5 things successful startup founders do differently


When you start your own business, you’re taking a big risk. Most likely, you have heard all of the statistics on the success rates of new businesses, and you are determined to defy the odds with your business. Take some tips from successful startups; here are some of the things they do differently than those who fail.

1. Create value for customers

To attract and keep customers, you need to be sure that your business creates value for your customers. When your product or service provides a value that makes your customers’ life better or easier, it gives them a reason to keep doing business with you. As you create, adapt and grow your products and services, try to see them from your customers’ points of view. Focus on growing your business in a way that will better serve and create value for your customers. That value will help bring more customers your way.

2. Pick a market that’s ripe for growth

Often, it’s the market that determines that determines whether a business succeeds or not. That means you need to carefully select the markets you enter. Your market needs to have a need for your product and services, as well as a population that will support your business. As you evaluate a market, be sure that the market is ripe for your new business, and that the market will enable your business to grow over time.

3. Manage cash flow

Your business needs a steady flow of cash. That cash allows you to pay your employees, your business’s overhead and buy the supplies and inventory you need to serve your customers. If you aren’t successfully managing your business’s cash flow, you are jeopardizing your business’s ability to succeed. As you prepare to launch your business, make sure you secure the capital you need to fund your business the way it needs to be funded. As your business gets up and running, make sure you’re keeping careful financials so you know how much money is coming in and how much is going out, so you can make adjustments when needed to keep your cash flow healthy.

4. Hire for your weaknesses

As you add employees and grow your business, take on employees whose skills and strengths complement yours. When a new position opens up, evaluate what skills and experiences are needed to successfully fill the slot. Then, take some time to evaluate yourself and your existing team. Look for new employees whose skills, personalities and backgrounds differ from yours and from the rest of your team. Hiring a diverse group of employees will make your business stronger because you will have a team ready to handle a range of responsibilities and tasks.

5. Focus on the big picture

There is a lot that goes into starting up a business. It can be hard to take yourself beyond the day-to-day tasks that keep your business running. To grow and succeed, however, you need to focus on the big picture for your business. Set goals and have a vision for how you want your business to grow. Have a roadmap of daily, weekly and monthly tasks that will help you achieve your goals. Evaluate your goals and your milestones regularly so you can adjust to stay on track to reach those goals.

Successful startups are the exception, not the rule. When you take the risk of starting your own business, you want to do what you can to ensure that your business succeeds. Modeling what successful startups do differently can help your startup become a successful business, as well.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the contributing author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forum for International Trade Training.

About the author

Author: Jennifer Nesbitt

Jennifer Nesbitt is a New York-based freelance copywriter. A former journalist and graduate of Penn State University, Jennifer now writes about a variety of topics, including business, technology and marketing. She is passionate about helping companies develop their brands by providing compelling copy that adds value to their online presence.

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