A start-up is the place where the contribution of each and every employee matters, unlike multinational companies. A start-up is the place where we forget the fundamentals and go by the ‘whims and fancies’ in the industry.
There are number of start-up failure stories. As far as I am concern, at least 70% to 80% start-ups fail. Most researchers, magazines or articles even claim that the failure rate is around 90%.
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The problem is that, we people often tend to read books, articles, or even talk about something that only narrates the success stories. Now, start talking to people who have failed with their start-ups, read the failure stories, understand the problems, understand the scenarios, understand the way they handled the hard situations that led them to shut shops. They would be the right ones who can advise you better from the lessons they have learnt.
The success stories teach you ‘how to do’ and ‘what to do.’ Start reading or understanding the failure stories, they teach you ‘what not to do.’ Situations and circumstances may usually differ from industry to industry or even company to company but, the fundamentals remain same.
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Here are the 7 fundamentals to be kept in mind:
1. Invest in technology and its maintenance:
Do not compromise on the technology part. Be it a service or a product; let the technology be in place. It may be your web portal, web platform, web tools, etc. These days technology being a key, keep up with the good work with regards to technology and its maintenance on a regular basis. I have heard from one of the Founder & CEO of a company recently, that when you offer some technology to a client or customer, go with the Do It Yourself (DIY) design and you will be successful only when the customer does it for himself and when they use it without your help. Build in, such a sophisticated technology.
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2. Invest in right manpower:
Do not just go with the buzzwords of the world like start-ups, start-up enthusiast, avid start-up follower etc. People usually have the tendency to go by the buzzwords. Beware of that. And, start-ups definitely can’t afford a wrong hire. Invest in your time, even a month or two, but never get into hurry while hiring someone for some crucial role and I believe every single role is crucial for a start-up. Understand and go ahead only if the manpower is required. Any start-up doesn’t have any organized work-flow, typical Job description, or even a right work place. The candidate has to be in a state of mind, in order to take the challenges, go beyond the typical job description, wear different hats; most importantly he should be able to take the ownership.
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3. Do not compare:
Competitors are meant to compete, but not to compare. Avoid comparing as much as possible. Let them build a 100 member team in a short span, let them raise a series of funds; Let them expand rapidly across the country or even the world, just be patient enough to get things right at your fundamentals and then go ahead.
4. Micro-level mentoring:
Understand the ground reality, talk even to the field level executives or sales guys or the tele-callers on a regular basis, they are the real problem finders. They are the face of the organisation. They are the ones who speak to customers. Guide them, mentor them, listen what they had to say, and allot time for them. Take the problems, and try out for a solution. Try and make time to go on calls along with them if necessary, boost their level of confidence. Do not have a micro level management, but have a micro level mentoring.
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5. Be Digital, Go Digital:
The world has gone digital and we are no exception. We are supposed to follow the world. Digital marketing is one such great thing in this century that helps your product reach out to the world, with a targeted approach and maximum reach. The beauty of digital marketing is, the analytics, the data that helps you analyze the reach of the product or the service. First, try to increase the reach, increase the database, that itself would take care of your product or a service in a long run.
6. Do not go by ‘whims and fancies’:
Try not to go by ‘whims and fancies’. Stay out it. Avoid trendy offices, hi-fi furniture, funky laptops and devices, etc. Reduce as much cost possible and step towards self-sustainability. But, create a friendly atmosphere among the employees and try to keep the organisational structure flat.
7. Be goal-oriented:
Be focused and goal-oriented. Categorize short-term and long-term goals. Keep the analytics in place. Its all a number game. Keep assessing. Assessing on a regular basis would give you the better results. Relation and Retention of clients has to be on top of the chart in order to build Revenues in a long run.
Follow the fundamentals right, you will hit the bull’s eye.
Article Written by Srikanth Surapaneni | Source : Quora