How to launch a Successful Startup

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How to launch a Successful Startup

  1. 1. How to Launch a Successful StartupWhat makes a new businesssucceed? Success needs morethan just your best efforts, but otherelements to blend in together andwork in your favor. Here are 12factors that are important increating and building a successfulstart up business:You start a business with the hopeof seeing it succeed. You put a lotof passion, time, money andresources to the business --whether your goal is for yourbusiness to become the nextbuzzword or to just earn enough tosupport your family.Sometimes your new businesssucceeds, and sometimes it failsdespite all your hard work andefforts.1. Have a long-term vision: Develop a clear short and long term vision foryour business. Your vision will give you purpose and help you keepfocused on what you want the business to achieve. Without vision, yourbusiness cannot prosper and grow because you are reduced to keepingthings the way they have always been.The power of your vision and your devotion to it work to inspire others--who, sensing purpose and commitment, respond. Your vision will help yourclients understand what you and your business stand for, and keep youremployees and investors (if any) focused on your goals. Then set yourstrategies and your goals, clearly specifying a definitive time plan forachieving it.
  2. 2. 2. Hire the best people – and manage them well. For a soloentrepreneur, you are your own business. Run your business with aplomb,but do not forget to take care of yourself as well. Nourish your personalself, spend time with family and friends, and congratulate yourself for all thelittle milestones you achieve as you start your business.Even as a solo entrepreneur, you may need some outside assistance – e.g.virtual assistant to help with day-to-day tasks, accountants for bookkeepingand tax preparation, or even a web developer. When choosing outsidecontractors, always go for quality and not necessarily the price. You shouldonly focus on the best for your business, even though that might not be thecheapest.But as your business grow, you will be faced with the enormous task ofhiring and managing other people. The quality of your team will spell ahuge difference in the success – or failure – of your business. In fact, manysuccessful entrepreneurs consider the quality of people as key to success.Find people who share your passion and vision for what you want toaccomplish with the business. Look for people who are ready to fullycommit themselves to your business.Then work hard to keep your good people. Make them feel that theircontributions to your business are important. Invest in your people, andthey will appreciate working for your company.3. Keep your focus. In todays tough and highly competitive environment,focus is a key ingredient to the success of your business. It is important toidentify and concentrate on making the unique aspects of your business assuperb as possible.Be clear what your business stands for, and stick to it. You dont have tograb all opportunities that come your way or try to do too much too quickly.Keep your eyes on the prize and spend your resources, time and energy infocusing on the attainment of your goals -- running and developing asuccessful, profitable and viable business. Every day, your focus should beon how to further enhance your business.4. Innovate; don’t duplicate. Even in the midst of success stories (thinksuccessful Web 2.0 startups), it is important to “do your thing.” Thinkdifferently and resist the urge to be a clone. Sometimes when you hear a
  3. 3. success story, the instinct is to copy them outright and hope that you’llenjoy the same success as they are having.Your business is unique, and the factors that worked for others may not bepresent in your situation. Instead of copying others, differentiate yourselfthrough your concept or presentation. You may be offering the sameproducts, but clearly define your unique selling proposition to help userssee your business apart from your competitors. This is how Joost, the p2pon demand video player that offers professional programming,differentiates itself from YouTube. PlentyofFish.com and Match.com areboth dating sites, but their business models are vastly different with theformer free and the latter a paid service.5. Keep realistic expectations. Starting a business is not easy. Youveheard the statistics that 80 percent of all small businesses fail within fiveyears – yet you think that yours is going to be different. Good for you tohave that kind of optimism! But dont forget for a minute that making moneyis hard, period. For some, it even takes up to a month, or worse, even sixmonths before they even get a sale!If youre making a business plan, think and re-think the assumptions thatyou are using. Are you really going to have that much sales in the firstyear? Are your marketing strategies and manpower resources aligned tosupport your sales number? Are you clear about the risks and stumblingblocks your business may face? Revenues are not going to come instantly,and customers are not going to be banging on your door immediately.Despite your best hopes, the reality may be different, and youll fare muchbetter to know it - and keep it in front of you - beforehand.6. Have a clear understanding of the market and your competition.Businesses do not operate out of a vacuum, and it is important to learn asmuch as you can about the industry, the market and the players. Marketclimate, user trends, technology innovation, even the economy, can allaffect how your company does and who it attracts You need to recognizecompetitive threats and opportunities; in order to give you time to preparecontingencies for either.By understanding the market, you will be forced to maintain a market-focus.It is important to know how you fit in and what your competitive advantage
  4. 4. and core competencies are. Ask yourself what unique services/products doyou bring to the table that is not easily replicable.7. Run your business lean. Keep your expenses and spending as lean asyou can for as long as you can. It is important that you don’t spend whatyou don’t have! You don’t need a fancy office at the start of your business,or an office space in the high-rise tower in downtown. If you can hold offhiring that additional programmer or administrative assistant, then saveyour resources instead.Avoid the mistake of spending what you think will come in – remember,payment can be delayed, or worse, the money may not even come in at all.You’ll be stuck with all the bills but without the money to pay for them, andthat could spell the end of your business. Spend only what is absolutelynecessary and forego things that are not critical to your current operations.8. Get the right partners. Bringing in a third party into the business –whether as a business partner or investor – is one of the most importantbusiness decisions you will make. Like marriage, if you choose the wrongone, your business can be in a lot of trouble and it will be a pain to workwith them.With a business partner, determine first the compatibility of your mindsetsand entrepreneurial styles. It is important that you share the same visionwith a potential partner. Find one that complements your knowledge andexpertise, even one who may be smarter than you. Before you jump in andtake the partner into the business, get to know each other; you don’t want asituation where you can’t stand working with the other person just a monthinto the partnership.Most important of all, never ever start the partnership without any signedagreements at all. Have a clear partnership agreement, including a buy-sellagreement in the event you or the partner wants out of the business. Eventhe closest of relationships and friendships end badly when businesspartnerships turn sour.9. Develop a culture of success in your organization. Business successand your work culture are linked tightly together. The way you do things inyour business must be conducive to success – and this requires a strongleadership and focus.
  5. 5. The culture of a business is set through the owner’s leadership – what isacceptable and not acceptable to you as well as the basis with which youreward employees. The process by which you, and your employees (if any)do things should be geared towards the attainment of business short andlong-term goals. Everyone in your business must be on the same page,whether the task at hand is accounting to selling to developing a brandstrategy.10. Conduct regular business and market review. It is important that youtake time to regularly review, revisit and revise your business strategy.Look at changes in the overall economic situation, analyze your industryand determine how and where your business stands.Your business does not operate in a vacuum, and it is essential that youtake time to analyze where opportunities for your business lie. If theassumptions and strategies with which you started the business are nolonger applicable, then be flexible enough to modify them and evenpossibly change your business model.11. Learn, and keep on learning. Your willingness to learn can play ahuge role in your success as an entrepreneur. Whether you think you havethe smarts to become a successful entrepreneur, or you have no idea howto become one, continuously educating yourself is important. Keep yourselfinformed and read -- a lot. Read about stories of other successfulentrepreneurs, how to improve yourself and your productivity, and readabout what is happening in your industry. Always make time to read books,top blogs, and business and trade publications.Learning gives you the confidence and inspiration to do things and pursueyour vision. It also gives you intelligence into the market, whats happeningnow, what might happen next. It can also play a really important role inconnecting you with other people you need to know in business.Learning can also take the form of talking to fellow entrepreneurs, andasking for their advice or mentorship support and assistance.12. Prepare for changes. Be ready to make the shift. When you start thebusiness, the key driver to the success of your startup is yourentrepreneurial fortitude. It is your vision, drive and passion that will spurthe business.
  6. 6. However, as your business grows, the needs of your business changesand you will require help in developing and executing your vision. Hence,your managerial skills become critical.Examine your new role when you start growing your business: you may bea great founder, but a poor manager. You need to know how to managepeople in conflict, as differences are very likely to come up in anyorganization. Learn how to shift your role in the business.Take time to learn and understand how to manage employees. And if youthink you are better off doing other things for the business other thanmanaging the staff, hire a professional manager for your business andfocus on what you think you do best.At the end of the day, your goal is to create the best business you canpossibly be, and do the best that you can – and enjoying the process alongthe way.Visit: http://www.dreamscometruesite.com

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