Essential Strategies for a Sustainable Startup
Amazing success stories often steal the show, but the sad truth is that the average lifespan of a startup is just three years. When you want to get your operations off the ground, you have to invest a lot more than just your enthusiasm. Aiming for the skies is fine, but crash-and-burn is always a possibility. So, it is time to come up with prudent strategies, develop daily routines, tool up, and get down to business to build a sustainable startup.
Building a Sustainable Startup
By the Power of a Team
People are a driving force behind any startup’s success. They handle the workflow, execute plans, and serve customers. Thus, a well-thought hiring policy is paramount. It should define necessary skills and also target the talent that is a right cultural fit for the company. Of course, attracting people is only one part of the equation, as you also have to figure out a way to retain them.
Along the same lines, startups have to retain their customers. Studies show that retaining an old customer is five times less expensive than acquiring a new one. Also, some experts argue that a 10% increase in customer retention equals a 30% increase in a startup’s value. It all starts with an initial contact, but there are many other steps that constitute a long and fruitful relationship.
The Long View
Buy/sell mindset does not get you far in this day and age, when customers expect businesses to go an extra mile. So, steer away from shortsighted decisions and look beyond immediate success. The decision-making process must encompass not only the market, but the community and society at large. Some of the most established brands today are those that endorse environmental awareness and social responsibility.
The Real Value
Great products and swell service are powerful assets, but everyone competes on these aspects. Startups must show their real value by focusing on the problems of the customers, their cravings and wants. A killer value proposition is a great way to set yourself apart from the others and offer something that they do not. It helps organizations gain a sense of mission and purpose and illuminates the path to business greatness.
This brings us to the point of nurturing a strong brand. People seek a stellar experience. They flock to startups with solid brand equity, companies that know how to make an emotional connection. Emotions spur engagement, and it further generates brand loyalty and ambassadorship. For a scalable business, it is crucial to keep the fingers on the pulse of the target audience.
Overcoming Growing Pains
Startups are built for rapid growth and hungry for money. However, a business that grows too fast is not a business that can achieve sustainability. The growth patterns must be aligned with cultural shifts, organizational structure alternations, and other operational changes. What is more, a sustainable growth is always rooted in the stream of repeated sales and predictable cash flow. Only these processes can fully support a scalable, sustainable business.
In New Light
Being sustainable has been given a new meaning with the rise of green movements and technology. Namely, embracing sustainable business practices goes a long way in cutting the operating costs and lowering the carbon footprint. Lighting, for example, is the biggest consumer of electricity, apart from HVAC. The good news is that incredible LED lighting solutions last up to 50,000 hours and save around $3,260 over the lifespan of a single bulb.
The internet is a leveled playing field where both industry giants and emerging businesses fight for an immense audience. It is teeming with inexpensive and free marketing channels that help startups gain traction and make a name for themselves. Social media networks, for instance, are indispensable tools for amplifying your marketing messages, and easily connecting with an audience on a deeper, more meaningful level.
Leaps and Bounds
Running a sustainable startup business is a wild ride that involves many peaks and valleys. Simply being expensive and playing hardball does not cut it. The ultimate trick is to deliver true value with limited resources. So, do not cut corners. You have to build a company that matters from the ground up. Follow the aforementioned strategies to position your startup for a long-term success and stay ahead of the curve as you and the industry sector mature.
This article on essential strategies for a sustainable startup was contributed by Chloe Taylor. Chloe is a blogger and a huge fan of social media. She enjoys learning and writing about design, business, productivity and career related topics. Her biggest dream is to travel the whole world and take stunning photographs of beautiful places. You can find Chloe on FB and Twitter.