Web Design & Dev

Important Elements for a Successful Start-Up that You Might be Overlooking in 2022

Priya Jain 14 April, 2022

“You need three things to create a successful start-up: to start with good people, to make something customers want, and to spend as little money as possible.” –Paul Graham. Though these lines ring true, in theory, there are dozens of other elements essential for building a successful start-up. With nine out of every ten start-ups failing, most start-ups miss out on some important elements leading to their dismal performance. Apart from having strong business acumen, start-ups need to beat the odds to develop a detailed plan and ensure that a company thrives in the community and industry. This article discusses a couple of pointers to ensure your start-up works like a well-oiled machine.

Important Elements for a Successful Start-Up in 2022

Here are some elements that a start-up cannot afford to overlook.

Compliance with Data Protection Laws

Until Facebook paid a mind-boggling fine of $5 million for breaching data protection laws, most companies, especially start-ups, were not taking these laws seriously. But why is there a sudden need to ensure compliance with data privacy laws? As companies generate more and more data, they need to protect personalized and vulnerable customer data. A data breach like the one faced by Facebook can lead to a dent in the company’s image and ruin away from its financial stability. Like every other company, privacy laws like California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) apply to start-ups.

 

So, for building a successful start-up, find ways to manage access control, don’t store more data than necessary, manage data on every device, educate employees about the importance of data protection and use software to protect critical information from getting leaked.

Build Credit

It’s next to impossible to build a start-up without establishing business credit. Having a positive financial image helps start-ups access more loans, contracts, and other opportunities than companies with bad credit. But how would investors trust your finances? This is where businesses rely on business credit reports. Information received from the reports helps banks, lenders, and investors make intelligent business decisions.

Successful Start-Up or Not

Start-up companies that enjoy good credit can obtain better repayment and credit terms with suppliers and contractors. Other benefits of a higher credit score include lower insurance premiums, lower interest rates on credit cards and business loans, and refinancing options. For improving your business credit score, start-ups should pay their bills on time, limit credit usage, maintain a low level of debt and avoid closing accounts. Also, a start-up should stop indulging in financial activities that can scare off creditors and investors.

Invest in the Right People for a Successful Start-up

The success mantra of every start-up is investing in the right set of qualified people. While many start-ups feel that investing in high-experienced veterans during the early stage isn’t the right option, it might prove beneficial. When you hire experienced and qualified professionals, your company has an extra edge over competitors. However, when you have little money in your hand, how can you attract the top talent and build a passionate team that can take your start-up to another level?

steps in hiring process

Start-ups usually count on ESOPs to compensate for the relatively lower pay. To further engage experienced professionals, focus on hiring part-timers or freelancers since they add equal value at a lower cost than full-time employees. Before hiring, look for people who are passionate about the start-up, who have business acumen, and keep the business momentum going on regardless of the workplace situation.

Provide Value to the Market

Many start-ups fail because of a lack of market need for their product or service. That might seem a bit too much to gulp down, but companies rarely come up with products that create a revolution or become a unicorn. For instance, Digiscent, which dreamt of disrupting the scented candle market with its one-of-a-kind iSmell product, fell flat on its face. It was an odor-emitting device that customers had to plug into a USB port. Surprised?

There’s no need to get surprised because the product had no market. One place where Digiscent failed was in conducting market research. Market research can help a start-up understand whether there is a market for its products. Would customers be willing to pay? Before designing a new product, focus on conducting thorough market research to save resources and time. Contrary to popular belief, conducting a market survey doesn’t cost the earth. Instead, you can conduct it yourself using various market research tools.

Engage Your Successful Start-up Customers

A successful start-up does more than develop services and products for its customers. They focus on creating an engaged community of customers, relying on their feedback and reviews. So, tap into various social media platforms to connect with customers and encourage them to make a purchase. Wait! There’s a catch. Just because creating a social media profile is free of cost, don’t create a profile on every possible platform. Why?

Your customers are not present on every platform, and creating one could cost you a lot of time. Think about where your customers are present and what’s your strategy for creating content. For instance, if you’re a fashion house, investing your time on Instagram and Facebook makes more sense than on Twitter or LinkedIn. For B2B SaaS start-up companies, Twitter and medium-budget Google Ads could do the trick.

Build an SOP and Other Systems

Another essential element of creating an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) is setting clear duties and expectations for each employee. Today, employees are no longer motivated by the pay, benefits, and perks. So, it’s essential to have a purpose for every job. When people are unaware of what a start-up expects from them, they can’t meet their goals. Having a good standard operating procedure in place puts expectations and resources right on the table for all to see.

An SOP indicates what needs doing and provides sufficient resources so that employees can excel in their work. However, when creating an SOP, ensure that it does not overwhelm the employees or load them with extra work. Such a situation leads to confusion and never makes an employee happy.

Focus on Quality Product and Content

One essential element of a start-up is understanding its unique value proposition. This helps you differentiate from your competitors and ensure you provide quality content. But, the most challenging aspect is attracting the attention of your target audience. With fierce competition, you need to focus on quality to make customers recollect and remember your brand. On the contrary, only a few start-ups focus on quality products and content. Customers prefer doing business with companies that offer high-quality information. One way to ensure the quality of your content is to keep an eye on the marketing trends and focus on what competitors are doing to attract your target audience.

quality content

If your competitors are using any good practice of content marketing, there is no harm in replicating the same. You can even make your content engaging by adding GIFs, videos, graphics, and infographics.

Know When to Take a Step Back

Finally, there is one thing that nobody speaks about the start-up culture, maybe because it can be very challenging. While you have to work hard and keep pushing yourself to reach the desired heights, you must have the business acumen that tells you the right time to slow down your pace. Overstressing and overworking might provide short-term results. They can be determinantal for your long-term start-up goals. If you constantly work without taking a break, you’re likely to reach the saturation level and might burn out sooner than you expected. So, when considering launching your start-up, ensure you do everything in your capabilities to make it a huge success without pushing your limits.

Key Ingredients for Building a Successful Start-up

While there is no path set in stone that every start-up must follow to reach the zenith of success, there are certain elements that can accelerate your success and growth rate. From focusing on data protection laws to giving importance to quality content, product, and employee, every element of building a start-up is interdependent. Always remember that a start-up cannot thrive only on a business idea. Instead, it requires in-depth marketing research and creating an SOP that helps in nurturing and developing it. If you mess up a single stage, it can easily weaken the entire chain. Just like in Rome, start-up success is not a one-day affair. It requires a lot of hard work and effort from your end. Even though success and failure are two sides of the same coin, start-ups cannot afford to be on the losing side.

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Tags: starting a business
Author: Priya Jain
Priya Jain is a professional copywriter with 8 years of experience. She has an MBA and engineering degree. When she is not writing, you will find her teaching math, spending her day running behind her toddler, and trying new recipes. You can follow her on LinkedIn.