Startup Unicorns: How to Make a $1 billion Business!

Grace Holden

Unicorns are wonderful things. We’re not talking about unicorns with horns, although they are pretty wonderful too. No, it’s all about startup unicorns. What are they? Unicorn businesses are startups with a valuation of over $1 billion (hence the title). Pretty impressive, huh? These unicorns are incredibly rare. In the UK, there are just 14 active unicorn companies. Hundreds of thousands of startups are created every year in the UK, so you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s impossible to reach unicorn status, but since when did that stop founders?

Startup vs Unicorn

In many ways, unicorns are exactly the same as startups - they just make a lot more money! But to make a unicorn startup, you first need to build a great foundation. That means creating a great MVP, determining your business model, securing funding and finally scaling it up. Easier said than done, we know. But once you’ve got your startup, how do you go one step further and turn it into a unicorn startup?

Every unicorn has different values, products, and setups. However, they all have the same traits, traits your startup can start to master. First, they are tech-savvy; they know exactly how to utilise online and digital resources to maximise the efficiency of their business. They are innovative, disrupting the marketplace and turning heads with new and exciting ideas. They are also consumer-focused, which is vital to ensure customers actually use your product! Finally, all unicorn startups are focused on growth. From the very start, you should have a clear idea of how you want to scale your business. Remember, the idea is to focus on growth, not profit.

Best unicorn startups

It’s important when aiming to become a unicorn startup that you don’t focus too much on what other startups are doing. You want to be unique in your vision. However, we can learn lessons from successful companies about how they ensured their vision became a reality.

●      Don’t skimp on the hiring process - Having the right people working for you is essential to ensure you share the same values and feel confident that all team members are working towards the same goal.

●      Solve real problems - Unicorn startups are successful because they solve real-world issues and have a positive impact on the world. Deliveroo, for example, enabled people to pick whatever they wanted for dinner and have it delivered right to their door.

●      Know everything about your market - If your consumer has a question, you need to be able to answer it. Keeping up to date on your corner of the market will help you keep up with competition and evolve as a business.

●      Manage your costs effectively - You might have a big audience, but if you’ve managed your profit poorly, you could end up with huge losses or even debt.

●      Build up relationships - Don’t forget to reach out to other startups for advice and support. By building up contacts, you’ll be able to learn from their mistakes and get valuable industry advice.

●      Create a foundational startup before anything else!