Suits, shades, big cars, roaring profits, easy life, successful venture, these are probably the first few things which come to your mind when you think about starting a business. It’s a pretty good picture but the reality of startups is somewhat different.
Last year around 1,000 startups were closed due to many reasons, some of them were like – absence of sufficient funding, entering the market without knowing it completely, having the solution but then finding a problem in the market, not understanding the real needs of customers, not able to scale up at the right time and many more like these!
If you own a startup or a part of it or planning to start one soon, here are 7 key strategies which might turn out your venture into a highly effective one.
1) SPEED AND SCALABILITY :
No matter how good your products or services are, even how good your user base you have at the start, speed and scalability are utmost important. Market is an ever changing place and it is necessary to match the speed of the market, thus making time-to-market very critical for the success. You get an idea – Eureka! but if you took even slightly larger amount of time to launch, there is either someone who may already launch it earlier than you and get first mover’s advantage or by that time customer and market dynamics may have changed. If you get too slow in responding to market demands, you will lag behind. Looking into customer’s real need should be your foremost objective to make your business successful.
You must have ability to scale when your business starts getting traction. The failure of Orkut compared to Facebook is one such example. The term used then was- ‘No donut for you’ error page would turn up, more often than one wanted it to see in Orkut. Having stability in the product or consistency in your service quality is important while scaling up. Forbes shared 10 tips for building the most scalable startups here.
2) AGGRESSION :
There is rarely a single reason for startup’s failure but various reasons are behind it. Timelines are one of the critical requirement for your startup. If they are too easy, you are doomed and if they are too unrealistic for you, you are again doomed.
Do complete research work, write down your clear goals and then set aggressive timelines for you and your team but they should be competitive as well as realistic. Here are 5 aggressive marketing strategy for business in any industry.
3) MULTIPLE ‘FEATHERS’ SKILLS IN YOUR CAP :
At the beginning, you cannot create a large team of experts and individual SMEs. You have to wear multiple hats. If you are a technical know-how person, you should also know how to give presentation to CXOs and decision makers of prospects – to finally ‘Convince and Convert’. That does not mean that an engineer will be selling a stuff but it definitely means engineer should know how to convince the client and contribute towards sales, if required.
And If you are a co-founder, better you don’t have an escape. You must deeply understand and get involved, if not excel all of these – engineering, marketing, sales, operations and finance.
4) MULTI-TASKING :
Confinement to a particular department can cost you pretty bad at the beginning if you don’t have a good budget. Since startups work on finite resources like time and money, you should be able to do multi-tasking to save as much time and money as possible.
If your team is flexible and good at multi-tasking then you can get many things done in one time. The point is that you should be able to switch gears. It is not easy but it is important for the business in the beginning.
5) OUTSOURCING YOUR NOT-SO-CORE ACTIVITIES :
If you are a travel startup or online fashion jewelry startup or an education startup, or even a tech startup – it is in your best interest that you initially hire third party experts to do activities like digital marketing, recruitment, HR and taxation.
There is no point to hire expert professionals for each of these functions – vast and deep, when you can get the work done easily with a reliable agency. See how to choose, pick and hire the right digital agency.
You need to prioritize – understand what is that you want to build in-house – your core business expertise or not-so-core functions.
If you create a team for such functions in your company, you will have to 1) train people 2) hire multiple head counts for functions like digital marketing which needs expertise in various multiple domains – difficult for one person to have it all. While on the other hand, if you hire other firms to do your work, the overall cost will turn out much lesser, and you won’t have to worry about regular monitoring that much as long as results are getting delivered. However, while hiring a third party, their cost and experience should always be kept in mind.
6) CLEAR VISION, AIM AND CULTURE FROM DAY 0:
Right culture is very important for any organization, however it is utmost important for startups. It doesn’t matter if your company have many departments doing different and complex things, the aim or the direction for the company as a whole should be same.
Same with a startup, from the very beginning the aim and vision should be crystal clear and there should not be any room for doubt. If you don’t get it right from day 0, it is difficult to change afterwards. If we talk about the culture of innovation, the only thing which is important to focus is your product. You should not be afraid to try new things- at times fear of failure restricts the innovation in organization. The culture of transparency is also necessary. If you’re not transparent it will affect you in future.
7) HIRE THE RIGHT AND TRAIN THEM BEST :
Hiring the right talent is always challenging for a startup, but it is not impossible. A person with the right attitude and who is willing to give their 100 % is hard to find and harder is their polishing which should be done with your 100% efforts. Some great tips here on how to train and develop the best talent.
There may be instances where you will have to make difficult choices, but always give weightage to attitude because technical skills can be taught but the attitude cannot be changed. So hire the right and train them best!
A startup is like your new born baby, you cannot expect it to grow in a day. Startup will require your attention every day; it will require your passion, nourishment and also your patience. It will not let you sleep for sometime but in the end it will all be worth it and your startup will turn into a big company.