Tips To Keep Afloat A Start-up In Today's Competitive Environment

By Shatavisha Chakravorty

Thanks to the myriad of loans and financial options available in the market, these days starting a business is easier than it sounds. With government initiatives promoting things like this, more and more people are now looking forward to setting up their own businesses. As a consequence, a number of start-ups are mushrooming all over the country. This is all the way truer in case of cities like Bangalore and Noida. However, it is sad to note that most of these start-ups do not stand the test of time. Over 90% of the start-ups fail.


The reason for the same may be attributed to the fact that most people do not take adequate preparation with respect to the setting up and maintenance of their start-up. They just come up with an idea, find some person or bank which is ready to invest in it and then go about with its implementation. If you are planning to do something like that, chances are that you will also belong to the majority of people who comprise of the start-up failures.

Keeping A Start-up Afloat In Today's Market

In order to set yourself apart and make your way to the top 10% who survive and thrive in the competitive business world, it is important that you chalk out the journey of your start-up well in advance. For this foresightedness is an absolute must. While this is a quality that you will gather through experience, here are some tips to keep your start-up afloat in today's competitive environment.

1. Do Not Do It All Alone

While we are not doubting your capabilities here, the fact remains that by roping in some other talented people in your team you will have a diverse skill set. Each person will be able to bring in something new to the start-up. While your skill set may be enough to establish a start-up, in order to ensure that the same stays afloat you will need the support of others. Having a cofounder will give you a support to lean on your weakest days and together you can get the company on track while ensuring that you do not lose out on the company's vision.

2. Make Sure Your Idea Is Viable

This is in fact something that you must ideally consider before setting up the start-up. Often start-ups are seen to fail because they are unable to bring something new to the table or because of over estimation of the market on the part of the founders. Make sure that such a thing does not happen to you and that you set out having very realistic goals. While there is nothing wrong about dreaming big when you start a business, it is equally important to remain grounded in your journey.

3. Think Beyond Money

It is understood that the aim of doing any business is making money. However, it is not wise to start thinking about the monetary aspect right at the beginning of setting up of a business. Make sure that while in the initial days of your start-up you tackle more graver issues like surveying the market, carrying out competitive analysis and mapping out the geographical location of your product or service. At this point do as much brainstorming as possible and come up with the maximum number of ideas. Then choose the best among them by evaluating the pros and cons of each of these. At this point if you do your job well, your start-up is on the right track. Make sure you allow your business to grow first. Once that is done, your product or service will make money for you.

4. Marketing

Today's world is all about selling yourself and your ideas. Hence, when you set up a start-up, if you really want it survive, you must make its presence felt. Now we understand that as a start-up, the budget that you have set aside for marketing may not be enough for massive campaigns. However, that does not mean that you should not create any noise. Start off by social media campaigns or by blogging in websites about your products and services. If your budget allows you, go ahead and organize contests and local events. Things like this will help your start-up get the head start and stay afloat in the highly competitive job market. Remember, the money that you invest in the marketing of your product or service will pay off in the long run.

5. Connect With Potential Customers

While it is a good idea to create some noise among the local public and make your business heard, the next step would be to identify your potential clients from the lot. For this, invest your time and efforts in finding out which are the websites where your audience hangs out most frequently. Use this knowledge to your benefit and try to make your presence felt in these places. In order to take this a step further, you can come up with surveys and polls(which maybe online or offline in nature) to know your potential customers' interests. However, make sure your polls are not too intrusive in nature. If your start-up is product-based in nature, you may even consider connecting with potential customers on LinkedIn, Quora or other industry specific networks.

6. Learn To Take Criticism

While establishing a start-up, mistakes are inevitable. It may so happen that these mistakes are noticeable to those around you, but not to you yourself. That is why it is all the way more important for you to pay heed to the opinion of others (this includes your customers, well-wishers and mentors). While you do not have to agree with them all the time and incorporate every change that they suggest, it is important for you to lend an ear to what they have to say. The journey of growth for any start-up is very dynamic in nature and if you are not ready to take in criticism, chances are that you will not be able to complete the journey itself.

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