The hard truth and bleak truth is that approximately 90% of all start-ups fail, many within only three years of formation. The competitive nature of our current marketplace means that any company that doesn’t rely on constant innovation is likely to fall by the wayside. Luckily, there are steps that you can take in order to maximize your chances of success over the long run. Having a good plan in place and solid principles to rely on can help you defeat the odds and become a start-up that others can hold in high regard. With that in mind, here are five ideas that you should definitely keep in mind when looking to boost your start-up:
Select your target market
Out of all the reasons why start-ups tend to fail, one of the most common relates to their poor fit with the market they’re trying to infiltrate. Simply put, many companies offer products that no one wants. So make sure you focus your energies on identifying the needs of your customers and meeting them in such a way that it will convince people to part with their money. Not all start-ups are built for profit right from the get-go, but any idea will eventually have to be financially sustainable sooner or later.
Choose your marketing priorities
Even if your idea has an inherent value and is set to make a difference in the life of its users, the gap between value and sales can only be bridged through an efficient and comprehensive marketing plan. Devise such a strategy by choosing which marketing options best work for you. From branding to lead generation to A/B testing, marketing can help you increase your contacts as well as your conversion rate. Having a dedicated marketer on the team can help immensely, as the resources invested in a good campaign will be returned tenfold if the strategy pans out.
Set up your online presence
An online presence is a must in this day and age. The first stage in this endeavor lies in creating a top-notch website. People judge websites by their first impressions and will often leave any site that looks choppy or takes too long to load. Fortunately, modern technology has greatly eased the process of building a good-looking, functional website in no time (http://tech.eu/features/3162/eu-tools-design-build-website/). After finalizing your website, the next step involves committing to the main social media hotspots that can make or break any business. This means building up and maintaining a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the like, and using them as a means to forging genuine relationships with your potential customers.
Map out your expenditures
An oft-underrated aspect of running any start-up has everything to do with the company’s bottom line. In their rush to get things going, many young enterprises tend to neglect their expenditures and rack up massive expenses as a result. Everything from water consumption to proper lighting and temperature management should be overseen in order to minimize costs without reducing comfort. What’s more, potential money-saving ideas like using laser printers instead of traditional ones should be implemented from the very beginning so as to maximize benefits down the road. Laser printers use toner cartridges that are famous for their longevity and, in return, this will reduce the cost of printing per copy. A dollar saved is two dollars earned.
Focus on the user experience
Finally, no matter what your company’s product or service may be, always try to remember that your sole reason of existing is to provide other people with something they can use. Many companies start off as the result of personal dreams, which is a great way to drive up passion, but their progress will usually be impeded unless idealism gives way to pragmatism and logic down the line. Be flexible and willing to change according to the marketplace, and don’t be afraid to ask for feedback as early in the development process as possible. Overall, your best course of action is to treasure and respect your customers while also staying true to your company’s ideals.
That concludes our short list of tips that will help boost any given start-up. Try to keep in mind that every company is different, however, and that progress can come in a variety of guises, with luck and fate playing an undeniable role in any success story. Simply maintain a steady pace and do whatever is in your power at every step of the way. The rest will usually take care of itself.