Starting up is hard, really hard! Whether you are starting off as an online business or an offline business, getting a start-up business up and running is a herculean task. Copious amounts of planning and caffeine aside, a start-up business requires a lot of tenacity, patience and hustle to make the venture successful.
Maintain Extreme Focus
With startups becoming the most fashionable commodity in current times, it can become easier to get distracted. There are umpteen events, startup accelerators and coffee meetings that could be attended. While all these hold importance in some form or function, it is absolutely imperative that time spent on these never compromises the time that should be spent on building & selling the product/service. A singular focus on the product and its customer is absolutely critical and everything else is a waste of time.
Extreme focus also applies to how you build out the product/service. There could be umpteen product features that customers ask for (a good problem to have) but that doesn’t mean that the team works towards building all of them. As a startup, it is critical to prioritize feature set that delivers the maximum delight across a larger set of customers instead of trying to build everything for everyone.
Hire Slow but Hire Right
While the success of most successful businesses can be attributed to either the product market fit, product excellence or the timing, the reality is that successful start-up businesses all ended up doing one thing right; they managed to get the right people on-board right from the start!
In the face of a slew of new customers coming in, the onus becomes to hire quickly to manage the workflow. However, not being able to hire the right talent can prove really expensive if they can’t match up to the customer experience promised.
Frugality Is Crucial
Startups are always running out of cash! One way to ensure that doesn’t happen is to be prudent with where the money gets spend. This is why being frugal is crucial but the operative word being Frugal and not Stingy. For instance, installing a coffee machine in office is not really a bad expense. If it allows employees to be more productive, it is a wise investment. On the opposite spectrum, spending on a plush office space with amazing interiors is probably not a wise investment in the initial stages.
Hire A Business Consultant/Advisor
Making a startup function smoothly requires multi-tasking across various functions including Finance, Hiring, Legal etc. To top it all, there is parallel focus required both in terms of tactical day to day operations as well as strategic long term vision. For a startup initially, hiring experts across these functions is not an option. In a scenario like this, it becomes imperative to hire a business consultant to help you drive that larger goal for your startup while ensuring the day to day operations run seamlessly. Look for a seasoned consultant like Trevor McClintock who can bring years of cross-functional expertise in various facets of business such as financing, M&A and mentoring & coaching. Getting a right business consultant pays for itself with timely and strategic advice that can make or break a business.
Define & Stick to The Purpose (at any cost)
Talks of vision & mission are often considered PR speak but a well-defined purpose that defines the existence of the startup is extremely critical. A purpose not only helps you work towards that purpose but also allows you to use the same purpose to build a team of A-players who are aligned to that purpose. People who come together around a specific purpose are more likely to give it their everything to achieve that purpose even in unfavourable situations. It is critical for the startup founder to define and stick to the purpose of the business.
These are some critical tips for startups to succeed. In addition, these tips not only help make the business financially viable and fruitful but also ensure that the founders solve real problems for customers and make the world a better place.