Thursday, 8 February 2018

Essential Start-up Tips

“Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard”. This phrase is true for modern-day start-ups as they juggle various facets of a challenging business environment. From ideas to execution, the strength of a start-up lies in paying attention to finer details. While there are hundreds of start-ups that have made their mark today, there are a million others who have, sadly, bitten the dust. What separates a successful start-up from the not-so-ones. Here are some of pearls of wisdom that you can follow when it comes to launching your next venture.

1)      Failing to plan = Planning to fail
You’ve got to put together a solid business plan. Addressing the problem statement, target customers, revenue model, cashflow management, and performance matrix, aligned very well with the time-bound business objectives can get you further along in your journey.

2)      The early bird catches the worm
Launch your business quickly and address the problem statement right away. Waiting for a perfect product may drain too much time and resources. Instead, extract the right amount of value from your product and present it to your customers. Market timing is critical here.

3)      Teamwork is the secret sauce to success
Regardless of which business you are into, putting together a kick-ass team is mandatory. From founders to customer service, from sales to domain experts, these are your backbone. Getting them right is critical to your business. Putting aside personal interests especially among the founders for the larger goals and open communication between team members can pave the way for a favorable outcome.

4)      Know thy customer and know them well
Not every customer is going to be ideal for your business. Understanding the effort involved in acquiring and then servicing a customer is important. You cannot have too many customers paying you too little. This leads to a higher acquisition and servicing cost to the company. Going after small customers who pay within your comfort zone is far better than large customers who may be bad paymasters.

5)      Stay lean
Accomplish more with less. Whether your well-funded or bootstrapped, services or product company, as a start-up, learn to curb unnecessary expenses. Let go of that fancy office space, or that extra spend on parties and outings. Avoid those expensive conferences or events, instead stick to a budget and keep a tight check on your spend.

6)      In God we trust, everything else needs to be measured
Performance metrics across all business functions are sacrosanct. Prioritize strategic and tactical goals for founders and team members. Ensure that you evaluate your company’s performance against your short, medium and long-term goals, make adjustments as necessary and optimize your resources to meet those set targets.

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