The statistics for startups are encouraging and disappointing in unequal measures. Over the last ten years, there have been more startups than ever before. Over the same period of time, more startups have faded into oblivion than ever before. There is clearly more startups today and it is easy to ascertain that there are even more failures.
A majority of startups will not survive the first two years, more than half of the remaining will not survive the next three years and only a tiny fraction of all would make profit and be around in ten years time.
Is there a formula for startup success? There is no definitive formula but you can endorse the best practices to increase your chances of succeeding.
1) What You Offer Should Have A Target Audience.
Many startups come up with amazing ideas or some really fascinating products and services but it is unclear whom they would be targeting. A product or service without a well defined target audience is not promising at all. It is said that smart entrepreneurs don’t just develop what they are passionate about or what they think would be good. They think about the need of such a product or service, clearly understand the target audience and then develop the product or service according to the existing and preempted needs.
2) Preparation Is Everything.
What you develop is important but more important than that is how much you know about the business, the industry you are attempting to venture in, what kind of numbers you have come up with and how you intend to market the product or service. Preparation is everything. Unless you have everything at your fingertips, you are looking at perpetual rejection from venture capitalists or angel investors.
3) Ideas Matter, People Matter More.
If you have followed the success stories of Microsoft, Apple and Facebook, Google and Virgin, then you would know that they were all great ideas but the ventures are successful because of the way the entrepreneurs steered them. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page and Richard Branson, these are the kinds of men who make it clear that ideas matter but people matter more. Who leads the startup is as crucial as what the startup is all about.
4) Never Too Late To Learn.
Learning is a never-ending process. Everyone commits mistakes. Startups will have to endure more mistakes than established firms. But those mistakes should instill the lessons and should not be repeated.