Taking a great idea and turning it into a viable business is very tricky. As anyone who has experience working in or leading a startup, growing a new company – regardless of the industry it is in – requires an array of skills that must align perfectly in order to take a concept and turn it into something both successful and lucrative.
While there is no rule book or definitive guideline to startup success, most of the time it comes down to a great idea, a lot of hard work, sleepless nights and long days, investor support and also a bit of luck.
In recent years, the increased attention paid to entrepreneurship and the startup culture in general has almost worked as a double-edged sword. In many ways, there are more options out there for startups to be taken seriously and gain financing, thanks in part to past successful companies. On the other hand, more new businesses vying for attention, not to mention investment financing, means a larger percentage of those companies won’t get the outside interest and financial support they need.
For those looking to make their startup standout from others, here are a few tips to make this year impactful.
Focusing on your brand and the task at hand is especially important in our non-stop, always plugged-in world. It is easy to get bogged down with the minutia and lose track of your business goals, especially if you are not setting aside specific time to work on your business growth, time that is devoid of distraction.
“In our fast paced, always on society, it is all too easy to get lost in the digital noise of our multi-tasking lives. There is a cognitive cost to task switching that consists of losing focus and increasing stress levels,” says Sediarus Perrotta, the founder of the information curation platform, Shelf.
For Perrotta, it is imperative that he slot two hour blocks of time where he unplugs from all digital distractions and intently focuses on the task at hand.
“It’s absolutely incredible how much better your work can be when all the distractions are eliminated and you know you have the time to work uninterrupted,” he said.
Branding is crucial for any new business, especially startups where the brand is synonymous with the product or service they offer. Your brand and its goal need to be crystal clear. A handy tip: if the goal is unclear to you, then it will be unclear for everyone else too, including potential investors.
The first step in achieving brand unity is choosing the right name. Like Lyft or Spotify, your brand name should convey what you do or the service you provide. For serial entrepreneur and startup founder, Cameron Chell, choosing the right name consists of two factors.
“When selecting the perfect name, it should roll off your tongue,” said Cameron Chell, who is the founder of Slyce, a firm shaping the technology within the visual search space. “One of the most important rules to follow is the three syllable rule, meaning the business name should contain three syllables or less,” Cameron Chell added.
Build a strong network
As we have seen over the last year, tech and business is big on cross-collaboration. For startups looking to grow their business, building relationships in industries and sectors adjacent to your own is crucial if you are going to identify future industry needs and business opportunities.
Building a robust network also relies on open lines of communication between your business and customers. Offer opportunities for customers to give feedback about areas that may need improvement. Not only will you remedy an existing problem, it makes your business look customer centric, which is important in the saturated startup marketplace.