The startup landscape is a murky one and your odds of surviving are thin considering 90% of the startups fail. That’s 123,000 businesses failing daily and 85 of them shutting down every moment. CB Insights attributes several reasons from no market need to lack cash, and more for the failure of these businesses.
So, you have to be careful as you wade through the unsteady waters of running a startup. One wrong move and you can sink like 90% of the others. This doesn’t, however, mean that you cannot swim to the shores of success. In fact, you can make $1 million by following the right steps.
Let’s walk you through these crucial aspects that can help you get the return on investment (ROI) that you deserve:
1 – Look For Gaps In The Market
No product can magically become your target market’s obsession if it doesn’t fulfill their need. So, your first step revolves around exploring gaps in the market. Slack is an example that fits this point best.
Slack’s creators noted that between 70-80% of the companies didn’t have a tool for internal communication. So, they pounced on the opportunity and decided to fill it with their idea of a communication tool.
The CB Insights report mentioned above agrees as it found that 42% of startups fail for this very reason. So, you need to find such a market need to reach the billion-dollar mark that Slack has now.
Similarly, Australian entrepreneur built a 32 million dollar fortune by identifying the gap of online clothing services for the female market. Once again proving that looking for market gaps is the first and most essential step in becoming a successful entrepreneur.
2 – Give Your Startup Full-Time Attention
A startup requires full-time focus, which is why it deserves to be handled as a full-time business rather than a side hustle. To ensure that you get a good ROI from your startup, you need to dedicate a lot of time strategizing, marketing, and building a clientele.
On top of that, offering adequate customer service also demands time. If you aim to grow a startup by treating it as a part-time venture, you increase the risk of stress and eventual burn-out. Both of these culprits can sip on your passion and motivation, putting your startup in the doldrums.
3 – Start With A Business Model
A business model is a blueprint that will run your startup’s show. Without it, you are essentially jumping into the tricky startup waters without a swimming gear or plan. Numerous people hesitate when it comes to chalking out a business model since it’s not an easy nut to crack. However, it is crucial for paving your way to meet $1 million.
Besides, the University of St. Gallen highlights that 90% of the business models are a combination of parts of other or old business models. So, you don’t need to start from scratch, but you need to ensure that you have a scalable business plan in place.
4 – Focus On Growth
As a startup owner, your aim should be growth alone. It is easy to get carried away with various shiny new objectives. However, preparing a growth plan with SMART goals keeps you on the track to progress.
At the core of this growth is understanding your users and learning by launching a minimal viable product (MVP). The MVP will give you an idea of how your users react to your product. Improve and scale according to user feedback.
Another significant aspect to focus on for continual growth is customer experience, which is expected to become the number one factor for customers by 2020, ranking higher than price and product too. Excellent customer experience and service can help spread the positive word about your startup. What’s more, it helps you develop a loyal customer base.
5 – Don’t Neglect The Infrastructure For Your Business
Infrastructure is the backbone of your startup. Without it, your product and service will get next to zero recognition. If your infrastructure is poor, it can quickly snowball into other problems.
For instance, without infrastructure, your service is not usable. An unusable product or service attracts a soaring number of customer complaints, which pokes a hole in your plan to improve customer experience.
At the same time, your customer service won’t be able to solve issues quickly, which can lead to lost conversions. Thus, a good infrastructure is critical for earning your first one million dollars.
6 – Put Together The Right Team
A study of 200 startups learned that the right team led to success in 32% of the cases. CB Insights also concluded that 23% of the startups fail because they don’t have the right team. An ideal team is the one in which team members are all onboard with your vision and business purpose.
A good team will help shape your ideas into reality. The founder of Y Combinator accelerator, Sam Altman advises the same. Altman shared with Forbes, “mediocre people at a big company cause some problems, but they don’t usually kill the company. A single mediocre hire in the first five will kill a startup.”
Therefore, you need to be very careful when onboarding teammates. Another important point here is clearly defining each member’s role. This helps keep your team well-oiled.
7 – Be Prepared For Failure But Also Be Ready To Turn The Tables
Lastly, don’t expect your path to be a bed of roses. If anything, the startup road to success is leaden with thorns. So, you need to be resilient to survive the hard times and come up with a solution quickly.
Rovio, the company behind the ever-popular game, Angry Birds, created 51 titles before it succeeded. The company was at the brink of failure, having fired most of its staff. It was then that the founders came up with Angry Birds, which went on to attract 3 billion global downloads.
The lesson learned is simple – as a startup, you shouldn’t give in to failure and try to adjust the odds in your favor.
Take Home Message
To recap, earning your first $1 million as a startup requires a lot of patience and resilience. Start with creating a product that aligns with market need and builds a sustainable business model around it. Hire the people who share your vision and ambition and focus on growth. Don’t forget to pay attention to your infrastructure.
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