If your LinkedIn feed is anything like mine, it’s filled with inspirational stories of small start-up business that made it big. Maybe you’ve heard of Nick D’Aloisio, who sold his app Summly to Yahoo for $30 Million. Or Brian Acton, who came up with the idea for Whatsapp while on holiday with his friend and co-founder, Jan Koum. However, for every outrageous success story, there are at least another 9 that fail and disappear. Surprisingly, fewer than half of those companies failed because there was no market need for their product. Most fail for other reasons, such as having the wrong team, or poor management. To avoid a similar fate, here are a few things you can do to give yourself the best chance of success.
29% of failed startups indicate running out of cash as a major factor in their demise. For example, while it is tempting to splurge on fancy new digs to feel like you’re working for Google, there are plenty more economical options that can save you thousands. Utilising virtual offices is a prime illustration. Imagine how impressive it would be to enjoy a corporate presence in the heart of the Sydney CBD, while also having an address in New York and London? Smart businesses can maintain an impressive global presence on a shoestring and pump the money that they save back into product development and marketing.
Surrounding yourself with the right people is an absolutely critical part of any startup’s success. While it is attempting to bring in friends and family to create the kind of culture and atmosphere that you want, there can be no substitute for talent, vision and drive. Steve jobs was notoriously difficult to work for and with but who is going to question his genius and role in making Apple the juggernaut that it is?
We’re not talking about the catwalk or toy planes here. So many ventures start out with amazing ideas that they could not bring to fruition because the just didn’t get the business model right. Every Mark Zuckerberg needs his Eduardo Saverin – the guy who shares the passion and vision but knows how to make it happen on the practical and financial side. Make sure to include someone who can chart your course and create the structure while the creative people do what they do best.
This Little Piggy Went To Market
It should really go without saying that there is absolutely no point in having a killer idea and developing it into a sensational product if nobody knows about it. Unfortunately, too many organisations fail this critical task and end up on the scrap heap. Business is all about communicating value in a way that gets people to buy into your vision. If you can’t make yourself heard, you will never have the opportunity to convince others that they should be joining you for the ride.
Work the Network
Networking can be a pain and sometimes seem like a waste of time, but you just never know how close you are to connecting with that one person who will make the difference between success and failure. Maybe it’s a potential investor, collaborator, new team member or just someone who can introduce you to someone that knows a guy that can solve your problem. Whatever the case, meet with as many people as you possible, share your dream and see what they say. All it takes is 15 minutes and a cappuccino.
The business world can make or break you, but if you follow these simple tips, you will certainly have a better chance of making it to the big time.