How to be prepared for the unexpected in your startup journey.
As you begin your startup journey, there will be many situations that would be new and some that you are completely unprepared for. You will find multiple articles offering advice for startup founders. You can read more on the “5 Main things to be mindful of when you first launch your startup”.
Whilst you navigate through these new findings, there are a few factors that would be essential to know.
For instance, designing a basic plan that involves timelines, marketing strategies, future employees and startup funding would be the ideal way to begin. As a startup founder, the trajectory of the growth of the company can branch out into multiple directions. However, with the foundation of what is generally required and your ultimate goal mapped out, you may not be as lost in case a curveball is thrown at you.
What does it mean to pivot and why is it critical?
Changing the strategy of your startup solution is the basic concept commonly understood as pivoting. Despite this, it does not necessarily need to be a change that involves the entire company, rather a mere component. To reach the decision of pivoting requires a well-thought-out plan and should not be done in haste.
Pivoting can be put into effect when there is barely any progress in innovation. This could be due to something as significant as a change in the purpose of the startup, or if the founders have alternate perspectives. Other reasons that result in a pivot would be, a revision in marketing to target groups or even a revised business model entirely. Given the unpredictability of the industry, any decision making should include the key factors in order to be successful. That is, understanding the product and the need it fulfils.
Failed first product. Successful second product.
Let’s be honest. Nobody wants to ever fail. This is why it’s imperative to understand that sometimes failure is inevitable in order to succeed. As it gives you an opportunity to assess, and fine-tune the next best solution to prevent a repetition of the previous outcome. After all, experience is the wisest teacher.
To ensure that your second product would not reach the same conclusion as the previous product, should be your ultimate focus. What you can do is, reflect and identify what exactly needs tweaking. Acceptance and receptiveness to critical feedback can work wonders. So, don’t forget to listen to what is being said. Then go ahead and transform that learning into a productive outcome.
Build on concentration and eliminate distractions
As an entrepreneur there’s a tendency to develop the shiny object syndrome. For instance, you will notice similar products and other competitors throughout your journey. This doesn’t mean your plan needs to change to challenge them every step of the way. Which would ultimately lead to a lack of focus and depriving priority actions of the attention it needs. Building consistency and a disciplined work ethic will be the key factors that set you apart and provide the difference your vision requires. No more diluted attention. An effective plan set in motion could make the difference you seek.
Invest what you can but have free cash in case you need to pivot
We’ve all heard that saying,’ all or nothing. Let us not practice that here, because being a startup founder involves risks that are calculated. It is arduous to obtain funds as a startup as it is, with the exception of startup funding providing guidance and relief. So it is only wise to ensure that in case there is a moment of failure you are not left destitute and without any funds.
Don’t hesitate to form a contingency plan. Especially, if things beyond your control occur. Such as a new law being implemented that could impede your production process. In situations such as these, you should have sufficient funds to pivot and ensure that your outcome is met. This could be an alteration in product material, marketing and more. With the free cash, you will have equipped yourself with the advantage of being able to manoeuvre through what could have been an obstacle.
Be the first mover and rule your brand
To introduce your product or service into the market before any other competitor is a manner of securing yourself an enormous cluster of advantages. This is commonly known as the first-mover advantage.
What it entails is a longer learning curve that provides you with the ability to determine consumer behaviour, cost-efficiency of your solution and market share. In addition, brand loyalty and recognition play a significant role in customer loyalty even after competitors have entered the industry. This would enable the diversification of the solution and ensure the sustainability of your brand.
Further, embracing the role of being a pioneer establishes industry standards that would need to be addressed by competitors. Which would ultimately lead to your startup finding itself in a unique position of being in control of resources, due to strong relationships within the professional network.
Being a startup founder entails a certain level of risk that need to be taken. Which reinforces the notion that in order to achieve the outcome you desire, it is always better to have a plan. Baseless decisions would only lead to a disaster waiting to occur. So, the best business startup advice would be to allocate some time to prepare the general plan and possible contingencies.
Study your market, competitors and reflect on your own elements of improvement.
Remember, the only way is up!
To learn more on the best “Tips for building a sustainable business” read our blog post.