Startups, especially innovative digital startups, depend on explosive growth. If a startup does not grow rapidly enough in the first few months of its existence, it may become almost impossible to pick up the slack later on. According to statistics, about 90 percent of startups fail, with those related to IT having the highest rate of failure of all industries. It would not be much of an exaggeration to say that success or failure of your startup depends on what and how you do in the first few months (half a year at most) after its foundation. So what can you do to improve your chances? In this article, we will cover some possible approaches.
1) Hire remote workers
If you do not have all the necessary competencies to develop your product, do not strive to find the experts next door. This is especially true for digital startups – a full-time programmer or developer in the United States may cost you a few times as much as hiring a specialist with the same skills part-time from Asia or former USSR. It may create certain difficulties in communication, but the savings more than make up for it.
2) Focus on the product, not money
This idea may sound counter-intuitive, but you do not have to focus on how your product/service is going to bring income. Instead, concentrate on perfecting it and making it meet all the needs of potential clients and users. A top-notch product will always find a way to make money while trying to make it profitable right away can turn potential users away.
3) Develop an MVP
MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is an early, unpolished version of a digital product that has just enough features to demonstrate its capabilities, satisfy early adopters (who realize that it is not always going to stay this way) and test the market.
Creating an MVP before fully investing in a product or service is an essential part of startup management. All too often startup founders are too enamored by the idea of their new app or software product to see it through the eyes of potential customers. They do not think clearly enough and do not ask themselves whether somebody really needs it. Meanwhile, the average cost of creating an app ranges from $15,000 to $50,000, depending on your niche and the complexity of your product. This is a lot of money for an idea of a business that does not yet bring in money. An MVP allows you to test if there is a market for what you offer and get feedback that will help you perfect your product while spending as little money as possible.
4) Establish industry authority
If you want to be taken seriously immediately after launch, do not wait to start building up your reputation until after your product goes live. Prepare the ground by establishing a noticeable presence in the industry you deal with. Guest posting service www.luckyposting.com suggests that starting a business blog is a reasonable first step – after you spend a little time blogging on the topics related to your niche, you may start establishing contacts with other resources on the topic and offer them guest posts. By the time you launch your product, you should have a reasonable amount of high-value content about your niche scattered across a variety of high-authority websites. Your name should become associated with your industry.
5) Establish outstanding customer service
The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 to 70 percent vs. 5 to 20 percent probability of selling to a new customer. This means that you should do everything in your power to wow your clients, retain them and motivate them to come back. In other words, the early establishment of the customer base is the key to startup success. The most effective way so is outstanding, jaw-dropping quality and efficiency of your customer service. Dealing with your business should be an experience your clients will not soon forget (in a good sense). If you manage to solve their problems in a spectacular fashion, they will come back and send more business your way.
Of course, there is more to startup success – but following these tips is certain to greatly improve your chances!