In 2012, entrepreneur Mark Cuban wrote “12 Rules for Startups“ for Entrepreneur.com, contained valuable insight and some entertaining ideas from Mr. Cuban. The article shared some snackable ideas to the startups to roll out with large profits and tag their business as ‘successful’.
Keeping the same spirit, this post is going to narrate 12 additional rules of thumb for startups to follow in 2014 – for both those launching new businesses and those associated with these startups. It’s been a two year leap since Mr. Cuban wrote his article and while the market and tactics have changed quite a bit, startups in 2014 still have plenty of exciting things to look forward to.
Rule 1: Grow Your Passion
Startups are diligent, and have to build a problem-solving attitude since the launch of business. Startup strategy must consist of moving two steps forward and one step backward. However, it’s critical that all start-ups include plenty of passion as it’s important for entrepreneurs to deal with business upheavals.
Rule 2: Never Give Up
As startups grow and experience challenging times, they need an attitude in place that tells them to never give up! Overall persistence in business works to help startup owners grow a strong survival strategy in the long run.
Rule 3: Your Product Must be Compelling
With effective messaging, snacky content and slick marketing campaigns, you might give a boost to your business, but if your product is not compelling, you cannot give it the best shot it deserves. The presentation of your products must also be compelling, so that it generates immediate customer feedback and helps create a source of brand inspiration.
Rule 4: Add Value to the Product
The value of patents and trademarks is not under certification if you are a startup. However, having patents filed puts your business several steps ahead of others who may be dealing in the same niche. Ultimately, your product must provide a level of assistance that is more sophisticated and valuable than what your competitors are offering. Adding value allows you to be transparent and bridges the gap between you and the customer.
Rule 5: Keep People Informed
Start sending e-newsletters to your advisors, potential investors, and clients. The goal of sending out newsletters is to keep everyone informed and engaged about events and news happening within your startup. When you require capital investments, potential investors will be more likely to help you out with funding since they have been able to get a feel for where your business is going.
Rule 6: Hire the Right Person
Startups tend to have limited financial resources so a bad hire can quickly turn expensive. It’s important to spend time making good hiring decisions and look for some of the following traits in potential new hires:
- Core competency in the field
- The new hire needs to be a generalist in some issues
- Be able to take the lead or possess leadership qualities
Rule 7: Don’t Let the Highs and Lows of Business Bother You
Startups and their ventures are volatile. Startups can stay at the top, but they need to learn the steps of what to do if they fall and be able to move forward.
Rule 8: Funding Takes Longer Than It Looks
Raising venture capital looks easy on the outside, but in reality, it involves a lot of hard work. Be patient with both yourself when it comes to waiting on decisions made from potential investors.
Rule 9: Incorporate Social Media
Keep your startup connected via social media platforms to engage your audience, both existing and new customers alike.
Rule 10: Create a Business Plan
Startups need to create a business plan with an executive summary to focus and stick to it to expand the market for products and services. The summary should contain the company name, incorporation year, shares, compensation for capital, geographical location and the business sector you work with. Keep the business plan somewhat brief – you can always fine tune it in depth later.
Additionally, be sure to cover the following areas:
- Explain what your business is
- Describe the product/service and what makes it unique
- Explain the competitive business environment
- Explain how your business model can be beneficial for clients
- Describe your marketing plan for the product
- Discuss what the responsibilities of the team you’re working with are.
Rule 11: Know Your Customer
Be sure you know backwards and forwards what your customer needs and how to personalize your services to meet their needs.
Rule 12: Don’t Stick to Offering Only One Thing
Never stick to one thing alone, be it a product, service, or client. If you stick to just one thing, you will miss the chance to succeed on a larger scale by selling more products to people who know and trust you. If you only have one client, you’ll be up a creek with no paddle if they decide to change vendors and you will run into cash flow problems.
Remember that this is not a 9-to-5 job. Running a startup is time consuming and difficult, but its better to run if you enjoy the journey along the way.
William Walker lives at Birmingham in Alabama and works as a social media strategist after he completed Economics. He jams up the best with startups working on products, growth, mobile, online business and brand equity. He enjoys writing informative blogs with good coffee or wine to inspire the wannabe market leaders.