50% of startups fail within the first five years of launching their business. Sadly, poor planning and execution are the main culprits. As a startup, every decision that you make matters as it will propel the company for the next few years. Furthermore, it is essential to ensure that customers have the right mindset about your business model off the bat.
While the room for failure is large, so is the room for success. With every smart decision you make, you reduce the window of failure by a fraction. The trick is identifying the areas to concentrate on.
Here is how to poise your business for success in today’s world:
Find the Right Customer Base
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it is something that most startups struggle with. It can be daunting to find the sweet spot between trying to attract the ideal customers and remaining profitable. In most cases, businesses end up casting a wide net to attract a lot of customers, though the solution their businesses offer barely solve their customer’s problems.
The trick is to create a business around a problem that will make people take money out of their pocket to do business with you. Among the best ways to identify what needs to be done is to do market research. Find out everything that makes your customer tick and itch. Not only does this save time, but it also spares you the funds that you would have spent targeting the wrong crowd.
Focus On Cyber-Security
In some cases, startups tend to take cyber-security as an afterthought instead of a necessity for their success. If your business portrays that it is secure enough, it can attract security-conscious customers and investors, as well as evade the costs of a cyber-attack. Achieving optimal data security starts with risk management and understanding the threats around your business’ security.
Once you are sure of the most sensitive parts of your security landscape, you need to exercise the right security controls to protect your business. It also pays to focus on compliance with the key regulations in your industry. Other than preventing costly data breaches, compliance ensures your business evades the hefty fines of non-compliance.
Choose Profit or Growth
Solving the profit vs. growth dilemma is a challenge for most businesses. It is almost impossible to concentrate on both aspects of the business. For instance, concentrating on the profitability of your business needs you to cut costs to maximize profit. In turn, this reduces the chances that you will channel these funds towards the growth of your business, such as expanding to a specific location.
To decide on what needs more emphasis, you should pay attention to who you consider as your key investors. If your target investors are committed to the growth of your business, prioritize business growth, and vice versa. This increases the chances of attracting funding in the future.
Leverage Competitive Analysis
What is your competition doing better than you are? Why are they appealing to customer X more than your business is? Understanding your competition is a vital part of finding the right way to design your business.
When studying your competition, it can be easy to identify loopholes in their business model that you can use to your advantage. For instance, if competitors in the retail store business do not have curbside pickup, implementing it in your company should give you a competitive advantage. Focusing on the competitor’s moves also help you to identify any ideas that they are implementing, which might steal some customers from you.
Your Network Is Your Net Worth
As a business leader, relating with people with the same mindset as you can create invaluable eureka moments. While you can learn from other startup leaders, they too can get something from you. The trick is to find the right social circles to meet with the great minds in your industry.
For instance, joining business innovation labs offers enough insights from both startup leaders and other experienced business owners. It might also pay to attend business forums in your industry to learn from the best. Implement this to the departmental level, whereby department leaders, such as the HR managers, can also attend such forums.
Create a Brand Presence Online and Offline
Brand reputation is one of the most invaluable assets that can propel your business for success. Think about a brand like Coca Cola, which has managed to be synonymous to their products. You can barely think about Coca Cola and Pepsi without thinking about sodas. Spreading brand awareness is all about interacting with your ideal customer to a personal level.
For instance, you can attend industry conventions to display what your business has to offer. An even cheaper way to build brand presence would be to create the right online presence. This will include blogging about your services, interacting with customers on social media, and filling online directories. As long as you can remain in the thoughts of your customers, your business can be a few steps closer to success.
Everyone knows the risk that comes with starting a business, but what if the company succeeds. While success begins with the right mindset, you must plan for it to achieve it. Consider the tips above to attract enough customers and remain relevant.