Strategies for Entrepreneurs to Survive the First 36 Months
Remember the vision and mission statement; they are not obsolete. Make one and keep going back to it
Becoming a successful entrepreneur and running a startup is, quite simply, hard. While ideas might be bulletproof, any lapses in execution can set your business back years. As per statistics, 20 per cent of the businesses fail within the first two years, and almost 70 per cent of the businesses perish within five. However, if the start-up sustains the first 36 months, there are chances the company will get stronger each passing year, building upon well executed strategy and even thrive, becoming a key cog in the ecosystem it contributes to, creating critical jobs and ideas; even Amazon and Google were start-ups once.
Choosing to be an entrepreneur is a hard step in itself and justifying that need is your first step to achieving sustainability. Why do you want to start a business? Do you understand the implications- both financial and emotional? A comprehensive business plan is indispensable to make it past the first 36 months and that includes product strategy, financial models, market analysis, and understanding and adopting best business management practices while ensuring that you assess risk at every step.
There are no bulletproof strategies but here are a few things you must get right if you want to not just survive, but thrive.
Surround Yourself with the Right People
Identifying the right people is probably the most difficult thing to do because it takes time, some amount of skill, and then luck. If you are a product-based enterprise, you might want to surround yourself with marketing strategists, product managers, sales managers, and advertising professionals. If you are a service-based company or virtual business, you will focus on digital marketing managers, customer service representatives, and social media managers.
Remember the vision and mission statement; they are not obsolete. Make one and keep going back to it. That doesn’t mean you don’t question it as business requirements change but it is essential you don’t get sidetracked by trends.
Secure Appropriate Funding
A robust business and finance model can help entrepreneurs secure the initial capital from various sources including venture capital, angel investors, banks, and crowdfunding initiatives. Investors see the viability of a business as a parameter for investment. The growth and expansion plan for the business is yet another aspect that investors look into when making an investment decision. Therefore, a business plan and revenue model must be ready before the incorporation of the business to secure appropriate funding.
Prepare for Anything
No one could have prepared for a global virus that would decimate the world economy, destroy wealth and create a whole new way of working. Hence, you can’t always prepare for everything, but you can be nimble. In fact, that is what startups have going for them. They are small enough to be nimble; be the David in a crisis. That means having a plan B for every scenario.
In the world of complex business development, it is as important for an entrepreneur to deliver solutions based on collective feedback. The flexibility to make mistakes and adapt a solution to common business impediments potentially gives rise to radical innovation. For businesses to sustain, employees must be provided with ample opportunities to experiment and come up with their innovations. Entrepreneurs must furnish a fast and safe way for their employees to fail and derive a positive take away from the failure.
Riding through the first 36 months can be a tough task. However, adopting all the right strategies mentioned above could factor in sustainable growth for your start-up in the coming years.
The author is Founder & Managing Director, BLinC Invest
DISCLAIMER: Views expressed are the author's own, and Outlook Money does not necessarily subscribe to them. Outlook Money shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.