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Turning Start-ups into Success Stories

You have the perfect business idea. You can’t believe no one has thought of it before! Or, if someone has, he or she doesn’t have your vision, skills or passion. You are convinced this new business is the key to your successful future. Now what?

Start-ups are literally a journey into the unknown and you as an entrepreneur need to be comfortable with taking on ambiguity, uncertainty and multiple challenges. It takes more than a good idea to succeed. It takes drive, determination and tenacity. Unfortunately, on average, 9 out of 10 start-ups will go out of business. The odds are stacked against you, and it’s one tough lesson after another to be learned.

However, impossible is nothing. All it takes is keeping some important things in mind and you too, can join the league with thousands of start-ups which became success stories.

Do You Have a Vision?
Every founder of a start-ups needs a well-defined vision which will help him reach the finish line.

It will be a major force in his success and act as a compass in testing times. Envisioning the future is the first step any new start-up needs to take. 

Believe
This is the second step. You know your vision better than anyone else, and if you lose sight of it, the world will too. There could be many people who may advice you to do something else, but if you believe in your product and believe in yourself, give it your all, it will eventually payoff.

Need for Speed
Getting things done quickly is one of the reasons start-ups are able to reach their goals. It makes a difference if you launch on time or can deliver faster than your competitor. After all, the most productive people are those who make the most of their time.

No Experience? No Problem, but Have a Plan
Before you put down your investment, sit down and determine how much money you need (and for what), your goals (short-term and long-term), your marketing plan and all those pesky details. Developing a formal business plan will help you answer questions you may not even have thought of yet. It is also required to approach potential investors.        
                           
Market Research
Understanding your customer’s needs and desires and analysing prevalent business trends is important before the launch of any new business. A thorough understanding of the target market would fuel innovative breakthroughs.

Be Competitive
Even if you think your product is unique, you need to conduct a competitive analysis including product, price, promotion, advertising, distribution, quality and service.

Whatever the difference, between you and your competitor, be it quality or service, capitalize on it.

Produce Something of Use
Build the best product you can and make sure it has long-term value. But, also keep in mind that if you get into business solely to make money, you won’t. If you try to make a real difference, you’ll find true success.

Hire the Right People
If you get the input right, the output is far easier to manage. 
 
Build a Brand
Word of mouth is a great way to grow a business. Get your name out to build a brand. Ask satisfied customers for referrals. Go to industry events, SOCIALIZE and keep your card ready.

Budget Matters
Efficient management of finances is of paramount importance to a start-up. You should be able to operate lean and avoid unnecessary expenditures. This can be done by identifying what your start-up really needs to scale-up, is it infrastructure, technology, engineering, and invest in that only. You will have to learn the skill of doing more with less.

Feedback is the Breakfast of Champions
Take as much feedback as possible, from as many people as you can. Critical feedback and its further incorporation will bring forth more opportunities.  Remember though, that you don’t have to follow their suggestions if you don’t agree. With the more information you have however, you will be in a better position to make decisions for your business.

The difference between a start-up and a hugely successful business is usually a few years (or more), tons of hard work, a pinch of luck, vision and timing. The vast majority of companies were once a start-up. Entrepreneurship is a marathon you run at sprint pace. There will be difficulties, you just have to persist and keep moving forward.

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