No matter how good the idea is or how much money startups have, they have to first think of survival before they entertain thoughts of success; it’s not that easy to float a company today, simply because the competition is fierce and most spheres of business are saturated and overcrowded. The difference between startups who go on to become established and successful companies and those who sink without a trace in a few months or a year or two is that the former are prepared; the latter are over-confident and clueless about the problems that lie ahead. In general, startups survive the roughest of patches and go on to become successes if they:
Have a plan
It takes many ideas to merge into one and form a startup, and very often, more than one person is involved. While the initial responsibilities are planned and delegated carefully, many startups don’t have a roadmap for the future. They fail to understand that each time period will bring growth or setbacks, and unless they have backup plans and allow room for growth, they’re doomed for failure. The founders don’t want to relinquish control as the organization starts to grow, but then, it’s hard to micromanage a growing operation. If you start out with a plan that takes all future possibilities into consideration and prepares for them, you’ll not only survive any storm, but also sail your ship safely across any rough ocean.
Fulfil an existing need
Before you start a company to sell something you think will be the next biggest hit, ask yourself this question – Does the need for the product or service you have in mind already exist or do you have to create one? If it’s the former option, then your startup stands a chance; and if it’s the latter, then you’re going to be running around trying to convince people they need your product and failing in the process because they don’t actually need it. Make your customer come to you; minimize going behind the customer – this mantra works wonders for startups. You can do this by offering quality products, ramping up your customer service and being straightforward in all your dealings – and even in the face of the fiercest competition, you’ll find that customers prefer you to the alternatives.
Change according to the times
Change is perhaps the only thing that is constant today, so if you’re not prepared for change, you’re going to be left behind and forgotten in a trice. Continue to look ahead and keep up with the times – take advantage of the newest and most innovative forms of advertisement and promotion; tweak your products and services according to customer need and perception; and look for ways to improve your organization and fit better with the way things are done currently. Look into unusual ways of being productive and managing your time, and look at how the big managers work. When you go where the world is going instead of sticking to your tried and tested way of doing things, you stand a greater chance of survival.