According to economists and business experts, China and India are most likely to grab the top two spots in the global economy. These rising giants of Asia together account for more than 37% of the word’s population. Today, India has more than 48 million small businesses, which is nearly double the number of an in the U.S.
However, here’s another interesting statistic; 90% of startups fail within the first 5 years from inception. So, while the land is filled with people who dare to dream, they don’t know how to keep the dream alive.
While the failure can be due to a plethora of reasons, the one that tops the list is a lack of identifying what will qualify as a legit business. It’s common knowledge that to create a successful product; you need to solve an everyday problem. However, that solution needs to be viable, practical, and scalable. For example, to solve the nuisance of honking on roads, you cannot create cars that don’t have horns at all!
But fret not! This article provides the result of a tried and tested analysis of the workings of a successful business. The outcome is the ultimate checklist that will surely help to build a successful business, regardless of which industry your expertise lies in.
1. Find A Problem, Create A Solution
As mentioned earlier, the most successful businesses are built on products that solve everyday problems that people face. However, you need to create a solution that can be used by all and is logical. The solution to potholes cannot be introducing flying cars. Instead, you could introduce tires that can glide through potholes effectively. The master of executing this concept is Uber. This cab-hailing service solved major issues like traffic and pollution, as well as provided convenience to its users by ensuring they can hail a cab from anywhere, and the car will reach them within minutes.
If you’re trying to find a problem to solve, many experts have shared that solving a personal problem helps. Find something that causes inconvenience to you daily and try to find an innovative solution to it.
2. Find Out If People Want Your Product
You solved a problem that you’re facing, great! Now, you need to identify if other people are facing similar issues and if your solution will help them as well. Another thing you want to analyze is how big of a problem it is. In the current economy, people don’t mind dealing with smaller issues, instead of spending money. However, if people genuinely see the value behind your product, the wallets will be emptying before you’ve even begun production!
A great example of this is the Motorolla Satellite. The company had a great technological marvel, however, when they launched the device in the ’90s, it was way ahead of its time and failed drastically, primarily due to the high price and lack of demand. However, if the same technology were combined with the devices we used today along with some upgradations, it would be a phenomenal success.
Finding out if there is a demand requires a great deal of research. You can use the host of studies and researchers published online, speak with experts in the field, and even run a fundraiser campaign on GoIbibo or Indigogo to test the waters.
3. Customer is King, Use Their Input
Regardless of how great your product is, it will be of no value if it doesn’t match the customer’s requirements. Hence, to build a successful company, you must factor in identifying who your customer is and analyze what would appease them. For example, depending on who your customer is, you will be able to determine what price point for your product is affordable, what platforms you can use for marketing your product to them, etc. A great example of this is Eventbrite, event management and ticketing website. With a magnitude of ticketing websites, Eventbrite was able to survive and excel in this competitive market by merely listening to their customers. The CEO, Julia Hartz, recently shared that she managed to listen and turned the user feedback into a key learning piece of her journey.
So, listen to your customers, they will lead to the path of success.
4. Starting A Business Is Not Cheap
A lot of entrepreneurs assume that getting funding is easy. They spend so much time on creating the perfect product, but when it comes to manufacturing it, they fall short on funding. With the increase of entrepreneurs and new businesses on the market, investors have become picky about which business they want to invest in. HotelsAroundYou is a great example of how a lack of funding can shoot down even the best of ideas. The product was great as it solved a real customer problem, and the demand was there too. The app aimed to help people get last-minute bookings in hotels near them. But, as they were unable to raise any funds, they had to shut shop within 3 years from launch.
So, before things get out of hand, first find a way to get the investment needed to fund the idea. You need the funding for a huge list of things, starting from manufacturing and development, to marketing and advertising!
5. Find A Team That Will Hold Your Back
A lack of vision can create complete havoc in any company, especially a startup. You need a vision, which is created for and followed by a team of dynamic individuals who are focused on bringing your vision to reality. Take Lehman Brothers, for example. At its prime, Lehman Brothers were the fourth largest investment bank in America. However, due to a lack of vision from its CEO and a team that wasn’t too invested, the company came crashing and filed for bankruptcy soon after.
So, if you want to succeed, you need a vision and a strong team of co-founders, managers, and executives to take your company to great heights of success.
6. If You Don’t Love It, Don’t Do It
We’ve saved the best for last! You may have everything working for you. A great product, a line of investors, and an amazing team. But, you will still fail if you aren’t 100% involved in making your dream a success. It is your story, after all. No matter how fancy and advanced the equipment, if a person isn’t passionate about it, they will not be able to climb Mount Everest. Building a business is no different. You need to be well-prepared. You need to step carefully, and most of all, you need to be passionate about it. Oyo Hotels is a great example of this. The founders were just teens when they started. But, with hard work, grit, and a whole lot of determination, the company is now at the pinnacle of success.
In conclusion, startups are much like life. There are many lessons to learn, and a lot of ups and downs. But, with the right strategy and the right attitude, success isn’t far. In the words of Winston Churchill, “Success if not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”4