What makes one startup achieve success and another fail miserably? Some say it’s partly luck, while others say it’s just hard work.
Many entrepreneurs refer to the commonly cited statistics, which tell us that 90% of all tech startups and 30-40% of startups in other industries will fail completely, meaning even the most optimistic business owner will receive a swift dose of reality when looking at their chances of success.
Ultimately, there are a few things you can do to up the odds of success for your startup, and we’ve narrowed down some of the best:
Effectiveness and productivity are intrinsically linked to efficient time management, and the ultimate goal is to ensure that you’re making the most out of every second spent working on your business – working smarter, not harder.
This means prioritising the tasks that matter the most, planning out your work time effectively, and ensuring that you’re working hard without risking burnout.
For entrepreneurs, one of the most important skills you can have is financial management. Being able to balance the spending and acquiring of funds is a crucial skill that will ensure your startup stays afloat.
By having a good financial management system, you can manage your business proactively instead of reactively, more easily borrow money, plan ahead for financing, show investors financial planning information, have a more efficient and profitable business, improve profit margins, and anticipate future changes.
A good way to do this is to generate financial statements each month, keeping track of income, cash flow and your balance sheet. There is some great accounting software that you can use to keep track of your in and outgoings, and you may also find that hiring a financial advisor can be a good move.
Business owners that track finances can better scale their operations, plan for the future, and spot holes in their business plan before they become a problem.
Serial entrepreneur Bill Gross filmed a Ted Talk in 2015 titled The Single Biggest Reasons Why Startups Succeed. His answer? Timing. Bill examined dozens of companies and evaluated them within a number of categories that he felt had at least a little to do with the success of a startup, including execution of the idea, amount of capital, the people in charge, and whether the idea would be launching when audiences were both ready and interested in it.
Timing turned out to be the most important factor when it came to determining success. While you can have a brilliant business model, great idea, enough funding and a talented team, if consumers aren’t ready for your idea they won’t yet be interested. And if your idea is too late, you’ll be competing with a number of other businesses for your target audience.
By timing your release perfectly, you’re ensuring that people are ready for your idea and have a strong need for it, and you’ve entered the market before anyone else.
Unfortunately, there’s no real scientific process to determine the ideal timing for your idea. It’s helpful to use market research to understand your buyer personas and competitive research to scope out the competition, but timing will also often come down to a bit of luck and gut feeling.
Networking is an essential personal skill for professionals, and extremely important for those working with startups. A strong presence both online and in the entrepreneurial ecosystem will help you build strong relationships with people who can spread the word about your business.
Networking gives you the chance to make connections with fellow entrepreneurs, potential business partners, and investors. Consider networking to be just another part of your business plan, and have specific goals around meeting certain people and getting the word out about your business. It’s also a good idea to master an elevator pitch so you can explain what makes your startup so great within 30 seconds or less.
Use examples and analogies to appeal to a wide range of people, and make sure you avoid jargon and industry-specific words. Practice your speech until it flows naturally and smoothly, focusing on keeping your body language open and speaking clearly.
Do you need help with the tech side of your startup? Maybe you’re looking for custom software, a mobile app, or website development or simply want to talk about your options. Get in touch with the team at Intergy today to learn how we can help you give your startup the best chance of success.