There isn’t a comprehensive list in the world that will be the complete recipe of what startups need to succeed. Every startup is different and the one thing that makes them succeed might be completely different from another. However, there are certain things that, if ignored, could be the downfall of a startup. Some of the top reasons why startups fail are lack of money, poor management and the absence of a business plan. However, with these tools below, many startups see amazing growth and continue to thrive for years to come!
A Great Idea
It all starts with a great idea. Without one, there is no business. You can have all the money and technology you’ll ever need, but if your product is poor, nobody will want to spend their money on it. But how do you get a great idea? For lots of people, the idea is what comes first, whereas others decide they want to start a business and go from there. But the best ideas arguably come by accident. Jan Koum conjured up Whatsapp after finding a gap in the market when scrolling through the Apple store. Snapchat was created after its founder sent a photo and immediately wished he could take it back. You can go through fifty ideas before you find one that works, so try not to put pressure on yourself to get it right first time!
At the heart of every startup is the customers. The old phrase ‘the customer’s always right’ may be a little far-fetched, but it gets the idea. Businesses work for customers and everything they do should always keep in mind what’s best for the consumer. If you decide to set a higher price for your product, is that going to alienate part of your target market? For startups, customer service is arguably even more important as they don’t have the luxury of being an established brand with loyal consumers. This means it’s vital to establish a great relationship with consumers and keep open lines of communication. This includes asking them for their opinions and taking critical feedback seriously. It may also be helpful to ask the question: ‘What’s stopping my customers from going to Amazon?’ ‘What can we give them that big brands can’t?’
Startups can be risky and unpredictable things. Even though insurance might just seem like another thing you have to fork out for, it is vital to ensure your business is safer if something goes wrong. Not only that, but investors are far more likely to want to put a stake in your business if they know it is covered responsibly. Having insurance shows that your startup is professional and that you take your business seriously. However, most importantly, insurance can be a legal requirement, which you may be fined for if you don’t have. For example, if your company hires employees, it is illegal not to have employability liability cover (EL). Before deciding which type of insurance provider to go for, it’s important to ensure that your provider is flexible with any changes you may have to make to your business as startups can evolve rapidly.
Most startups need money in some capacity, whether through outside investment or even founders themselves. It is possible to get by without, providing you have existing equipment, technology and resources needed and a strong marketing strategy. If you do decide to seek funding, it is vital that you don’t take more than you need and that money you do receive should be spent on things that are vital to the growth of your startup.
At times, being a founder of a startup company can be a lonely business. The hours are long, the stress can be high, and it can be overwhelming knowing that it all falls on you. Because of this, it’s really important to have a network of people around you that will pick you up when you’re down and guide you through troubling times. Support may come from inside your team, investors and fellow founders of other startups, but might also be sourced from friends and family. They may not know anything about business, but they can be a shoulder to lean on when things get a bit too much!
Whoever said developing a startup was easy clearly hasn’t done it before. It takes an amazing idea, knockbacks, hard work and good people around you to succeed. But with hard work and dedication, it can be done!