By Andrew Cravenho
You need more than a good product or great idea to get your company off the ground. You need execution. Does your startup have these five success factors?
1. Technical know-how
It should be a given that you have technical know-how regarding your product—but the technical know-how which matters most when you launch your business is the know-how to convert that idea into a marketable product. The road from concept to product can be a bumpy one. Any great idea can rot on the vine if the entrepreneur fails to recognize his or her limitations.
We all have limitations. Three of the most important words in the English language are: “I don’t know.” Recognize your limitations and seek out necessary expertise to meet your own shortcomings. The absence of essential expertise can kill your idea.
2. Rapid deployment
We all know that life is fast, but business is much faster. Keeping pace with business innovation is an uphill battle. It occurs at light speed. To succeed, you must strive to do more than just keep up; you must assume a leadership position.
I get it: You like your idea … your friends and family like your idea … shouldn’t that be enough? Regrettably, no! Your idea needs to appeal to a broad market–a market sufficiently sizable to meet your profit needs and objectives. It is imperative to properly define your target market and confirm that it’s big enough to support the business. If you don’t have a professional level of expertise in marketing yourself, pay for outside help or bring in someone who does. Cutting expenses when it comes to marketing is tantamount to business suicide.
4. Return on investment
Securing funding for your startup can be a demanding process even in the most favorable of circumstances. You and your team must demonstrate to potential investors how the idea will produce a return or you’re dead in the water. Sound execution requires that you have a financial plan that’s well documented and based in fact. Naturally, your plan must demonstrate that your idea will generate a profit. Make sure your funding request is reasonable and parallels your business needs. Use this free online invoice factoring calculator to ascertain the cash value of your accounts receivable.
Your idea must have potential, not only now, but in the future as well. Obviously, for your idea to succeed there must be not just a profitable but also a sustainable market for your product or service. Successful ideas are ideas with growth potential—the potential to evolve into new ideas. Just as the vacuum led to the transistor and the transistor led to the “chip”, an idea with an inherent potential to morph into new products is of limitless value.
The ability to build on a concept through innovation provides you with an undeniable advantage in the market you have carved out and provides you with a unique opportunity to react to changing market conditions. In the best of all worlds, such a concept will allow you to create an “economic moat” insulating your idea from competition.
Andrew Cravenho is the CEO of CBAC LLC, an innovative invoice financing exchange. As a serial entrepreneur, Andrew focuses on helping both small and medium-sized businesses take control of their cash flow. Prior to CBAC, Andrew founded an annuity financing company relieving tort victims of financial hardship.