An online search will land you numerous dos and don’ts about your startup plans. It is truly so. After all, many of the startups have failed miserably either at the start or somewhere at the initial stages. So where is it that the startups go wrong? There are many reasons why startups fail to deliver. Then, what is the mantra to sustain the startup? How are the startup entrepreneurs going to prepare for a plan to succeed?
1. What drives you?
For a startup to succeed, it is necessary that the team has a passion and commitment towards reaching the goal. The team has to be driven by impact and work towards achieving the commitment. Many startups have great ideas, but they lack focus, motivation, commitment, and passion.
2. Stick on the course path
You should stay focused whatever the hurdles on your path. If you believe in making an impact, then truly believe in it. There are hundreds of people and plans that will let you down. There are a few who will truly support you. Any startup has a lot of negativity around it. Many of them just fail to take off. That is the fear of failure. If you are not willing to take risks, then better abandon it. Successful entrepreneurs are those who are willing to take risks.
3. Willing to be Flexible when the Need Arises
The team in a startup has to have the willingness to adjust the need arises. But remember, that should not become a habit. Adjustment and flexibility are required in certain circumstances where your goals are concerned. But, if adjustment compromises on your goal, then be ready to say no to it. There might be change along the product axis or the market axis. But the adjustment is required only if it really requires a change in strategy and resource allocation.
4. Be Patient and Persistent
Many-a-times, there is a mismatch in expectations and reality. Patience is the key here. The entrepreneurs should have a realistic idea of how long things take. They have to set intermediate goals every quarterly. Being persistent in reaching your goal is the most necessary trait to be a successful entrepreneur.
5. Willing to Listen, Observe and Learn
A successful entrepreneur is the one who is humble and willing to learn. Humility and the eagerness to observe and listen to what others have to say play a great role in getting the notes right. Listening does not always mean implementing. But they may help you randomly when you need innovative ideas. Listening to customers is also required when you launch the product. Ignoring customers can prove fatal to your startup. Also, observe your competitors. Never give them a chance to outcompete you.
6. Have a Good Mentor
Mentorship plays an important role in your startup success. That does not mean that you take each and every advice of the mentor. But use it as a guide to help you succeed. Select mentors from different fields like product development, technical expertise or marketing management. They will guide you on the right path always. Also, they will have alternate plans ready for you. Taking advice from the wrong people may prove to be a disaster for startups.
7. Balance of Technical and Business Knowledge
Many of the technical experts feel that they have a great product that will be successful in the market. But many startup failure cases have shown that a product fails if not marketed efficiently. So, if you do not have any business knowledge then hire a team that will support you in marketing management. Or find a partner who has domain-specific knowledge of how the product is to be marketed. A startup means that you are supposed to handle a dozen jobs. Finance, operations, marketing, and customer support– a startup has to pay equal importance to all the aspects. Hire the right team who know what their job is.
8. Implement the Lean Startup Method
The lean startup method focuses on building a sustainable business with minimal waste of time and money. The risks of a startup can be minimized by following the Minimum Viable Products (MVP), experimentation and commitment to learning. The MVP encourages the startups to release the product to a select group of test customers. This way, the improvements to be made can be determined. This helps the entrepreneur to figure out the right direction. The benefit of lean startup methodology is that the entrepreneurs know that their business idea is sustainable and is verified before they start looking for funds. This also saves them from not having a proper business model in place.
9. Raise just Enough Money to Reach the Next Milestone
This may seem like a surprise. But many startups fail when they raise too much money too soon. Of course, equally, there are startup failure cases due to the cash crunch. But always, raise enough money to reach your next target. Remember, if a lack of money is what caused your startup to fail, then there are factors that led to this situation. So proper fund management is required.
We have tried to list some of the things that a startup needs to have in order to succeed. For a successful startup, you have to efficiently follow a systematic process. Plan, commit and track results to drive the growth of your startup. Great entrepreneurs always have something to prove. For a startup to succeed, it is necessary that it builds a smart business. Finally, however, prepared you are, always learn from your mistakes.