As a start up, you’re in a different position to traditional, more corporate businesses. You have the laser like focus and flexibility to get your unique idea to the market, you have access to sometimes staggering amounts of funding, and you have the opportunity to scale overnight to become the next big thing.
On the other side of the scale, you don’t have access to the sort of institutional knowledge that powers traditional businesses. You don’t have their deep pockets, and the size of organisation that lets you support your own teams of specialists. You need to take steps to enable you to play on an even field with big business.
Without the built in recognition and reputation of an established business, you don’t have the chance to make mistakes. With an unfamiliar brand the public can be unforgiving, so you need to make sure that when you offer them something, it’s something they want and find attractive.
Market research is vital. It shows what customers want, how they want to receive it and how much they want to pay. Taking on full time market research staff is something even big, established businesses do rarely, but this means that there is a thriving sector of market research agencies and consultants you can partner with. Working with a firm like Attest gives those vital insights to tailor your decisions to exactly what the market wants and get it right first time!
Getting up to speed as a start up takes time, and time is money. You need the resources to keep the momentum up until you’ve broken through and established yourself in the market. If your funding runs out before you’re ready to launch or gives you no budget to actually market your services all your effort will be wasted.
It’s important to find sources of funding that understand the business you are building. Being interested in results is fine, of course. Investors expect to be able to see how you’re spending their money and ensure it’s productive rather than squandered. But if they don’t understand your business model you might find your actions constrained by unrealistic targets.
It’s important to find investors you can enter a real partnership with, who share your view of how your business can thrive, and will challenge your assumptions without simply blocking your progress. This allows you to match the resources of big businesses as you develop a product and become self-sustaining, and can pursue your own success for many years to come!