Designing a successful startup is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of effort to put together a business with the potential to thrive. The entrepreneur must find a balance between setting up a profitable enterprise and assembling a team of talented individuals who work well together. It’s a balancing act.
However, there are some fundamentals that can make setting up your startup a smooth experience from day one. Following these principles will mean the difference between having a winning startup and having one filled with misery.
1. Hire the right people
You’re not looking for clones of yourself, but you do need a team that complements your approach to business. At the same time, different styles of thinking encourage creativity and innovation. Having the right mix of both these elements is critical to success, especially in the early stages of business.
2. Validate your offering
Take the time to test and validate your product. Repeatedly. Fail to do this and you could be dealing your startup a death blow. Nothing turns customers off faster than a product that doesn’t deliver on its promises. It’s little wonder that a poor product is one of the primary reasons startups fail.
3. Prioritize teamwork
Crucial to success, you and your team must be clear on your business plan and work in harmony with it. For a startup to survive long-term, everyone involved–from the founders to the employees–must work as a team. Investors must also be on board with the company’s goals so they can be relied on for financing. Disharmony between the team and investors can lead to cash running out, which is one of the reasons 20% of startups fail in their first year.
4. Keep the lines of communication open
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While it’s great to have a brick-and-mortar location, being able to work remotely is key to startup survival today. Nothing has demonstrated the need for this kind of flexibility like the pandemic. Whether your team meets virtually or in person, success depends on everyone being fully engaged and there must be smooth collaboration between all involved.
5. Be willing and able to pivot
When the need arises, having the ability to pivot is critical to startup success. Whether it’s a staffing issue or a problem with product quality, being able to recognize that a change is needed, and being in a position to implement it, is crucial. Setting up your startup so that you can change things when necessary is a farsighted policy that will help your business stay streamlined and relevant. This ability to adapt to change is a sure way to lessen the likelihood of failure.
6. Respond constructively to criticism
At times when building your startup, criticism will come your way. This is normal and even constructive. Don’t take negative feedback personally. Instead, use what you can from it to refine and strengthen your product and business. It is actually beneficial to encourage candid feedback. Listening to feedback from colleagues, potential investors, and clients can help entrepreneurs tweak their products or services to match their market’s expectations. This is vital to taking off as a startup.
As your startup’s founder, you can’t control everything. Following the principles above, though, can result in a smooth launch for your startup. You will then be in a position to create a winning organization, and you will be equipped to walk the tightrope of entrepreneurship successfully.