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Startup Success 101 (The baseline to be successful in any business)

startup success

Nothing beats the problem-solving nature of necessities. For highly intuitive individuals, some of these necessities are identified without breaking a sweat. These necessities are packaged in the form of supply, and that is how all startup success stories should be birthed. A startup is a new company that is just starting to develop. Hence, they are usually small.

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Their business model should offer a product or service that is not currently being offered elsewhere in the market. Hence, the place of identifying necessities. Sometimes, the product and service they offer are already being offered, but in an inferior manner. In this case, the margin for necessity is little. However, it still exists. Some of these startups are undertaken to validate the scalability of an economic model.

Whether the necessity being explored is changing the world or simply bringing to fruition a business vision, every startup success should be focused on needs that have not been met yet. Every startup should move elements of Creativity and matching innovation. 

While keeping pressure on the big fish in their industries, startups should be working to generate more income by increasing their customer base. 

A total average of 90% of startups fails after setting out. And about 70% are out of business within ten years. How then do you ensure your startup success?

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1. Start with a Goal

Every startup success story begins with a plan. There is no telling how great your startup success would be when a goal inspires you. As a Japanese proverb illustrates, vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. Hence, as you have set out to create your startup success story by offering a product or service, you need also to have a goal.

Your goal should be based on what the company and product would look like. You should include the mission and vision of the startup success you are envisioning. In this goal, you will emphasize the architecture and value you intend to deliver as a business organization. The Canadian Businessman Robert Herjavec has taught, “A goal without a timeline is just a dream.” This means you need to set deadlines.

In setting deadlines for your startup success goals, you may need to evaluate the market and be realistic with your timing. Here, you can include goals about revenue projections and the expected time to reach such objectives.

2. Emphasize Excellent Customer Service

To drive your startup success, you need to emphasize excellent customer service in your goals. This has to be a crucial part of your mission and vision. In fact, you should not start the company if it was not for your customers. A market is a place of demand and supply. If your supply does not match their demand both in the short-term and long-term, your startup success story may soon hit a snag.

A simple logic to include your customers in your plan is to be a solution to what they need. Do not look at your customers as a bunch of needful humans that you need to sell to. If you do, you would not be able to build a solid customer base. But when you think about their problems and how to solve these problems uninterruptedly, that way you can boast of their loyalty. Now, you are heading towards achieving startup success.

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3. Draw a plan for your goal

With your goal in mind and your customers’ interest, you need to make a scalable plan to achieve your goals. According to Edwin Louis Cole, “There are dreamers, and there are planners; the planners make their dreams come true.” If you intend to create your startup success story by closing the gap between your starting point and the end you have in mind, you need a plan.

This plan would include a legal structure. To formulate a functional legal structure for your startup success goal, you may need to include a legal advocate. It would be best if you also had in mind what the startup management legal setup could be a sole proprietorship or partnering with someone. Alongside legal structuring, your marketing plan must be well outlined.

Your marketing plan ought to sketch out the Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat (SWOT) to the product, service, and price you are offering. With this well-drawn sketch, you can go into details on how to create solutions where there are limitations and reinforce your startup success chances. Now, if your plan does not work, change the plan, not the goal.

4. Source for Capital

Clearly, you need money to achieve your startup success. With your startup success plan, you now have an advantage on how to go about getting capital. There are primarily two ways to source capital other than taking money from your pocket. You can either obtain a loan or seek investment capital. You have to make plans with these sources, such as a balance sheet, sales forecast, profit & loss statement, and cash-flow statement. It is with this plan you can effectively use your capital. For instance, 82% of startups fail because of cash-flow problems alone.

You should also know that there is no magic number to the fund that gets a startup to their success. This fact is dependent on many other factors such as product/service, partner, employees, location, and so on that will be involved in your startup success. But the average 565,000 startups that launch in the US every month have raised an average capital of $78,406. However, you have to be careful about evaluating your needs because the cost of funding a business is often higher than people initially think.

5. Handpick Great Partners and Employees

According to American entrepreneur and billionaire Steve McConnell Case, “Having a great idea is important. But having a great team is also important.” Employees are the foundation of startup success stories. They help with the implementation of your goal, plan, and capital. Without a great team, startup success is impossible. What then is the requirement for choosing partners and employees for your startup?

The typical answer to choosing either a partner or employee for one’s startup is that the person must possess specific technical skills that the startup needs. But startup success requires more than putting a bunch of talented members on the board. It requires team members that are positive and share in your vision for the startup success. Through their one-mindedness with you and agreement on the startup’s goals, success can be attained.

6. Choose a Location

Startup success may be limited because of the lack of one of two locations. These locations are physical location and online location. Both locations are essential even though they offer divergent benefits. Without a physical location, your startup success may be hindered by the cost of operation, taxes, and other regulations. But with a good location, the influence your startup has to market itself is now above that of its peers.

With a physical location in view, you have the option of buying an office space or leasing. However, buying an office space is the safer option if you can afford it. Firstly, it is cheaper in the long run. If you are considering the total capital that will be spent too, securing such capital in real estate is also a smart startup success decision.

7. Build an Online Presence (Digital Marketing)

Setting up an online location is relatively easier than setting up a physical location. In fact, an online location is very cheap to get compared to a physical one. However, the charges for web management and maintenance vary depending on the functions your online location provides. And some of these charges could very well be on the high side.

Your need for an online location is based on the service you are rending. But a general-purpose for an online location is that you want your customers to know you exist. Alongside broadcasting your existence to a large population, you want the customers to be able to know through an online search all the services your startup offers. An additional benefit is that online locations are also a form of real estate that can generate income for you.

Apart from online availability, online location is vital for marketing. Now, marketing using online sites can be classified into different areas. One of the critical areas is using social media. While your unique online location serves its purpose, you can increase the traffic of that location with your social media handles such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linked In, Snapchat, and so on. Through your handles and ads targeting your customers on these social media platforms, you are a step closer to your startup success.

8. Organization and Record-keeping

Organization is vital for your startup success, and here is why. Organization helps you to complete tasks and be on time to meet deadlines. Without good organization, it is not impossible to forget important tasks that your startup has to complete. One of the most innovative ways to achieve organization is by keeping a to-do list. The conventional method is creating a to-do list for each day. A good evaluation of this method shows that the system may be effective, especially for startup success.

There are far too many new activities that come up on a daily basis to be fully accounted for. Hence, a to-do list for the week or month should be preferred to a daily to-do list. It allows for the flexibility needed for Creativity in startup success. Hence, this to-do list and all transactions must be well documented. This way, you can tell how close or far to your startup’s success goal you are. With an apt evaluation of your position, you can tell what plans are working and which ones need switching out.

9. Operate Only on Profitable Risk to Reward Ratios

All successful startups understand the risk to reward ratio, and so should you. Hence, you also have to take calculated risks. Before making any decision, you have to know the cons or less positive attributes of your decision. The figures or knowledge that this “what” question gets you are the details you can use to calculate the risk you are taking on by going with that decision.

Sometimes, this calculation could get frustrating because many startup owners want a zero-sum result. This may not always be true. However, the grey spot must be well estimated and be as minimal as possible. Many people want to jump at opportunities, but opportunities can as well collapse. That is why timing is a big part of taking risks. When calculating the risk, past, present, and future conditions must be included. Ideas are time-bound. That is why winter jackets’ sales cannot be the same during winter as they will be during summer.

10. Get New Ideas and Show Creativity

The whole reason why your establishment is called a startup is that you are meeting a once-neglected need. But to keep on satisfying that purpose, you need to start thinking outside the box. Thinking outside the box may include finding ways to add speed to your service. It may even be simplifying the service or product you are offering. Many of such Creativity can be gotten from advice.

Along the way, you might need to bring in experts or even have an advisory board. You have to understand that this Creativity cannot come from you alone. Even your team might hit a snag with coming up with groundbreaking Creativity. Hence, whether it is your spouse, friend, family, mentor, or other businesses, you need to listen closely for their insight into how you can attain startup success. You must always be ready to soak in ideas and information like a sponge.

11. Know Your Competitors

As mentioned above, other businesses, especially your direct competition, may do certain things you ought to do. But you cannot plateau at doing what they are also doing. You have to look for ways to outthink your competitors. This way, you will stand out from among them. Hence, introduce yourself, and develop rapport with them. Now, do not be afraid to ask them for help. By doing so, you are building your startup success.

12. Focus on Improving Your Niche

You have to focus on improving your niche. This improvement can be either of two ways. It can either be an internal or external improvement. The first improvement has to be internal.

An internal improvement helps you to audit your business’s achievement so far. This way, weak links in the business have to be addressed. You can either remove the broken systems and employees that are drawing you back, or you can upgrade them through a reboot camp or what have you. However, the former is the often preferred option. An alternative to getting a replacement is delegating what you can to other companies. This will take a whole lot of workload off your back to focus better on your niche.

To complement the internal improvement, you must also improve externally. External improvement is a customer-based improvement. It involves getting feedback from customers to know how they have enjoyed your product/services so far. Depending on their comment, appropriate external changes must be put in place to satisfy them. This way, you are strengthening your niche, and you are building a steady clientele.

Conclusion

“Success isn’t always about greatness in the beginning. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.” These are the profound words of Dwayne Johnson. Consistency is the key to your startup success. Without consistency, you would never be able to see your startup grow. The greatest enemy of consistency excuses. You have to be able to deal with every twist and turn without complaining. If you do not deal with your excuses, procrastination sets in.

And as Napoleon Hill taught, “Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday.” Hence, you have to be committed to dealing with every form of hesitation. Because why you may be delaying a process in your startup’s success time will not. And you know quite well that lost time is never found again.

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