Do want a Startup Strategy for Success?You must have read that any startup has a survival rate of only 10% in the first year. Further at the end of 4 years only one/ two only survive.Does this scare you to take the first step on the entrepreneurial ladder.What can you do to be one among the ten in the first year? You can identify the risks , initiate actions and can only minimize the chances of failure.
The best of strategies can be swept away by market tsunami or factors absolutely beyond your control
Lean startup principles could be one of the strategies.
Any startup business is based on an idea either a new one or existing ideas with differentiation.The real world requires you to test your idea with actual customers.Testing is equally applicable to both product/service ideas.
This will help in avoiding financial risks as cash is always in short supply at the startup stage.
Prototype to test it with customers is essential. Prototype can be made with as low investment as possible.. Do not test the idea with friends and relatives. Testing will help in either pursuing the idea with or without modifications or the idea can be abandoned with minimum financial loss
A homemaker wanted to launch hand wash and liquid utensil cleaner. She made a small investment and tested with customers. the product quality was acceptable. However she was surprised that her cost of production( Variable cost only!!) made her incur cash loss. she is re-looking at her formulation and also for alternative sources of raw material.
Service always depends on human resources and the success lies in the quality/ skill sets.The customer requirements may vary widely.
Two students in their pre-final year wanted to start an event management company.This idea requires investment and they were not in a position to invest. However they hit upon of idea of supplying manpower to B2B events Who else but their classmates and friends. They earned INR 80K in their firs first month of operation with reasonable margin.. They said that this gave them required experience on how events are managed. this has given them the courage to conduct an event
The New Business Road Test: What entrepreneurs and investors should do before launching a lean start-up- John Mullins
ROAD TEST YOUR IDEA BEFORE YOU LAUNCH YOUR LEAN START-UP
Thinking about starting a new business? Stop! Is there a genuine market for your idea? Do you really want to compete in that industry? Are you the right person to pursue it? No matter how talented you are or how much capital you have, if you’re pursuing a fundamentally flawed opportunity then you’re heading for failure. So before you launch your lean start-up, take your idea for a test drive and make sure it has a fighting chance of working.
This book will help you answer the live-or-die questions:
· Are the market and industry attractive?
· Does the opportunity offer both customer benefits as well as competitive and economic sustainability?
· Can you deliver the results you seek?
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Team behind startup is huge factor. Solopreneuurs have to depend on support from employees for a few skills.A startup team should have members who have complimentary skills..There should be well defined role clarity. Managing customers, sales and cash is where maximum time should be spent at the initial stages of startup. Marketing cannot be outsourced.
A mentor could play a significant role especially if you are a solopreneur as a startup is really stressful and one need a shoulder to cry.
Cash is the king for startups. Look at ways and means of burning less cash. Do not invest in assets if you can lease them. Non core activities like accounting can be outsourced..
Monitoring cash on daily basis is important. If possible avoid credit sales.
Every startup will face challenges. "Ups and downs in life are very important to keep us going, because a straight line even in an ECG means we are not alive" - Ratan Tata (Industrialist - India).
The important thing is being persistent and holding the turf. Trying not to fall in the troughs
How to improve the chances of success in the highly slippery world of startup landscape? Testing the idea before commercial launch, backed by right team with complementary skills and effective cash management are a few critical elements.This may at least give a chance for survival.