Success has a dynamic definition in every personal dictionary. To some people and successful startups, success is what their bank balance depicts. However, to others, success is about their contribution to society and its development. None of them is wrong. It is truly about perspective, don’t you think? Now let’s get this straight, no matter what the definition of success holds for you, it will always be this domain that you create for yourself, adding value to it all through. It can be the bank balance that we were talking about or even your contribution to society. Attaining this is never a cakewalk but it is worth the risks and struggles that you face all along.
Talking of which, startup culture is always a risky and brave area, to begin with. Are you a part of this domain? If yes, then here’s a pat on your back! Startups have emerged as a socio-cultural trend these days. Yes, it is as cool as it sounds! This reflects the ambitious and innovative minds of the generation and I couldn’t be more proud of this worthy trend.
I am sure you are here because you aspire to be one of these successful startups that we are talking about and align with their exclusive business strategies. Follow up to absorb every bit of this article and take home the underlying key to success.
Table of Contents
The 3 pillars of successful startups
It said that to build a successful startup, you need to begin at the very cross-section of the macro market shifts and the advantages that you have over it. You may be wondering what macro market shifts are. See, this is the overview of where the world is going in terms of business, especially your niche market. Makes sense, right?
The startup ventures who develop a basic understanding of this cross-section emerge to be successful. It’s as simple as that!
Now let me tell you about the three pillars that make a successful startup venture. Here we go:
1. Market (and timing)
The market defines the size and niche of a startup, but timing plays a huge role here. Wait, I will explain a bit more.
See, some startups enter the market too early and are correspondingly underprepared for whatever is to come their way. Similarly, some startups enter too late and are again underprepared about the quality of product that they are to deliver. They fail to understand how good a product needs to be in order to unsettle competitors in the market. Do you see my point?
2. Team (and performance)
A good team performance is of utmost importance in every domain of a startup. Be it tech, product design, marketing, sales, and beyond. The quality of work and the execution of ideas is the magic pillar of a successful startup.
Trust me when I say this, speed and precision are the main advantages that the startups have over their competitors. Having a team that is compatible among itself and takes the least time to decide upon team ideas and innovations, is the best cog in the machine altogether.
3. Founders (and their strategies)
The founders of a startup venture are the sole ones responsible for adding talent and resources to a venture. Isn’t that obvious though? Recruiting people who are best suited for the job profile of your company is a huge task. At the same time, bringing in investors is of equal importance.
The thing is, successful startup businesses need efficient staff more than anyone else. This depends entirely on the founders’ skill to recruit people. While investing, shareholders lookout for the aptitude of brands and startups to seal “deals” when they introduce competent prospects in the market.
So who is responsible for these two crucial roles? The founders, duh!
Exclusive strategies of successful startups
1. Delegate and hire
Oh hi there! Do you suffer from ego problems? Well, ditch it if you want to be among the successful startups. You have to reach out to experts and outsource the tasks that you, yourself are not good at.
Trust me, you don’t have to be the master of every little thing. It’s okay to ask for help when it comes to the efficiency of your business. I am sure you are with me on this. A team of miscellaneous and varied talents is what you need to build a successful startup.
So what I am saying is, take a leap of faith if you happen to struggle with delegation. You can’t build a successful business if you happen to be the only employee.
Here’s a worthy example of it.
Richard Branson, explained the recruitment procedure at Virgin, saying, “Like all young entrepreneurs, the first thing I learned was that you have got to delegate your duties if you want your venture to survive and (ideally) grow. And you should be hiring with an eye to the day that you’re going to delegate even your CEO position and step back from the business’s day-to-day operations so that you can focus on ensuring that your company is prepared for what’s next.”
2. Be okay with rejection
Rejection is more like a blessing in disguise, for those who understand the value of learning and growing together. If someone fails to understand your vision, then there are two possibilities:
You are not explaining it well enough.
2. The person just doesn’t get it. So simplify your views and make them more adaptable to a user.
Staying on the same page with your staff, your user base, and you yourself, is a secret ingredient of successful startup ventures.
3. Work-life balance
A lot of people including myself, have the vision that over-working without allowing breaks is the path to success. But I did realize how wrong I have been with this and so I will share the outcomes here, as briefly as possible.
If you are on an over-working spree then it leads to a lack of productivity sooner or later. Your mind needs space to breathe in order to be useful. That’s as brief as I could put it in. Remember the saying, “Work smart”? Yes, that’s the way to it.
Heard of the British economist, John Pencavel? Well, in 2014, he worked on the quantification of the relationship between the hours an employee works and his/her productivity. He said that working for more than a 55-hour a week, productivity falls off a cliff and tends to dissolve with time.
I am sure you wouldn’t want that for your business.
4. Take full responsibility
Responsibility is about taking the fall for the team as a whole. No, not that.We are not in high school anymore! What I am saying is, true responsibility happens to be blameless. It’s a confident space where you stand and proclaim your willingness to create and respond to every outcome.
The American author, Werner Erhard says, “Responsibility begins with the willingness to because in the matter of one’s life. Ultimately, it is a context from which one chooses to live. Responsibility is not burden, fault, praise, blame, credit, shame, or guilt.
Being responsible starts with the willingness to deal with a situation from the view of life that you are the generator of what you do, what you have and what you are.” How apt is that!
For instance, suppose your team misses the deadline set by a valuable client. Refrain from blaming the team for the failure. Instead, ask them what happened in the first place. Help them gear up and stay focused. That’s all.
This is about creating a positive atmosphere at work and taking charge whenever needed.
Trust me when I say this – Blame and shame never yields solutions. Taking charge and responsibility is the only way to solve problems and recover from breakdowns.
See the difference that we are talking about?
5. Focus on the bigger picture
Starting a business and working towards its growth is a path that consists of numerous loopholes. However, in order to grow and succeed, focus on the bigger picture and not on these tiny loopholes. That’s all there is.
Concentrate on what your business can achieve in the upcoming years and make goals accordingly. Having a list of daily, weekly, and monthly responsibilities helps a lot in this regard. You can also evaluate your business goals on a regular basis to keep yourself from going astray.
6. Manage cash flow
Your business requires a balanced flow of cash. Don’t you think? A steady flow of cash will pay your staff and also help you get the resources and inventory to help you serve your customers. Isn’t that obvious though?
So let me tell you this without sounding harsh. If you are unable to manage the cash flow of your startup business, then you are simply jeopardizing its ability to grow and succeed.
So here’s the interesting part. Before you launch your startup business, try and secure the resources and capital to fund your business.
Also, as soon as your business gets off the ground, keep a track of your financials. What is coming in and what is going out, keep up with the gritty details. Finance is the skeleton of your startup business, mind that!
7. Empower staff to succeed
Most of the struggles and chaos that the employees face are due to unclear instructions and expectations. Please don’t pay people to stroll in your office in confusion. I mean, you wouldn’t want that yourself.
So, set out early expectations and be clear with the instructions every time. Check up on them and see what they have grasped if you have the time. Keep your cool and revise unclear instructions from time to time.
8. Talk less, listen more
The most empowering discussion that you can have with anyone is by listening to them. This may not be the best kind of conversation, but it definitely is the best way to understand someone’s perspectives.
In the philosophical book, “Just Listen”, authored by Mark Goulston, he says that being understood is an art that begins once you start to understand others. How lucid is that way of thinking? If you can make someone feel heard, then you are already halfway through. Let me explain.
If you happen to be training an employee on doing a better job, don’t you think he/ she will be naturally defensive and keep rejecting whatever you say? I do that myself when somebody preaches to me! So yes, this pointer already sounds relatable you see!
So trust me when I say this – before you get to train an employee effectively, they should feel heard. And the way to it is – talking less and listening more!
9. Data security
All successful startup businesses run a tight ship when it comes to data security. They impose protocols and do everything under their reach to maintain them. This is a very important point here. Follow closely!
Virtru – a global digital privacy provider and data encryption company, highlights the necessity for email security. They said that all messaging tools have the problem of inefficient data security. It can be very damaging for your clients, market as well as the future of your startup business. How brutal is that!
As a matter of fact, if you have not given serious thought to data security, now is the time. No matter how big or small your company is, no one can afford to lose clients due to data security issues. I am sure you agree with me on this.
To implement data security, take effective measures as you grow, because prevention is always better than cure, right?
To wrap it up, it’s a known fact that the human brain tends to forget achievements and remember all the failures. So try and celebrate the tiniest bit of success with your team. By doing so, you are not only encouraging the staff but also acknowledging their efforts. This in turn increases their efficiency and productivity. See the loop here?
Anyway, before we conclude let me tell you, once you start exercising the strategies that we discussed here, you will surely achieve something new and big. So hold up and keep hustling!
And talking of startups, if you happen to be one, reach out to us at TheCodeWork. With our MVP program, we work with early-stage startups to change their ideas into actions.
We are here for you!
Our Content Team at TheCodeWork believes in quality content. We write everything related to startups and products at large. We publish our blog every Wednesday. Subscribe to our newsletter to get notified of our awesome content.