There is no magic bullet when it comes to succeeding in a startup business, but with preparation, you can improve your chances of finding success, no matter the field you are in.
This above all: To thine own self be true
Too often, we approach business from the perspective of who our customers are, but we often forget ourselves. Everything starts from you; know not only your strengths, but your limitations, and most importantly, become a high-value leader that customers as well as employees want to work with and do business with. In business, especially in startup, your word and your name are your brand, and if you see the limitless money that companies pour into making their brand stand out, you will understand its importance. Take care of your brand by understanding and improving yourself. Use it and treat it like the delicate power that it is, and it will be on the lips of your customers.
Know your customer inside out
It is important to know who you are working for. Your potential customers are diverse and many, but do you understand what they really want? Can your product or service really help them? Take for instance Go Far, a relatively new company with a driving optimisation app that helps drivers save money as well as time. From their inception, they knew their customers would be forward thinking and tech savvy individuals. With that, they took their business model to Kickstarter, where many apps and computer software and ideas come to life. Through knowing their customers, not only were they able to choose an appropriate platform to launch their product successfully, they were also able to advertise the existence of their product to an interested, but unaware audience, therefore basically guaranteeing orders. In addition, by understanding the app market, they expanded their product to not only offer money-saving updates in real time, they also implemented fun games and tertiary information, value-added bonuses that their users definitely appreciate.
Plan and Benchmark!
"In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable." - Dwight D. Eisenhower General Eisenhower was correct. Our plans, no matter how well thought out, will have elements of success and failure. But the most important thing is we plan and be prepared for eventualities.
As a crucial first step, it is strongly recommended that you have a business plan from beginning to end that will detail in length your product or service and why it is compelling, what you plan to do in the short run to launch, your expected revenue, your expected break-even timeline, your long-term goals, etc. There is so much that goes into writing a plan that by the time you are finished, you should have a good idea of all the possible scenarios, including paths to successes and failures so that you have contingency plans prepared. In addition, you must have good metric to dictate success besides just revenue. Lack of revenue could be caused by many things in the profit equation; make sure you know every single part of the equation and a way to understand what is causing the loss, and then makes plans to remedy it.
These basic but very important steps will help prepare you mentally and stay on track. But through it all, don't be afraid of failures. They sting, but they are the greatest teachers in how to reshape our product or service to be appealing.