“Making it” as a startup is never easy, but there are some things you can do to help make it easier at least. Here are our six keys to success for the startups of 2017.
#1. Focus on your startup, not others
Every entrepreneur has experiences, successes and failures that are unique to their startup business. It’s therefore important to recognise and appreciate that your entrepreneurial journey is your own, and not to judge the progress of your startup on that of other startups. You never know the context in which they are being presented and what works for them may not work for you. So celebrate your successes and learn from your failures and give your startup the attention and energy it needs.
#2. Believe in your startup, your product and yourself.
Research repeatedly finds that business founders who firmly believe in their idea and product have much higher chances of succeeding. It’s simple really – if you don’t believe in what you’re selling, how will others? As an entrepreneur, you need to sell your idea, your product and your service to customers, investors, service providers and collaborators. Your genuine belief in yourself and what you’re doing will help make them believe in it as strongly as you.
#3. Have goals for growth
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations of a startup, but don’t get distracted or complacent – growth is vital. Set milestones for growing your business and working towards them by dedicating a certain number of tasks or hours per day or per week to growth, depending on the progress and status of your startup. Having goals for growth will keep a consistent focus on opportunities, investments and ways to be efficient and scalable.
#4. Play to your strengths and outsource your weaknesses
While startups often require an all-hands-on-deck mentality, make sure they’re the right hands. Successful entrepreneurs know their skills and know their limits. Spend time doing what you do well and engage external contractors for the work you require an expert to do. Whether it’s design, coding, engineering, accounting, raising capital, the right people are out there to help.
#5. Be purposeful and adaptable
A successful startup has a clear purpose, but is also adaptable as to how it is achieved. Having focus and agility will allow you to adapt to new and unexpected conditions, to stay fluid and relevant, and to think outside the square while always keeping your purpose in mind. A flexible mindset is particularly pertinent in today’s rapidly changing environment, for as Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “Everything changes and nothing stands still.”
#6. What’s your endgame?
A well-defined endgame can help increase your chances of success. Establish your ultimate goal at the outset of your startup. It will help define your strategic priorities, set financial goals, help get the right team around and let you focus on the important stuff.
For any further information about our keys to startup success, talk to the team at Parallel VC / Desk Space or ask us for any other advice or recommendations.