Startups with rock-solid foundations remain unshakeable, enduring, and come out bigger and stronger every time it encounters challenges.
Considering how 21.5% of startups fail in the first year, no one can downplay the importance of setting the right foundations — it’s an absolute must.
If you’ve just started your business and you’re looking to increase the chances of your startups to thrive, let alone survive, then pay very close attention to the points covered in this guide. Below are six crucial foundations of a successful startup.
1. A nurturing culture (both internal and external)
Building a nurturing company culture impacts your startup’s profitability and overall performance.
When you make your stakeholders feel valued — be it your employees, clients, or investors — they are more likely to respond positively toward your company.
To build an internally nurturing culture for your startup:
- Make your employees feel that they have a valuable role in your company
- Don’t treat them as mere workers by caring only about what they can do for your startup
- Get to know them, help take care of their well-being, and celebrate as a team when you hit significant milestones.
Doing this makes your staff feel appreciated and desire to return the genuine care you show them. This kind of company culture drives employee performance, motivating them to work harder and invest their abilities to help you succeed.
This also results in lower turnover rates and absenteeism levels, which immediately impacts your bottom line.
In the same way, build an externally nurturing culture by not treating your customers as mere cash cows.
Rather, sincerely wish to solve their real-life problems with your products.
Recognize that your clients also have business needs and aspirations you want to help attain.
Listening to your client’s concerns and going the extra mile are additional ways to display your care.
All this results in increased patronage, sales, customer lifetime value, and more.
2. Well-maintained assets
Maintaining your assets at optimal conditions lengthens their usefulness to your startup. It also protects you from needless equipment repairs or purchases.
Well-maintained assets can even preserve your startup’s sustainability, especially if your assets — whether they’re software, data, or physical equipment — serve as the lifeblood of your business.
For intangible assets, you should implement cybersecurity measures to safeguard them from digital threats such as ransomware, hijacking, and others.
For physical assets, you need to protect them from malfunctions and external damages.
This allows businesses to run their asset maintenance and inspections easily, lengthening their equipment’s service life.
3. Healthy flow of fresh leads
They say that companies without a constant flow of fresh leads are dying companies.
This line of thinking is hard to argue. After all, no matter how great your services are and how close your relationship is with your customers, countless external factors can easily cause you to lose your clients. #COVID19Pandemic
That’s why you need a constant flow of fresh leads to keep your sales and profits continuously coming in.
You need to plan, schedule, and strategize your sales, lead generation, and marketing campaigns and use efficient tools to accelerate your progress.
Companies generating leads in 2020 harness artificial intelligence (AI) to understand and reach out to potential customers more effectively and lead them toward closed deals. AI can also help you maximize every obtained lead and boost your productivity for much less effort.
4. Risk management system
External and internal threats are inevitable for any startup, which is why a risk management system is critical to protect your company’s assets and, consequently, your success and sustainability.
For example, companies who build their software under Microsoft Azure DevOps invest in backing up their critical business codes on third-party platforms, such as Backrightup.
Since Azure DevOps backups are extremely tedious due to the volume of data and intricacy of the task, Backrightup automates all backups of repositories, wikis, work items, and more.
This ensures that companies’ codes are always protected and easily restored when they get compromised.
This type of risk management strategy also prevents startups from experiencing severe repercussions should they get hacked, when the DevOps platform they’re working on experiences system failure, etc.
5. Streamlined workflows
The chances are good that some of your workflows are routinary, time-consuming, and burdensome because of the countless steps involved to complete certain tasks.
Each of them, however, contributes significantly to your startup’s performance so you can’t afford to miss any of them. This is why you need to streamline your workflows.
Streamlining your business workflows helps you boost your efficiency and productivity. They also help you and your teams:
- Finish tasks faster
- Collaborate easily in the most frictionless, efficient way
- Minimize errors and delays
- Eliminate or replace tedious steps
- Focus on more profitable, business-critical assignments
- Save on costs and resources
- Reduces stress
The best way to streamline your processes is by automating them or some of its steps.
First, record and assess your daily business workflows, especially the routine ones, and identify which ones you can accomplish through automation.
Find a reliable project management tool that lets you and your team list and delegate assignments, update and comment on the progress, attach files, share feedback, and more — allowing for smooth coordination and timely task fulfillment throughout the project lifecycle.
6. Regular business performance reviews
For your company to succeed, you should constantly review your previous business performances and learn from the insights you get from them.
You need to evaluate every finished project and discuss with your teams which objectives were fulfilled, what you did right, what went wrong, and how you can improve your implementation moving forward.
You should also check your business data and see how far you have hit your targets for a specific period according to your pre-defined objectives. See any short-term and long-term patterns in your business performance and analyze their causes and effects.
For example, you might notice getting the most sales every summer, the highest email click-through rates on Wednesday nights, and others.
You can even use your performance reviews to reflect on other significant success factors, e.g., what made your business stand out from the competition.
Identifying these trends — including mistakes and tactics that worked — helps you refine your strategies next time and be closer to reaching your goals and desired results.
Build rock-solid foundations for your business to succeed.
Building your business on these and other critical foundations is essential to perform excellently and eventually succeed. Doing this takes time, intentionality, and consistency, but don’t rush the process. Forming your foundations correctly at the onset helps you prosper steadily, make a name in your industry, and enjoy long-term stability and sustainability.