5 Most Fundamental Elements Every Startup Needs to Succeed
Successful startups are like Rome. They aren’t built in a day. But Rome stands tall even today after centuries, holding through the tides of time.
A successful and sustainable startup isn’t a joyride and it doesn’t come without its fair share of struggles, and adventures. The recipe for a successful startup has some really important and paramount ingredients that can either make or break the path to success for any startup.
Taking into consideration the strategies, strengths and weaknesses of the startups that have reached the zenith of success, there is a common DNA that has been observed which pretty much sums up some basic elements every startup needs to. Here are some of those key elements:
1. The Idea
You are what your idea is. Every startup is essentially always recognized by the idea, product or brand they represent. It is the distinguishing factor that will eventually be the key for the success of your startup. A great team, a strong business plan and even substantial funding will all fall flat is the idea is not unique, sellable and scalable.
Therefore it is very important that the idea (or product) that your startup represents, is thoroughly researched, refined and perfected before delving into the other aspects of your startup.
2. The Team
All successful startups resonate a single truth – ‘Always invest in people’. Most startups feel that shelling out big bucks or equity for experienced and seasoned industry veterans at an early stage isn’t right. However, it is imperative to compensate your weaknesses by hiring experienced professionals. This always gives an added edge to the startup. And yes, contrary to popular belief, this is possible. You could always count on ESOPs to make up for the relatively lower pay scale, since they are a huge draw, especially for senior positions.
You could also engage experienced professionals in the form of freelancers or part-timers, since they can add equal value at lesser cost that full time employees. Also, it’s for the team to execute the plans and bring your vision alive, so you need to get people who are as passionate as you, the entrepreneur, to keep the momentum going.
Also, startup employees must have complimentary skills where each can leverage the others’ strengths and weaknesses in a synergistic way.
3. Product Testing & Market Analysis
You may have a great product and an amazing team in place, but what if the market you are tapping into is not ready for such a product or service? This is a very important question that must be answered and dealt with through thorough research and analysis of the target audience and market.
The product must go through multiple rounds of testing, changes, refinement and eventual release. The market must be gauged well through a detailed analysis and the market penetration must be strategized based on this analysis.
Again, you may have the best idea and the best team, but a business is all about numbers and it is the money that speaks. So you need to quickly find a monetization strategy to convert your idea into a viable business. Only then will other stakeholders in the ecosystem sit up and take notice of you.
Another aspect when it comes to monetization and investment is meticulous planning regarding the working capital and projection of the revenues. A fine balance must be struck in order to arrive at a point where the company is sustainable in the shortest possible timeframe.
So there is no path set in stone that every startup must follow to reach the zenith of success. But there are some elements that should most definitely be incorporated and adapted to ensure that the startup is on the right path. Success and failure might be two sides of the same coin, but as an entrepreneur you can’t afford to lose the toss!
About the Author: This article has been contributed by Ashish Jhalani, Founder of eTailing India & Indian School of eBusiness (ISeB). He is also a Angel Investor, Mentor, Advisor
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