Most start-ups have a very short life span. Barely half of them make it through more than five years. While only a third cross ten. The stats are not encouraging; however, if you are a start-up, you would be wondering what you should do in order to become not only sustainable but also highly profitable.
The answer is simple. You need to focus on a few strategies that will not only ensure you are sustainably in the long run but also its profitability. After all, you are in the business to make money.
A great business strategy involves much more than a long-term success plan. It requires you to create a blueprint for your business. How will you conduct your day-to-day operations? What would you do to keep ahead of your competitors? And How your overall marketing plan would be conceived, developed and executed for maximum ROI. Netsuite provides you with the tools to survive and thrive in the business world.
In the article below, we will discuss a few strategies that start-ups should focus on.
- Identify and Sell Your Unique Point
Do you know what sets Walmart apart from the rest of retailers?
If you ask why people are crazy about Versace, you will see that it’s the name of the brand that attracts them.
Every great business has a unique selling point.
In order to become a thriving and successful business, in the long run, you need to identify what is its unique selling point, or in other words, what sets it apart from the rest of its peers.
You must figure out why people come to you for a particular product or service?
If you are able to find out the answers to the above questions, you will be able to tell the same to other prospective clients so that they are able to gain the same value by working with you.
If you are able to provide your customers with a distinct benefit that no one else can, highlight that point, focus on your plus points rather than trying to sell your customers everything.
If your focus is constant, there is every chance that you will be able to build on your existing strengths for long-term sustainably.
- Know Your Customers
You started a business because you thought you could definitely solve a problem faced by a certain group of people.
Do you know who these people are?
In order to run a successful business, you need to have a clear idea regarding your niche market – all the people who want your product/service.
For example, you are the manufacturer of acrylic paints. It would mean that your customers are simply artists or art students. No one else would want to buy acrylic paints from you.
So you need to know these people – the artists and art students. You must know what kind of paints they like. What is their purpose in buying these paints? Can they get the same product from somewhere else? How much are they willing to pay for a heavy-duty product?
Once you know everything about this group of customers who are willing to buy acrylic paints, you will be able to provide them with a better quality product for a price that is affordable to them.
You should focus on the strategy of singling out your customers, get as much knowledge about them as you can, and then upgrade your product to suit their demands.
- Identify your Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
A start-up usually begins from scratch, and bring about improvements with the passage of time.
These improvements and their effects on the business must be measurable. You must be able to gauge properly how much progress you are making.
If you are not able to measure the effects of your efforts, you will never know whether you are going in the right direction or simply beating about the bush.
The strategy is to define your key performance indicators, and then keep an eye on these KPIs.
Measuring these KPIs on a regular basis will allow you to understand the areas you should be focused on. These are the same areas that require further investment of your time and efforts.
- Keep Your Enemies Closer
Don Corleone advised his son to keep his friends close and his enemies closer.
The same advice should be followed in business. Only here, your enemies are your competitors.
No matter what business you are in, you must have a few competitors who always seem to be a step ahead of you in every endeavor. Rather than being afraid of all these competitors, you should be looking towards them for inspiration.
Always ask yourself what your competitor is doing right, and how you can do it better.
Since you and your competitor both belong to the same business segment, it will always be helpful if you can gain working knowledge from them.
In fact, you can directly ask for advice from your competitor. He/she will be more than willing to share their knowledge. Always be willing to share your knowledge with them.
- Invest in Your Team.
You cannot meet each and every one of your customers, physically.
This task is carried out by other members of your team. These people who are basically your employees are the ones who meet your clients and represent the business before these people.
This means that you must hire people who share your enthusiasm for the business. These people must be hired in a proper manner, and you must be able to give them hefty remuneration for the services provided by them.
Another thing that you must keep in mind while hiring your team is to look for traits like integrity, honesty and hard work. If your team members have these qualities, you can invest in them in order to groom them for the long haul.
The Final Word.
There are many strategies that a start-up should follow in order to sustain and succeed. Since the business mechanics of each start-up are different from the other, a definite list of strategies cannot be formed that would serve all kinds of start-ups.
For example, what is good for a technology start-up may not be good for one that caters to fine arts. Market conditions and changing customer preferences also play a role.
It is always good to learn from successful start-ups, but following them, blindly would be a mistake.
The best option for forming working strategies for your start-up is to study your peers, find out what they are doing right, and whether the same things will work for you too.
If the answer is in the affirmative, just beat it.