Top 10 list for making your startup succeed!!!

January 3, 2012 by
Filed under: Startup 


#1 – Passion

You need to have passion for the industry and business you are working in.  To really succeed in business you can get lucky, but if you are not passionate your customers, and potential business partners will know immediately.  Passion also makes the dedication a lot easier.


#2 – Dedication

Creating and running a business needs to be a serious venture with a different mindset from most other endeavors.  Think about it, as a customer if you are buying services or product from a company, the dedication of the people at that company really changes the relationship, dedicate provides a basis for trust and a respectful relationship. 

To show evidence of dedication can be expressed by being involved in all aspects of the business but also being authentic and an insider in the industry.  Knowledge of the industry, the major players and the motivations of all parties involved help show the dedication along with passion you have for the market you at in.


#3 – Solve a problem worth solving

There is nothing worse that a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist or is trivial, in the method you solve the problem you can sometime make a seemingly trivial problem go away, but this requires education about pain points and also more maturity with your clients and industry.  This ties in to the above two notes in that you really know the market, and industry to solve a problem, or perhaps you are providing a solution to a problem that is not well known, this is a challenge to success especially if the problem is not that painful.  I would also make a correlation to this that it can also be providing pleasure versus removing direct pain.


#4 – Profitability / Monetization

Money and profitability is the cornerstone of any business and you need a plan to be profitable, if that is the goal of your business. In the case of a non-profit do-good foundation you still need money, your paying customers are different.  you should not start a project without knowing where the money will come from, it will save you time.  This ties into # 3 above, in that the pain has to be enough to pay for relief, or the value added needs to be worth the money. 


#5 – Customer Focused

Caring about your customers, this is paramount to success just as a money-back guarantee lets you stand behind you product.  With tools nowadays you can easily keep track of correspondence, use forums, and surveys, newsletters and personalized messaging to really make the customer feel important.  I would balance this to not spoil the customer but respect them!


#6 – Attention to detail

Passion and  Dedication really shine when you are paying attention to all the details, like keeping you website working with all different browsers, having a great out of box experience or specializing the fonts and layout of your emails, all customer interactions.  Having an easy cancelation process, streamlining and minimizing clicks.  User-Experience and Human-Computer-Interaction design along with Info-graphics and smart visualization that doesn’t waste space or peoples time!  This is the death by a thousand paper-cuts.


#7 – Specialize

Find your customers and know them!!!  Create personas to have them relate to you development team, engage customers with usability studies and also specialize and discriminate to find the people you want to help and how to want to help them, with specialized products in the modern market you can learn and solve problems that people really need to have solved!  Specialize and move on, expand and grow, but to start  you need to know your customers!!


#8 – Market / potential

This ties in with monetization, you have to sell your product to someone and they have to have money to buy it!! Would you sell ice-cubes to eskimos?  To have a real winning idea do the research and find the market that has the money.  Google trends has great resources for the research and best of all it is free.  There is also google correlation to find correlated search terms for your market!


#9 – Growth Strategy

Once you get going and you have a healthy product making money now what is your growth strategy, thinking about this in the beginning is a great way to plan for the future.  If your building an eco-system it can be as easy as leveraging partnerships,  Advertising, Market research, sales teams, there are lots of options some newer than others, and with the landscape constantly changing you need to keep on top of it or your business will erode.  It is best to make these decisions based on some factual data and not on any emotional basis and don’t keep trying the same old things, but learn and model your own process as it will need to change to succeed. 


#10 – Keep it simple.

With all these tips, you really should focus on keeping things as simple as they can get and no simpler!  If anything is really complex, or hard to explain chances are your best bet is to move on to something else.  Almost all successful ventures solve a real problem and can explain it in a simple way, if you cannot condense it down to the core ideas and get your point across it probably isn’t a good idea to build a business around.


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