The start-up report of Challenger, Gray, & Christmas Inc. shows that start-ups are mushrooming around the globe as 7.4% of job-seekers started their own business in the last quarter of 2016.
Now, this fact directly entails us to pay special attention to the roadblocks faced by this rapidly growing segment of the world economy. While some mistakes are beneficial for startups to make so as to gain a little better flair for the industry and a first-hand wisdom others are not necessary and unjustly break the bank.
The most dangerous pursuit down the road of unbearable mistakes is obsessing about your own products and ideas to the extent that you become adamant and repulsive to any sort of adaptation or evolvement. Adaptability signifies intelligence and ensures survival for a long haul and should not be seen as weakness.
It is a proven fact backed by statistics that a majority of products or ideas are not even close to success and fail miserably. This astonishingly high rate of failures indicates that somewhere the approach of startups is mistaken and needs improvement. Here is the list of actions that will help you stand a chance to win back in the time of turbulence.
1. Rethink what looks perfect
Margo Morrison, the owner and creator of Margo Morrison New York believes “What’s really important when you’re running a company and you’re running a business and you’re in the marketplace is to not fall in love with your designs to the point where you’re unwilling to be flexible with what the market is asking for.”
It’s amazingly easy to get emotionally connected with your product or idea as it was your creation. But what is often overlooked is focus on needs of your customers and not forcing them to like what you have created. If you are of the kind who works with sentiments involved, then fall in love with your customers, rather than your product. In the normal ordinance of the market, a business is successful only when it caters to the needs of its target audience.
2. Observe, understand and adapt
Isn't it shocking that only 13% of marketers believe that their companies understand customers’ wants or needs?
Now, this directly means that start-ups are not investing enough time in doing research and understanding the needs of their targeted consumer base.
Also, 43% of customers don’t provide feedback, because they think companies don’t care and it’s not worth the effort. But, that doesn't keep you from gathering valuable information because the remaining 57% of customer base talk and share their feedbacks.
One can always outsource the research part but apart from outsourcing one must actively observe the social media and local market first-hand.
Why monitoring social media is important?
At least 50% of social media users go to their social networks to provide product feedback – both positive and negative.
39% of Twitter users have Tweeted about a brand, and 42% of Facebook users have mentioned a brand in a status update.
These facts prove the point why one being a startup founder must be active on social media.
3. Collaborate with the customers
When it comes to innovating and launching new products or optimizing existing products customers' input is valuable.
In order to collaborate with customers one may simply put out a survey or hold two-way communication inviting product ideas. It is more like fishing out the pain points and needs of the customers and then working on the solutions for the betterment of the product at hand.
4. Value frontline employees
There is a cliché that top-level executives are of the most importance. Start-ups can easily overcome this and can pay attention to the frontline employees as much as the CEO and CTO.
The reason why it is insisted to value the entry-level employees because they interact with your customers directly. They can provide the valuable information which may be skipped by the overpaid surveys.
By flattening the organizational structure and giving greater responsibility and compensation to individuals in frontline positions, you’ll certainly have a stronger pulse on what’s going on in the market and how customers feel about your product.
5. Start Moving With the Current
The way upstream is far more difficult than it looks. Everyone in the startup segment of market seeks to bring a revolution but on the contrary, it is wise to understand and accept that it will take years to bring a change in consumer behavior and bring it in your favor. Instead of forcing your ideas and product on them, flow in the direction as they want you to.
Zoom out and re-evaluate the situation for a while, look into their requirements and relate to the product specifications that you offer, in case of any mismatch amend the product.
Remember, flexibility will keep you afloat in the long run.
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