September 11, 2019

What All Successful Startups Have in Common

Ask 50 successful entrepreneurs what the secret to success is, and you’ll get 50 different answers. There are many paths to success, and each person has his or her own ideas about what works and what doesn’t.
But studies have shown that some patterns do emerge when it comes to startup success. Listed below are 7 common secrets entrepreneurs have identified to achieve success:
1. They have identified a need. AirBnB is a perfect example; during the recession, many people were looking to rent out their second homes or even rooms to make some money. Founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia were two of those people, and they recognized an opportunity to take their rent-a-room idea worldwide. 

Some entrepreneurs create opportunity where none exists. Marc Zuckerberg created TheFacebook in 2004 as an alternative to Harvard’s paper directory. Within one month, more than half of Harvard’s undergraduates had joined the site, and Zuckerberg was off and running. Fourteen years later, it has some 2.3 billion active users.
Granted, timing is a big part of a startup company’s success. The world wasn’t ready for a social networking site in 1996, when SixDegrees.com was formed. At its height, it had about 3.5 million users but quickly shut down five years later.
2. They know their customers. Part of a good business plan involves identifying who your customer base is and then finding a way to reach that base through a solid marketing strategy. Taco Bell was the punchline of many jokes before 2012, when it rebranded itself and began marketing to millennials craving cheap restaurant fare. It began a social media campaign designed to reach those millennials, and the result was an 8% increase in sales in 2012.
3. They learn to change direction. Entrepreneur Ayush Jaiswal wrote in Medium, “99% of successful startups don’t end up being the product they thought.” Seldom is the idea you first come up with the product or service that you end up with. Market research, ideating, and development costs may force you to rethink your original idea and change course. This isn’t a bad thing; finding a better product with less overhead will ultimately lead to greater success.
4. They make mistakes and learn from them. The famous quote from Thomas Edison still applies to startups today: “I have not failed 10,000 times—I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.” You will encounter problems in your startups and make mistakes. Most likely, you’ll recover, but the important thing is to learn how to not let it happen again.
5. They stay focused on the main goal. Too many times entrepreneurs try to do everything themselves; the result is not seeing the forest for the trees. Too much attention to detail sometimes makes you lose your vision. Hire some help, delegate, and keep your mind and energy focused on the big picture. Be sure you have a business plan in place that clearly defines your goals and objectives, and a strategy on how to achieve success.
6. They surround themselves with good people. From top-notch employees to business partners and mentors, find people who make you better. When hiring employees, aim for people with good interpersonal communication and an innovative mind over someone with perfect credentials. They may not be a good fit for your work culture, and that creates problems down the road. You want your employees to work as a team – it’s the best way to get things done and become successful.
7. They secure funding. Whether it’s a venture capital firm, individual investors or your own money, make sure your product or service has proper financial backing before you start. There’s nothing more frustrating than getting into a business and seeing it fail because you didn’t have enough capital.

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