According to Harvard’s Shikhar Ghosh, senior lecturer in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit, 75% of startups fail.
The statistics on small business failure may be unnerving, but in contrast there are commonalities amongst those companies that last.
After starting successful sustainable startup businesses and working with other entrepreneurs that have also had success, I have been able to ascertain the elements that a successful startup business employs.
Here are five common traits of successful startups:
1. Maintain your presence
In the real world, the rabbit beats the turtle. Be the first to establish yourself as the business to watch when launching a new idea or product. Get in the local (or national) paper, pitch your company to industry-related media outlets, get blogger buy-in and ask them to write about you.
In essence, get all the press appearances that you can handle. If you create a large enough footprint, it may intimidate your competition from throwing their hat in the ring.
2. Hire the right people
If code is your backbone, don’t hire coders that are in another country. If you are selling a product, don’t hire sales people who are inexperienced just because they will work on commission only.
If you have done your homework and tested the market properly be confident enough in your business to hire the right people and build the best product that you can, the first time.
3. Know your customer
Often the most adaptable element of a startup, develop a good idea of what the ideal product is to your ideal customer and build that product aimed at the most knowledgeable customer you’ve met.
Give away your service or product while testing and get active feedback. This will give you the path to correctly marketing your product to your target demographic and answer any questions they may have the first time they think of purchasing.
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