“There are lessons to be learned from the success stories but life lessons from failed attempts.”
“Start up” is the buzzword in the entrepreneurial world. Every college graduate or drop out wants to be an entrepreneur and is moving around with a master idea to revolutionize the business world. Some are indeed radical and some not so radical. But at times even the radical ideas fail to make a mark. Why even the most promising ideas fail in the entrepreneurial journey?
For the startup’s success, thinking that the startup’s product or service is unique and has no competitors is the biggest mistake. Once an idea gets market validation, new entrants show up. An eye should be on the competition though obsessing over it would be of no use, but having the sufficient knowledge of competition would be fruitful in long-term.
Team work is the key to success but what if the team on which the founder is dependent does not listen to the founder itself? Egotism is the element to be circumvented by all means. What is needed is not the best person to do the job, but the person who is competent to do it. So, do not rush and end up in promiscuous hire.
Gone are the days when startups face difficulty in getting investments. Venture capital is easily available, investors are interested and ready to invest copious amounts in the startups but in turn they want returns for the money invested. To attract investors, one needs to pitch a robust structure of one’s business plan, aiming at high inflow of cash, expansion of business and regulatory compliance, etc. But contrary to this, a poor business plan would lead to rejection of one’s pitch by the investors.
Investors look for a lean startup business model. But the hindrance is the constant struggle of entrepreneur’s not-knowing when to tighten the strings of the purse or when to let it loose. This results in exhaustion of funds before the time comes to make the good use of the resources.
Pivoting away from a bad product or bad decision is difficult for a startup. Certainly tunnel vision helped in getting so far but with the change in scenario, change in outlook is requisite. Not everyone ends up lucky and nails a pivot like Instagram, Groupon or Pinterest.
Pivot should be tactically planned and should not be done just for the sake of pivoting. With pivot comes change in business model leading to further change in not just the product but also customer segment, channel, revenue model, resources, activities, costs, partners, customer acquisition and lots of other things.
The startups certainly draw the attention of the masses towards their product but fail to retain the attention so drawn. Done by none is the prime example. It had 350601 fans on its facebook page but due to failure in handling the demand and delivery, the startup got stuck in a rut and lost its sheen in the market. Consistency is the key. Acquiring Customers is not enough but keeping them for life term is what matters. It is indeed the reality that “customer is king.’’
While already established company can thrive on their brand reputation and the past profits even if there is some fault in their products, but the same is not the case with startups as they need to pay their undivided attention on the customer satisfaction to create a niche marketing platform for themselves. So, not just seeking customer feedback, but also analyzing and working in the grey areas of the business would make a difference in the market.
The focus on the product should not result in a complete deviation from fulfilling the needs of the market. Often, aiming at the wrong segment of the market which lacks interest as well as affordability of the product, leads to doom of the startups.
Sometimes the timing of the product is off. The product is not good enough if it is launched way ahead of its time or if the launch is too late even then it’s of no use to the consumers.
Furthermore, there is constant tussle between the “wants” and the “needs”. The product must qualify the “want – need test” to make a startup move forward against all odds.