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Aditya Agarwal

Aditya Agarwal is Co-Founder at Campus Sutra.

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Ten Lessons for New Age Startups

Several on-demand grocery delivery startups failed to take off because they could not keep up with the competition. Startups should work at a fast pace to stay at par with their existing and upcoming competitors.

The era of grey-haired founders is gone and young blood is all set to plunge into the startup ecosystem. Taking lessons from failures that have been chronicled hence seems more important today than ever before for entrepreneurs. Here are few important things to keep in mind

Evaluate passion before money

It is important to fall in love with and believe in the idea of your startup. Many get excited with the idea of being an entrepreneur, earning a lot of money,and starting their ventures. However, what they lack is true faith in their idea. If you’re not passionate about your vision, then it is hard to imagine that employees or clients will be. Startups must build their empire over a strong foundation that they themselves believe in. There may be changes in the economy, evaluation of currency used, technology, and many other things, but only firm belief in the idea will lead to success.

Provide solutions instead of alternatives

The product a startup provides should offer a solution to a problem at hand. There must be some real customers ready to shed real money. Starting as an alternative to an existing successful solution can be a recipe for disaster. It is important to think out of the box and come up with unique business ideas so there is a real USP and competitive edge you have.

Keep looking for target audience

It is not a good idea to start with the probabilities of finding customers. Finding the right target audience is key. For instance, a major fashion website could not attain huge success as they failed to find sufficient and sustained buyer numbers. Startups should ensure that they evaluate their audience before chasing big valuations and projections.

Create a profitable business plan

Any new startup should first sustain, then gain profit, and finally expand Often, many ventures become perplexed with the growth strategies to follow as they go along and then fall behind because they were remiss in developing a solid business plan and. A profitable business plan should be the guideline to take the business ahead with the focus on the net profit. Expansion should happen once the business is established.

Choose your team wisely

Many founders commit the mistake of trying to manage multiple work profiles single handedly. At other times, the team members may not be commensurate to the job profile they handle. The motive should be to hire experienced, full time, and enthusiastic talents. An entrepreneur’s passion and enthusiasm should extend to his/her team too. One person alone cannot make an entire business a profit.

Do not underestimate the power of marketing

A video-micro blogging website could not succeed because it failed to get enough market attention. Television commercials are the most influential marketing mediums. For startups, there may be a budget crunch. With the outpour of Internet users, social media marketing is the best option for every startup. There is a need to come up with creative social media marketing campaigns and engage with the audience to the maximum.

Stay practical in fund allocation

It is imperative to allocate funds for every department. Spending should not only be on marketing and PR but also on customer engagement and acquisition. A startup working in the area of cosmetics faced its first failure when there was a surge in demand after a PR campaign but not enough funds to fulfill this demand. So it is important to save a large part of the funds for unexpected expenditures that may come along.

Deliver quality

A product or service should not be delivered in haste because this can affect the quality. Once rejected by customers, it will be very difficult to make amends. Moreover, by the time the startup plans a comeback, there may be better alternatives available. Ultimately, the battle will be lost.

Stay tuned on the competition

Several on-demand grocery delivery startups failed to take off because they could not keep up with the competition. Startups should work at a fast pace to stay at par with their existing and upcoming competitors.

Analyse and accept failures

Many a time, founders do not accept changes in implementation of ideas due to their love for the idea. It is important to not get blindedby the idea and to adapt as one goes along. If the business does not grow, it’s better to analyse why, accept how, and work around it. Only then can the business succeed.

In conclusion

The startup ecosystem is full of ideas. Working at a fast pace while keeping the realities in mind is what can make startups a success. Think out of the box and balance passion with reason. General rules of business are now outdated and therefore an entrepreneur must keep creating new avenues to survive in this atmosphere of cut-throat competition.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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