It may be ironic that a wave of entrepreneurship noted for its hip, young leaders and bold innovation has become an object of ire in certain circles of business. That may be because certain elements of startup culture are easy targets: the lackadaisical structure and unconventional management style. These hallmarks have been at the base of countless business success stories, but they’ve also been the downfall of less established companies. To replicate the success of the best startups and avoid the potential pitfalls, and avoid reasons as to why startups fail, you must sidestep the expected moves and forge the path that’s right for your business. There are a number of conventions and social media tips that are all but expected of modern startups, and it’s up to you how to navigate those expectations. The field you are in and the nature of your products will determine much of your route, but smaller maneuvers can determine the nature of your relationship with clients and the success of your business.
All Play and No Work
One of the most pervasive stereotypes about startup culture is the idea that those within it relax and play more than they do work. The storied presence of features such as game rooms hasn’t necessarily dispelled that, but you can overcome this association by establishing goals and benchmarks for success. Though a more relaxed management style can have its benefits, there’s no need to fall into this routine if it doesn’t mesh with the objectives of your company. Sometimes a gradual progression to a more relaxed environment, coinciding with the achievement of goals, works, too.
Funding Vs. Customers
Some business insiders have observed a disproportionate emphasis by startups placed on funding start up costs rather than customer growth. Though getting your operation off the ground is important, and requires capital, your customers will be your long-term source of profit. This is why it’s important to consider what avenues of growth you’re putting effort into and prioritize those that will offer sustainable success. Manage your finances carefully, and avoid the fate of companies that waste their funding on lush offices and amenities.
Manage Your Pacing
Another common pattern startups may follow is that of burning out fast. When there’s plenty of energy, funding and ambition, it can be easy to go all-in to the detriment of your goals. Hamptoncreek, a clean eating startup, recently announced the expansion of 43 new products in Walmart and Target stores. This follows the prior development of their brand, which until now, consisted only of egg-free mayo. The gradual progress hasn’t hampered the company’s success one bit, and they remain poised to continue growing. Your company won’t be sustainable if you don’t plan your pacing and progress in advance.
Turn Buzz Into Production
The opposite of burning out fast might be the potential for withering away. The world has seen many startups arrive on the scene, hire a top CEO, establish their brand, and build enormous buzz only to be forgotten a little while later. If you fail to deliver on your promises, your market won’t wait. You cannot survive on buzz alone, so you must offer the innovation you’re riding on sooner rather than later. Produce the products you’re offering, and keep tabs on your team to ensure nobody is burning out. This builds a solid and sustainable foundation to work off of.
Establish an Honest Brand
Of all the trends and changes startups have brought to business, perhaps the greatest is the pattern of promoting honesty. Close interactions with customers and the encouragement of transparency have transformed entrepreneurship and become viable strategies for establishing and growing a business. Honesty is what customers want from companies most, and you can follow in the footsteps of startups who have acted accordingly. Hamptoncreek built its food business brand by offering clean food, a straightforward social media branding efforts and simple ingredients that customers responded to overwhelmingly. No matter how you run your business, this principle is key in connecting with your market. Your company is dependent on support and faith from potential customers, and there’s no better way to gain this than to create a dialog with them, free from pretense and misrepresentation. There are a number of signature startup features that may or may not have a place in your business. Rather than subscribing to any specific formula, you can play by the blueprints left by successful and not-so-successful companies before you. Your goals are unique, and as such, they are not bound to any conventions, no matter how obligatory they may seem.
Image from http://gvalaunch.guru/en/news/529