Every year, countless aspiring entrepreneurs with varying business concepts set out to realize their dreams and build their own startups. However, every dream cannot be fulfilled, and in this journey, while some startups do succeed, most never even take off.
The difference between a successful and unsuccessful startup is often experience, lots of patience, hard work, a dash of luck, vision, and timing. The vast majority of successful businesses, corporations, and entities were once startups. That’s right—major chains like Starbucks and Walmart were once struggling to get by.
Advice for Startups to Succeed
As an entrepreneur, you probably already know that over 70% of all new businesses fail. But why is the failure rate so high? Many startups try to do too many things all at once, so they manage to do nothing exceptionally well. Here are some preventive measures every startup should undertake to be successful.
Identify the target market
A leading cause of startups’ failure is that they don’t know their target market. This is why they also don’t know if their product or service will solve any problems. Your startup can only be successful when your product or service is understood and wanted in the market. To figure out your startup’s true purpose, identify your target market, and build your niche. Set your focus on a specific area, and establish yourself as an expert.
Engage potential customers
Once you have built your niche and determined your target market, the next step is to engage potential customers to notice your product or service even before your business is launched. A big blunder that most startups make is investing all of their time and efforts to create a product or develop a service to market it.
‘A good idea sells itself’ no longer holds true. Today’s customers are well-informed and decisive, thanks to easily accessible information, various choices, and competitive prices. You can come up with an extraordinary product or service, but it means nothing if people don’t know about it.
Startups often face budget constraints and don’t have enough funds to hire a marketing agency. The best way to tackle this problem is to find alternative methods to market your goods or services. Take time to learn new ways to build interest.
Create company accounts on social media as soon as possible, whether your product is ready for the public or not. A well-planned content strategy can also be key to garnering interest in your company, both before and after your official launch.
Keep in mind that social media isn’t about being ready. It’s all about authentic engagement and the constant flow of information. Give potential customers the necessary information, so they see you as an expert. It’s the power of reciprocity — people will buy from you because they trust you.
Every entrepreneur dreams to know and control everything that goes on in the market to time their launch perfectly so their idea can become the next big thing for years to come. Sadly, the market is ever-changing, and people worldwide are constantly coming up with new and innovative ideas, products, and services.
Staying up to date on the latest developments and trends can help your new startup keep up with the competition. Startup founders and entrepreneurs must observe current and future economic and market trends carefully. Most importantly, they must be flexible and recognize when they need to make changes within their business in response to new demands and trends in the market.
By remaining proactive instead of reactive, you can mitigate risks. As a founder, you can regularly examine all internal and external environments through comprehensive SWOT analysis. This will help you stay ahead of the constant changes a business can potentially face.
Stick to your strengths
Doing everything by yourself might seem like the only option when you’ve just launched your startup. But trying to be a jack of all trades will eventually make you a master of none. By working as a manager, a marketer, a web developer, a bookkeeper, and everything else at once can lead to significant problems such as not having enough time for business development or creating that new product.
Instead, know your strengths, recognize what you are good at, and stick with that. Build a team of qualified people who will help you achieve all the other tasks. Try hiring young graduates with an entrepreneurial mindset as they will do their job and help your company grow by sharing ideas, knowledge, and research.
Surround yourself with influential people
Building a startup is like a rollercoaster ride – full of challenges that come with its highs and lows. Having influential people around you or working with someone you respect makes the emotional ride much easier to handle.
These people can also guide you when you run into trouble. Make sure there are key players involved in your startup who have relevant experience. Having someone from a well-established organization as a mentor or adviser will make a big difference in the way investors perceive your business acumen. Also, influential people can help take your vision from an idea to reality.
Last but not least, be prepared to put in as much work as necessary to succeed in your endeavors. It may include working longer hours at the beginning of your business or working on weekends because success doesn’t come overnight but results from diligent and consistent efforts put in over a period of time.
To succeed in business, you have to be flexible and have good planning skills. Many people start a business thinking that they will turn on their computers or open their doors and start making money to find that making money comes much later. You can easily avoid problems by taking your time and planning out all the necessary steps for your startup success.