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It's tough out there for startups, but these 4 tips will give you an edge
Venturing into the world of startups takes a lot of guts, strong will, and months or even years filled with blood, sweat and tears while developing a solid business plan. Just when a would-be entrepreneur thinks he or she is ready to take the industry by storm with fresh ideas and innovative products and services, one look at the recent studies and startup statistics could be enough to dishearten them.
According to statistics compiled by the SmallBizGenius team, 20% of new companies fail in their first year, while 50% of startups survive five years or more. So how can you prevent startup failure and achieve a higher success rate? For starters, it helps to be aware that common mistakes such as having no market funds, getting outcompeted, having pricing and cost issues, and ignoring customers will undoubtedly prevent any business from taking the smooth road to success.
Here are four tips to help fledgling startups succeed:
1. Have a well-thought-out plan in place
Your business plan should involve carefully studying the market, keeping up with the current business trends, and balancing funds to keep your new venture afloat. It should also include updating technology and investing in software to ensure seamless operations.
Keep in mind that you should continuously motivate yourself to improve and aim for your new business to evolve. It wouldn’t hurt to hire a consultant or seek the help of friends who have been there. This can help you set realistic expectations and embrace the idea of learning from constructive criticisms.
2. Check the quality of the product or service before launching
Do your research to understand your customers better. It is crucial to test the waters by determining the core features of your product and getting valuable feedback from customers before launching it. And the best way to tap into your target market’s analysis and accept feedback? Use the product development technique called minimum viable product to reduce costs and enhance value to the customer. This allows you to improve, modify, and refurbish your product to fit their needs.
3. Hire a Reliable Team & Improve Leadership Skills
To be an effective leader, you should never stop learning and motivating your team to do the same. Keep your ego in check and be open to the fact that your employees can significantly contribute to the future success of your business. Business owners recognize this: surveys show that access to talent is an issue 63% of startups feel affected by. The key to building healthy working relationships is adopting a learning culture and have open communication within the workplace. This will also drive them to innovate.
One of the most common mistakes startups make is not utilizing the many resources at their disposal to promote their products or services. With the endless streams of online tools and platforms, you can develop a cost-effective strategy to get your target market to notice your product or service without exceeding your budget. Creating a marketing campaign can be a bit tricky sometimes, though, so it’s also advisable to hire marketers or expand your network by collaborating with influencers.