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What it takes to build a successful start-up company

In the modern world, a lot of businesses are doomed for failure. There are many viable reasons for this: inadequate preparation, poor strategic planning, having the wrong people in the wrong positions or creating a flawed business model. However, the list goes on and on. Every business owner wants to be the exception; however, the simple fact is we all can’t be the exception. So, what are the key qualities and processes required to build a successful start-up company?

Find something you are passionate about

The first part of the process is finding an area of business you are passionate about. Put simply, you need an idea. The most successful businesses are those that solve a problem that affects lot of people – this is how they get traction in the market place. But it’s not just a matter of finding the problem, you have to be passionate enough to identify and create a viable solution. Investing time, effort and money into your endeavour are the key ingredients of building a successful business in the contemporary market place.

Hire people willing to challenge the norm

You can’t build a huge, global business by yourself. You are going to need a lot of help along the way. The quality of this assistance is really important – you want to surround yourself with people willing to question decisions, make mistakes, and yet ultimately, learn from such mistakes. So, when it comes to hiring your managers, your marketing strategists or technicians, make sure you look for those that have experience in building innovative products and processes.

Corporate culture is important

You simply can’t underestimate the value of corporate culture as a precursor for long-term business success. Many of the successful start-up companies operating today focus on the importance of building a strong internal brand and workforce culture, as seen here. Indeed, Hari Ravichandran, the CEO and Founder of iSubscribed, has openly discussed how many entrepreneurs become too focused on the product, to the point that they forget about the wellbeing of their staff and overall culture.

Sometimes, the manner in which you run your business becomes an afterthought to what you are actually selling. This is why so many great businesses with good people and a really effective business model are doomed to fail: poor internal culture. What you need is strong, moral leadership to guide corporate policies and clarify your overall vision.

Build valuable customer relationships

Like your corporate culture, you really can’t underestimate just how important your customers are. However, it’s not simply about “treating them right” or offering them great discounts – it’s about creating actual value for the consumer. You need to be creating as many touchpoints with the consumer as possible, so they never truly forget your brand or message. When serving customers, be sure to listen and send out surveys, so you can gain a greater understanding of what they want. Knowing the specifics of your customers’ buying behaviour is crucial in ascertaining long-term success. From this, you can tailor your campaigns in accordance to your target market’s specific needs and wants. The end result is customer loyalty.

Be prepared for change

No business is able to thrive in the global economy with an inflexible business model. Customer preferences are always changing and what is perceived as ethical and right is dynamic and constantly changing. The market is always going to change, so you need to develop contingency plans that shield your business from unwanted external shocks in the market.

You definitely need to trust your original idea, particularly if it has brought you success in the past. However, you can’t ignore your customers or be unwilling to accept change, particularly if your customers are calling for just that. Listen and analyse your target audiences and evaluate the quality of the feedback. Not all feedback will be actionable or valid – some customers are just looking to stir up problems. Having said this, there will certainly be feedback worth exploring. From this, debate the criticism and make changes.

Patience is key

Success will not occur overnight. It may sound a little cliché but you definitely need to be patient. It won’t be smooth sailing for the entire journey. There will be periods of low growth and inactivity, where you may feel like your business is floundering. You can’t expect profitability until after several years of operation, so if you’re in the negative and you’ve only just started, do not fret. Just remember to be patient, trust your business model and be prepared to change a few things to give yourself a chance at success.