What Makes a Startup Succeed vs. Fail

When starting a business, it is easy to focus on all of the ways that it could potentially fail. But it is incredibly important to give most of your attention to how you can instead ensure its success. While the basics are clearly important (having a good idea, a good business plan, and a way to acquire the necessary resources), there are a few things that are more important than you think:

1. Having a market for that product

Of course you are going to think that your business idea is great. You’re the one who came up with it. But making sure that you have a large enough group of people that also thinks it’s a great idea is the more important part. Do market research and get feedback!

product marketing

2.  Pitching your idea at the right time

If you are pitching a product to investors, make sure that you already have a prototype and enough information to convince them that it’s a good idea. If you’re trying to secure funding for a service you’ll be offering, make sure that you have done the necessary market research beforehand. If you only have an idea to show, and nothing else, it will be difficult for people to have full confidence in the success of your business. Make sure you’re ready to show them that confidence is exactly what they should have.


3.  Embracing the “boring stuff” as essential

While doing the proper paperwork (and maybe learning along the way) might not be the most “fun” part of the job, it’s absolutely imperative to the process. Instead of bemoaning this part, try to see it as a way to prove just how much this business means to you.

Woman looking over a stack of paperwork. Horizontal shot. Isolated on white.

4.  Employing diversity and versatility

Having both diversity and versatility in the office (or other workspaces) is key to the success of your business. Diversity in age, race, gender, and ethnicity are proven to add to the creativity and problem-solving of a business. As well as employees being versatile as a team, each employee should also be versatile in their own skill set—it’s important that, if necessary, employees are able to do more than just one specific job for the business.


5.  Adaptability and willingness to change

This one is especially important. This goes along with numbers 1 and 2. Being flexible on your idea, instead of closed off to criticism or suggestions, is what will ensure the most success for your business. This is important both before and after you start up; if something isn’t going well, don’t stick to it just because it’s part of the plan—you must adapt and be willing to change tactics.


6.  Getting help when you need it

Even though you’re starting your own business, this doesn’t mean you have to do everything by yourself. If you feel like you could use the help of an accountant, this might be the best thing you can do for yourself. It will take the stress of accounting off of your shoulders, and ensure that it gets done properly.


Starting a business isn’t always a walk in the park. But with these tips for success, you can save yourself a lot of trouble.

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