7 traits of highly successful startups

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How similar are you to Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs?

If we had a magic crystal ball to predict future outcomes, everyone would be an entrepreneur and have a flourishing business.

Fortunately, there’s no such thing and as the saying goes:

“Your future is whatever you make it.”
– Doc Brown from Back to the Future Day

However, there are traits – pre-cursors of successful startups and ventures.

In this article, we’ll be covering seven traits of highly successful startups.

1. Led by the great leadership

Have you read the book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey?

Being an effective person is the foundation of building a successful startup.

In addition, beginning with self-improvement is essential in building great leadership qualities that every business requires.

Great leadership is not a matter of experience or age. A person who has been using one traditional solution isn’t a great leader by any means.

A great leader possesses personal traits and success-driven principles and characteristics.

2. Have a clear vision

The first highly successful person who perfectly brings this point across would be Steve Jobs.

He was the only candidate who could get Rob Campbell, CEO of Voalte, a wireless software provider for hospitals and point-of-care facilities, interested enough to buy into his vision.

Although it is important to have business financial goals and realistic desires, that’s not what a vision is all about.

A vision is something that is seemingly unattainable in the next year or so but is possible in the long-run.

Having realistic goals can make us reach greatness, but a scary yet clear vision would leave a legacy.

Dream big for your startup, you’ll be surprised how the gap between present and future can spur you to achieve success and more.

3. Great sales and marketing

In the case of every startup, the best salesperson and marketer has to be you – the owner of the business.

Who else cares more about your business than you? Who can compete with you in terms of understanding your business?

Grow your sales and marketing skills first then outsource it to a marketing team when you already understand what works for your business.

This can save you a sum of money, plus maximize every dollar you spend on outsourcing.

Getting sales is the lifeblood of every business; you can’t survive without sales and you can very well do with more of it.

The third trait of highly successful startups is having great sales and marketing.

4. Valuable offering (product/service)

You can’t polish a turd.

Providing something that helps people avoid something unpleasable or painful is valuable.

Offering something to serves joy and pleasure is valuable. And when served on a silver plate, it could double in value.

One statement that Mark Zuckerberg said in an interview with Sam Altman, president of Y Combinations, is this:

“I always think that you should start with the problem that you’re trying to solve in the world and not start with deciding that you want to build a company. And the best companies that get built are things that are trying to drive some kind of social change, even if it’s just local in one place, more than starting out because you want to make a bunch of money or have a lot of people working for you or build some company in some way.”

Solve a problem, enhance a solution – provide a valuable offering.

5. Have short and long term goals

Earlier in trait number two, we touched on having a clear vision and about realistic goals.

Now, before you start throwing shade that I’m contradicting myself, allow me to clarify.

Having realistic goals, both short and long term helps in the practical steps to work towards the vision. Pinning up detailed objective helps to track the progress which is crucial for a highly successful startup too.

Also Read: Focus on productivity, not efficiency

The point of a vision is to ensure that you always stay hungry, and never get complacent. Whereas, short term and long term goals are more about the mission, strategies, tactics, and action plan.

Thus, having these goals are important in seeing success for your startup.

6. Open to changes

In the past three decades, the growth of technology supersedes human growth.

It’s exponential – meaning it is extrapolated to only get faster and time goes by.

Can you keep up? Can your business keep up?

In our world where everything is going digital, and socializing has new normality, it is paramount to be ahead and stay competitive.

Nowadays, consumers can instantly sniff out an advertisement and nobody likes to get sold.

Thus, we have to connect to people first and offer something that is risk-free yet ultra-valuable.

Content marketing has been shown to do this extremely well, with proven reasons why one should focus on content marketing in 2019.

Be open to changes and ready to include them in your startup.

7. Fail Fast, learn fast

As a startup, things start off pretty lean and on a tight-belted budget.

Decisions can be made within a few seconds and implemented quickly. That’s the beauty of a small startup.

You have the agility to change, cut your losses, etc. almost instantly.

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Gary Vaynerchuk has preached about the benefits of running a small business or a lean startup that is remembered in 4 simple words: “Macro patience, micro speed”.

He stresses the importance of speed in business. But not in the way that most people would think which what he wrote in the following really explains what I mean perfectly.

“To me, it’s all about speed. I actually don’t care about anything else. Speed, both in people skills and hard work will trump anything.

When you’re not spending any time worrying, you’re spending time on executing. That’s what a great culture is, it’s speed. You’re not spending the 15 minutes a day bickering. You’re not spending the four hours a day wondering if that person’s trying to ruin you…

It’s just hustle. Input and output. It’s very binary. You can’t expect 30 years of results from 30 minutes of work.”


Image Credits: blocberry

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