point)
Unless you are selling, promoting or doing something completely different from others in your specific industry, you will have to emphasize your unique selling point (USP). And if you haven’t quite figured out what is the USP of your startup, you’ll have to spend some time determining what that is.
For example, if you’re opening a restaurant, you could provide wheelchair assistance for the physically challenged people. This will allow you to have the edge over your competitors, and also attract a whole new set of potential customers who will want to flock to your establishment.
You need to make sure that people know what sets you apart. So you need to emphasize the issues that your business will resolve and the reason why that makes you the obvious choice over your other industry counterparts.
7. Maintain accuracy of your content
People are generally inclined to learn about the success stories from the real people. A study on some of the top business-to-business (B2B) marketers have revealed that 54% of B2B marketers believe that presenting a real-life success story is a foolproof way of winning the confidence and faith of the consumers. Overwhelming the audience unnecessarily with jargons and lofty ideas never quite works in favor of a startup.
You should offer honest, and accurate details and maintain transparency while doing so. You can elaborate on the story of the founders, how they decided to venture out to start something new and fulfill their dreams. Stories like that are awe-inspiring and capable to draw in more audience.
8. Make sure to offer an exceptional customer experience
This is especially crucial when you’re just starting out. If someone is ready to offer your business with the opportunity, always ensure that you meet their expectations and value them. Otherwise, they will never bother opting for your services. This means you have to be cautious when it comes to dealing with the customer experience and actually looking for ways to make it as seamless as possible.
Keep in mind that it’s not only about losing one loyal customer. Thanks to the multiple review sites that have emerged these days, one individual’s bad experience could make thousands of others skeptical regarding your services.
9. Always ensure that there is a market for the things you wish to sell
One of the fatal blunders startups make is to consider that there will be a lot of people who will want to avail the products or services they manufacture, solely on the basis of how you feel about the business ideas or because your friends or acquaintances have shown genuine curiosity about the service or product.
To reduce your risk of incurring losses, start by assuming that there isn’t a market for your particular product. You can carry out as much research as you can. Talk to real prospective consumers (other than your family and friends) to see if whether they will be interested to buy something that you are selling, and if so, how much are they comfortable paying for the services.
10. Don’t think about monetary gains
As has been elaborated earlier as well, it takes a lot more than just ideas to attract money. Ideas aren’t simply enough to generate revenues. Such rags to riches stories are found only in movies and television. So there’s no point approaching this with the belief that you will start acquiring windfall gains. Don’t beat yourself up over if you aren’t gathering as much revenue during the initial days of the startup. Start selling.
11. Know about cash flow
Small organizations are always upbeat when they win over an influential consumer. They don’t realize that such huge organizations have complex cash management strategies, which often include taking 60 days to pay. Also, these organizations have also tie-ups with their smaller suppliers and vendors. So don’t think about financing your big customers. Collect the money straight away when you can.
12. Meet challenges to overcome them
Many startups restrict themselves to a limited scope. Such startups barely see the light of the day. They won’t push the envelope. And they will most likely never flourish.
To make sure you, and your business, flourish and succeed, you have to come to terms with different challenges that catch you off guard. So you must deal with as many roles, projects, and challenges that you are unfamiliar with as you can. This will teach you to thrive and adapt to the circumstances. See what’s like in uncomfortable environments. Take up wild jobs or clients that get to your nerves.
It will offer new vistas for you and your team, and newer, and more credible ideas and new belief will keep coming.
13. Try to be selective about your projects and clients
Just because startups are synonymous with different challenges and the need to overcome them, doesn’t mean you should take on anything and everything that comes your way. You need to be picky about the battles you choose to fight.
So you can reflect on the bigger picture here. Will completing the project make you proud? Is it fit for your portfolio, and the overall brand of your startup?
When it comes to dealing with clients, sometimes things will not seem right. You might start noticing it. Maybe they came in late for the meeting. Any of these telltale signs can give rise to skepticism in your mind, and also sets the alarm bells in your head ringing.
Now considering you want to be in it for the long haul you need to ask yourself whether the client will be right for you or not, or whether you can see yourself working together in the future.
Following these steps would ensure that your startup sails through even the rough weathers, and emerges successful in competition.
Author Bio: Joanne Criss is an entrepreneur and investor who has considerable experience in this area. She has also worked for a reputed Multinational Corporation before foraying into the startup business. She is also a part of My assignment help as an academic advisor.