When you are deep in the entrepreneurial trenches, startup tips are invaluable nuggets of wisdom that could push you in the right direction and save you from falling flat on your face. These days, it seems like everyone is hoping to become an entrepreneur and come up with “the next big thing”. Who can blame them?
When successful, the benefits of running your own startup are obvious: being your own boss, creating something from scratch, bringing value to the people around you and, of course, making a bit of coin along the way. However, the key phrase in that equation is, “when successful”. Too often, startups fail – at least 75% of them, to be exact, according to the Harvard Business Review.
With three-quarters of startups failing to succeed, how can you make sure that your new business won’t be one of them? Listed below are three invaluable startup tips to help you on your long journey ahead.
Part of living and working in the startup world is learning from mistakes, both your own and others. You have the chance to see what differentiates the companies that ended up having success from those that ultimately fell flat. With any luck, you can spot those lessons before making the same blunders yourself.
Absorb and learn from the plethora of literature other founders like yourself and senior professionals have churned out. There is no shame in asking for help and, especially in this day and age, there are a variety of startup support programs that are available. From extensive accelerator and pre-accelerator programs to mentors packed with a wealth of knowledge and skills, these resources, if utilized effectively, really help put startups in the right direction.
Ignore the hype you see about other startups in the press. Focus on building your own business so you can be the one left standing. Don’t get bogged down by all that the world throws at you – arm yourself with a can-do attitude and you will be able to conquer a lot of your hurdles.
To convince the vital people that you’re worth their time, you’ll have to capture their attention within 30 seconds. If you can develop an elevator pitch that will intrigue people and show your idea has potential in that amount of time, you’ll inevitably be afforded more time to discuss matters with them later. Armed with your elevator pitch, go out there and make the right connections.
Harness the power of social media to help connect you with potential employees, partners, clients, providers, or people that can promote your product or service. However, never forget offline opportunities. Step away from the computer and find people in real life at conferences and networking events. The connection you can make with a person face-to-face is naturally stronger than one mediated between screens.
You can have an invention or product that is creative and exciting, however, the most important measure of success is meeting a real need for the market that you’re trying to serve. The best companies are the ones that meet consumers’ needs and are able to adapt as those needs change.
Venture capitalist database, CB Insights, conducted an extensive review examining what contributes to the failure of new businesses. After analyzing 101 startup post-mortems, the reviewers found that 42% suffered from a lack of demand for the product or service being offered and, simply put, their product had “no market need’’.This one flaw harmed significantly more companies than well-known startup challenges such as cash flow (29%), competition (19%), and poor timing (13%), to name a few.
Yet another one of the many startup tips to ensure that your product or service has a market need would be to try looking for an industry with successful competitors. When it comes to establishing demand, thriving competitors are a good sign, not the red flag many entrepreneurs view them to be. Being the first mover in a space can produce situational advantages, but showing up late gives you the benefit of added perspective.
Furthermore, check for search traffic. When people are searching for a product to solve a problem they’re facing, they type what they’re looking for into Google. Through extensive research of this, entrepreneurs can learn what people are searching for and use the findings to gauge demand for a product or service idea.
Learn to spot when helpful advice is merely a suggestion to conform to the popular paradigm of the time. Do deep research into your ideas, but always trust your instincts. Actively seek guidance, but know the advice may often conflict, which means you need to depend on your own conviction. Be aware of the competition, but don’t worry about them too much. Be direct with your team, but always kind, empathetic, and self-aware.
For more startup tips and how to take your business to the next level visit JumpStartMe.