Strategies for Startup Success
from Business KnowHow.com 02/15 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
Be a Risk-Taker. America has always been a beacon of entrepreneurialism because it is so deeply rooted in our history. Our country was founded, and then settled, by innovators willing to sacrifice old principles for new opportunities. The people who came to America over the past 300 years – looking for a better life – were risk takers in every sense. Do not mistake being a risk taker with being reckless. Risk takers are risk analyzers – evaluating the pros & cons of a situation – then trusting their instincts and recognizing & seizing an opportunity to create their own businesses. You may have recognized traits that are common to these entrepreneurs. We don’t believe these similar traits are merely a coincidence; we think they are the keys to their success. We hope you’ll apply these traits to your own strategy for success for your future or existing business. We now present them together, along with examples of their application by our entrepreneurs.
1. Trust your Intuition. Successful, independent-minded entrepreneurs know when to trust their intuition. An expanding body of research from a number of fields, confirms that intuition is a real form of knowledge. It’s a skill you can develop and strengthen – one that’s particularly valuable in the most chaotic, fluid business environments, when you must make critical, high-pressure decisions at a moment’s notice. Do sufficient analysis, but trust your intuition with the final decision (ie, How do you feel about it?) Trusting your instincts also emboldens you to carry out new, untested ideas & ventures, even when nobody else believes in them. It’s about seeing the need for a product or new service and just knowing you can make it happen. You may not have the cash on hand to commission a market study or conduct a focus group, but you’re still willing to stake your reputation & money on that idea. Why? Because that’s what your intuition tells you to do it.
2. Buck the Conventional Wisdom. Ignore those who say, “It won’t work” or “It’s never been done that way.” Our profiled entrepreneurs succeeded in large part because they veered away from established formulas and ways of thinking. Don’t just blindly accept the so-called best practices of your industry. Look at them with a hyper-critical eye. Dissect them, slice & dice them, contemplate different “What-if” scenarios. Challenging convention can open the door to competitive advantage for you.
3. Never let Adversity or Failure Defeat You. Don’t accept the limits that others or circumstances place upon you. The ranks of successful entrepreneurs are filled with men & women who refused to stop believing in themselves, despite the derision of others or heartbreaking failures in their past. As an entrepreneur, you’ll undoubtedly experience stressful moments that will test your confidence, especially in the beginning when you’re still trying to establish your brand and separate from the pack. Just remember, the antidotes are persistence to stick with & resiliency to bounce back from failures.
4. Find an Under-served Niche. In the business world, there’s nothing more exciting than finding an under-served niche, representing a lucrative market that everyone else has failed to spot & target. That’s like finding gold coins at a crowded beach. It was there for everyone else to see, but you were the one who took notice of the golden glint in the sand. Even a huge multi-billion-dollar company can’t offer something for everyone. Look for ways to fill a unique niche. Those niches are too small for giant corporations to consider.
5. Spot a new Trend & Pounce. Often, a shift in cultural or economic trends will create new entrepreneurial opportunities. Sometimes that shift arises from advances in technology. Look for niches in emerging consumer needs & desires that signal new market opportunities.
6. Hit ‘Em where they Ain’t. Casey Stengel, legendary manager of the New York Yankees, loved to tell the story of baseball great “Wee Willie” Keeler, who stood at just 5′ 4”, weighed 140 pounds, and began a streak of eight seasons with two hundred or more hits. The Hall of Famer’s bat was only thirty inches. Once a sports reporter asked him how such a small guy could get so many big hits. Willie replied, “Keep your eye on the ball and hit ’em where they ain’t”. The same holds true in the business world. Whenever possible, set your sights on areas that your competitors have neglected or ignored.
7. Just Start. If you have an idea for a business, truly believe it will succeed, & are willing to push yourself harder than you ever have before, then take the risk and just get started. If your intuition is telling you this business idea is a winner, take action now. The “perfect” time for a business launch will never present itself. More often than not, waiting just gives would-be competitors the opportunity to beat you to the punch. Most entrepreneurs face tremendous financial hurdles. Nonetheless, they saw a market opportunity & went after it.
8. Use in-expensive Advertising. If your start-up business is on a tight budget, there are plenty of ways to get customers’ attention without spending money on advertising. Get your creative juices flowing and try something different. And when an opportunity arises to expose your brand to the masses, don’t think twice — jump right in. Use your own creativity to make your company stand out from the crowd.
9. Exploit your Competitor’s Weakness (and make it your Strength). The sharpest entrepreneurs have a knack for viewing the world from the perspective of their customers. That quality can help identify your competitors’ vulnerabilities & shortcomings. If your number one competitor has a reputation for slow deliveries – for example – make certain your deliveries arrive in less time. Engage & listen to customers to identify such weaknesses.
10. Never stop re-Inventing your Company. You know the old adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? The problem with that piece of advice is that it invites complacency, and complacency in business is like a slow leak in a tire. You may not notice the damage it’s causing until the thing is completely flat and you can’t move forward. Top-performing entrepreneurs aren’t afraid to take chances and keep expanding their product line. They’re not afraid to give their business a major overhaul now & then to keep pace with changes in the marketplace. Sometimes a complete face-lift is in order.
Conclusion. We hope that you will find these Strategies beneficial for your own entrepreneurial journey and adapt them to your own strategy for success. We hope you can apply them toward a new venture or use them in your existing business. Use your imagination to identify market opportunities that others have overlooked. Believe in the power of your ideas and just start the pursuit of your own entrepreneurial dream. It’s up to you to claim your American Dream.
Conclusion: Is there any Strategies you’d like to add?