By Shahid Mansuri
Startups take a lot of effort and a lot of sleepless nights but when they become successful, the founders become a precedent.They get referred as visionaries who could foresee a future; something most people could not imagine or feared trying. Startup founders are fearless and adventurous people who risk a lot of personal and professional things to achieve a dream. They have to be passionate, focused and determined to succeed.
A lot of effort is required mostly when a startup is growing but the most difficult time is when the survival of the startup is at stake. Some startups get killed before even they can launch, some before they become big leaving very few who make it big. To survive the competition, the cash crunch due to funding delays or any other issue plaguing its survival, the startup needs a survival plan. Read on to read 5 golden rules of startup survival.
1. Launch fast
Once a startup idea is conceived, they should have a deadline for launch and stick to it. There is no point of having a startup in stealth mode for so long that someone else copies the idea and gets to the market 1st. Also, the moment the news of the startup product/service being used by the few users in alpha/beta stage gets out and gets glorious reviews or coverage in tech blogs and magazines, the curiosity level in the minds of the people gets to a very high level.
If the startups don’t cash in to this mass hysteria about their product/service, people might not be excited about their product later on and the void may be filled in by something else. Startups can be useless even before their launch if people don’t find them useful when they launch. Also, if you’re a non-technical entrepreneur, you should focus on certain things before launching your startup.
2. Pivot, when/if needed
Eric Ries’ definition explains this phenomenon the best, in only one sentence: “A pivot is a structured course correction designed to test a new fundamental hypothesis about the product, strategy and engine of growth.” There are a lot of successful startups which started off as a completely different service and pivoted to something else later on. Pivots should not be as a sign of failure. Instead it should be regarded as corrective action before it gets too late to steer off the path which would lead to the startup being dead.
3. Spend Little and Wisely
As a startup is mostly dependent on funding from external sources, one of the biggest reasons of failure is the money drying up. The startups are not always in a place to raise money and as such they have to be very cautious with the money they have and use it judiciously. The investor’s money is the money startups don’t have and unless they are profitable spending without being reasonable can lead to an untimely death for it.
4. Avoid Distractions
There is a lot of distractions for startup founders.. From magazine interviews to coverage in tech blogs to more, everything that comes in the way of development of their core product is a distraction. Of course, startups need to handle media relations and it is an art but too much distractions may prove lethal if they are not handled properly.
5. Offer Great Customer Service
At the beginning when the startup has less customers, it’s possible to pay personal attention. Since these guys showed interest in your product, they are almost like investors, except they invest their time. If these initial batch of users are happy they will become product evangelist and strong supporters of the company.
These are just 5 simple startup survival rules but there can be many more which a startup might need depending on the circumstances. Most startups would avoid the troubles if they follow these simple tricks and would make their journeys easier. Do you have any experiences or stories related to startup survivals? We would love to hear them in comments.
Shahid Mansuri co-founded Peerbits, one of the leading mobile app development companies, in 2011. His visionary leadership and flamboyant management style has yield fruitful results for the company. He believes in sharing his strong knowledge base with leaned concentration on entrepreneurship and business. Being an avid nature lover, he likes to flaunt his pajamas on beach during the vacations. Follow Peerbits on Twitter & Facebook