Startup

Posted 02 May 2020, Editor's Desk

A Survival Guide for Early-Stage Startups



Early Learning Advantage: A Survival Guide for all Startups


Starting a business and growing it through the early stage is a difficult task and the only thing that comes in handy at that time is a startup survival guide. 9/10 startups fail in the first 3 years of their operation depicting a poor startup survival rate. So how exactly can you survive in the early stages of starting up? Determination, planning, and a little bit of luck can go a long way in marking your success. Here is a startup survival guide for many of our new entrepreneurs.



1. Get the right Founding team


  • Your team will make the pieces come together and pave way for success. The first step in the startup survival guide is to get the right founding members for the business
  • Look at people with diverse strengths that can be an asset to your business
  • The founding members should be trustworthy with a mission to make the business succeed rather than their own success



2. Implementation of the Idea 


  • No matter how much research has gone behind the business idea, but if the implementation is not up to the mark, the startup will fail to take flight
  • One of the main reasons that the startup survival rate is so low because entrepreneurs fail in the implementation phase 
  • Slow down with your speed. You might think that the idea is revolutionary but it might take time to implement it correctly
  • An early-stage startup should be clear about 3 things- The solution it is providing, the cost involved and how will the idea be monetized



3. Find your Unique Selling Proposition


  • When you start a business, you have to make sure you are different from the competition
  • Realize what is your USP- is it your delivery mechanism, or your social media presence, exclusivity or the product itself
  • Your startup survival guide should spell out your USP that is going to keep you going for many years



4. Work towards getting your Customer Acquisition Cost down


As we all know, the customer acquisition cost is the total cost of acquiring a new customer. It should generally include things like Advertising, Marketing & Sales costs divided by the number of customers acquired

  • Focus on improving the conversion rate through the quality of content, e-mailers, layouts etc.
  • Enhance Customer service to eventually build loyal customers. These loyalists can then become influencers for your brand to get in new customers
  • Utilize social media campaigns fully so that customer retention rate remains high



5. Be Flexible


  • Business is all about being dynamic and embracing change. Hence, being flexible is of utmost importance in the startup survival guide
  • Learn to tweak your plans mid-way. There could be changes in market conditions, or your competition might be doing something different, keep an open eye and change your flow accordingly 



6. Be well prepared for Investor meetings


  • Treat investor meets as an IIT entrance exam; you need to be more than prepared. Be ready for a volley of questions and if you don’t know the answers you will be marked negatively.
  • Build your case well. This preparation and confidence will give out only one message- that you will justify your investors’ money   



7. Don’t hesitate to ask for Help 


  • You probably might know everything about how to run a business, but you possibly cannot do everything yourself. Reach out to a partner whom you trust to manage different business operations if required
  • One reason for the startup survival rate to be low is that business owners don’t reach out for help at the right time
  • Be open to feedback, suggestions, opinions, it only makes your business stronger and better



8. Plan for Contingency


  • Keep a close eye on your cash flow management and invest within your means
  • If expected results fail to show, your contingency fund can be utilized to change the course of action



It’s not an easy task to build a business from nothing and therefore a startup survival guide is a must for all new entrepreneurs. With hard work and dedication towards your business, the path to success shall not be far-fetched. 


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