Does starting your own business feel like a big responsibility?
People you know seem to successfully build their startups. They’ve carefully researched their target market. Their vision is clear. And they’ve a solid execution plan.
But nothing seems to work for you. You’re worried about the slipups that can take you down. Above all, you’re not able to figure out how to get people to care about you. What to do and what not to do with your big idea?
Having had the privilege to work with numerous startups over the years, I will discuss some of the key lessons that I have learned.
First Things First: Decide Your Stance
It’s extremely important to decide your business stance before anything else because that’ll have a lasting impact on your bottom line. You have two options:
Suppose you enter the market like an alternative. You have dog-eat-dog competition all around you. You often need to outsmart (and outspend) the competition to keep your customers from switching. And you consistently strive to surpass the market leader.
Becoming a monopoly, on the other hand, is not the easiest thing in the world to do. But it’s certainly the most rewarding. Create a new niche altogether – a remarkable product that makes people’s lives easier and persuades them to care about what you’ve built.
Google has the maximum market share when it comes to search engines. Tesla is a monopoly in the luxury electric car segment. Twitter in the micro-blogging category. Facebook in social networking. Whatsapp in instant messaging.
You would be amazed but these companies spent little to no money on advertisement. They rather changed the game by spending on what matters the most: building a great product and making it better every passing day.
Act Fast to Succeed Faster
Got an idea that’ll transform the existing market? A plan that’ll make things more efficient and worthwhile? Then the last thing you want to do is wait for the right time. Devise an execution strategy right away. And execute it.
If you move slowly, you’ll be out of business before you know it. I’ve seen many innovative startups dying only because they failed to understand the importance of rapid execution.
Perseverance Is a Real-Must
“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”
– Steve Jobs
Building a product that’s capable of getting incredible world-of-mouth isn’t enough. You need to swallow a bitter pill and give your startup some time to take off. As they say, perseverance is the key to success.
For example, in the early stages of Airbnb, a San Francisco-based online marketplace for vacation homes, its founders went from door-to-door to ensure its customers were happy and content. The company went through hard times but didn’t give up. Airbnb was eventually backed by a startup accelerator and is today worth more than $1 billion.
Another great example is a celebrity crossword app we invested in. Its founders conserved their willpower even when the odds were against them and went on to make the app the world’s most-solved daily crossword puzzle.
Taking a stab at your own venture is not a bed of roses. It’s an uphill task – one that needs you to come up with a disruptive idea, have a smart execution plan, build a remarkable product and be incredibly perseverant. Eventually you’ll be able to create something that actually makes you proud.
What’s your secret recipe of building a successful startup? Let us know in the comments below.
Jonathan Paikoff is passionate about helping people with digital technology and managing strategic partnerships. He loves to share his extensive experience through consulting, speaking, writing and mentoring. he is the senior manager of strategic partnerships at KiwiTech.