If you take your time and read posts by Business Insider and Forbes about up and coming startups in 2017, you will realize that most of the mentioned companies are based in the digital world. They consist of a small number of goal driven employees and are tackling different pain points that vary from communication and collaboration to student loan restructuring and refinancing. And while these 50 companies will most likely achieve success, you should be aware that around 300 million people are trying to start 150 million businesses worldwide each year. For various reasons, however, only one in three startups will come to life – and 9 out of 10 of those will perish in the end, without ever experiencing the winning streak.
So what is the secret to their success? What differs winners from the losers when it comes to startups?
Successful startup characteristics
When founding a startup, the most important thing to consider is an organisation within the company – it shouldn’t be too rigid nor chaotically flexible. However, there are 8 essential business processes that each and every startup should implement in it’s day to day business. And while product and business plan development comes as naturally as breathing, importance of human resource management, as well as customer service and support, cannot be overlooked.
Careful and planned recruitment
Since the high percentages of startups are software-based companies, employees are those who will ultimately determine the quality of the product and the overall success of your business. Now that you’ve, amongst all types of teams, carefully selected and assembled your own, make sure that you provide them with positive work environment as well as all the tools needed to perform their tasks without difficulty. Motivated and happy employees will be more likely to devote themselves to the company’s cause, thus enabling you to focus on the bigger picture and make scale up plans for the future.
Top-notch customer service
Quality customer service can make the difference between flying and dying startup. Often neglected in the beginning, this aspect of the business will help your small company gain customer as well as client credibility, and that will provide the foundation for future collaboration and potential high-value deals. Therefore, designate a person (or a team) that will handle client and customer requests: Even if you are conducting your business online, people will want to make contact and get quick responses from experts.
If your start up has to do anything with web development, web design or digital marketing (and it is very likely that it does), you will have to handle a lot of different projects for a number of different clients. In most cases, that will prove to be a challenge – unless you are using proper project management tool for startups, that is. There are a lot of options on the market, but only a few offer task management, client collaboration, time tracking and invoice features in one single package. Whichever tool you choose, just make sure that your team is unburdened by its use.
Now that perfect team is gathered, and the client trust has been established, it is time to focus on building and developing relationships with other business as well. Networking is important for business growth, not only as a low-cost marketing method for developing sales opportunities and contacts but as a way to build your credibility among peers. Sometimes, it will even enable you to get an insight into methods of others: take note of the successful solutions, copy them and adapt them to your company’s needs.
Unique product, perfect for the market
According to the poll that targeted start-up owners, 42% of start-ups fail because there is no market need for its product. Taking “let’s make it, and then persuade people to use it” approach will usually end up badly, which is why market research is paramount for a successful startup. Take note of competition as well: there is a chance of your business getting out competed especially if you are trying to make a breakthrough in the digital market. Usually, better combination of expertise, product and funding will lead to one startup’s success and the other’s failure.
A successful startup is one that will ultimately grow, develop, evolve and become a scaleup. Just remember that in order to reach for the stars you will need a capable team, loyal clients, vast network as well as the product everyone needs and uses.