Starting a new business is always exciting, especially if you have a great business idea. But, it can also be extremely challenging. You can be a brilliant entrepreneur with a strong marketing background but still, fail to get your product to succeed.

How to Tell if a Start-Up Will be Successful?

It’s only normal for new startup products to go through many research phases of user experience and continuous improvement, which makes it impossible to develop a perfect product from the first attempt. Nevertheless, there are a number of critical success factors that will definitely give your startup the needed push towards success.  So what are those critical success factors for a startup business? This article will tell you exactly what you need to focus on as a startup entrepreneur. But before that, there is one essential step that we believe helps startups speed up the process and minimize costs spent on validating their ideas: Startup MVP development. Start by creating an MVP that has basic minimal features, just enough to gather customers’ feedback.

How building an MVP contributes to the success of a startup

The purpose behind building an MVP is to gain maximum insights from the market with as minimum resources as possible. An MVP will maximize your startup’s chances of success through the following:
  • Knowing Your Users 
One thing to remember is that product development should go hand-in-hand with customer development. You cannot disregard customers’ preferences during product development since both are interconnected. By building your MVP, you get to test your product and learn what is missing, while gaining a deeper understanding of what users prefer. Understanding what the latter want and aligning your product with market demand highly contributes to the success of your startup. 
  • Focusing on your main hypothesis
When it comes to developing your MVP, you will have to narrow down your focus to one or two main ideas that define your product. Ask yourself what problem is your product trying to fix, and decide on two hypotheses that will need to be addressed. What should your product provide to facilitate a task or fix an issue? Defining those elements will enable your startup to be minimally viable and operational so that you can successfully collect data and test them. 
  • Saving time and money
An MVP should contain a minimum of features, which means you will be spending a limited amount of money building it. You will also avoid spending time on features that would stretch your timeline and might also distract you from the basic parts of your product. No matter how limited your MVP is, it will help you improve your product to meet the market’s needs, and you can then decide whether it is worth more investments. Meanwhile, you succeeded in saving time and money. 
  • Avoiding Business Plan Misconceptions

A common misconception startup founders believe is the existence of a perfect business plan. Business plans evolve based on setbacks. A startup begins with a couple of untested hypotheses and develops a strategy for its development based on the results it collects. Goals or key performance indicators in the business plan for example are defined along the way. A customized business plan based on extensive research is what will make your startup succeed.  Now besides an MVP, how to tell if a start-up will be successful? Based on our experience at Staggering ROI, we gathered for you some critical success factors for a startup business:

Business Idea

You will need an amazing business idea to start a successful company. You might find it challenging to define whether your idea is successful, which is why we suggest your brainstorm it with your entourage first. Seek answers to whether the market would benefit from the product. Also, ask yourself whether you know the industry well enough, or have enough experience in the field. This will help you confirm the relevance of your business idea and assess how ready you are to implement it.  

Aso, be open to the fact that your concept may change as you develop your product and have a better understanding of the market and customer needs. Keep in mind that businesses that are flexible and always ready to evolve will definitely succeed.

Business Plan

A solid business plan allows a company to develop a strategy for its development, monitor progress, and make necessary adjustments accordingly. It is crucial to think ahead and have an organized approach in order to deal with unexpected obstacles. A business plan helps you understand competition and customers, assess the viability of your business, attract investors, and put forth a marketing plan. So the more thorough you are, the better. A business plan usually includes the following:

  • Goals

Defining the goals of your business and deciding on the necessary steps to reach those goals help you plan your business growth, your finances, and time management. Goals serve as a point of comparison to assess progress and a direction guide for team members to work towards. Setting goals also allows you to identify areas of improvement so you can adjust your methods to align with your objectives. 

  • Key performance indicators

Using Key Performance Indicators contributes to the success of startups by monitoring how well the business is doing and showing recent progress which allows you to estimate future growth. KPIs identify areas of improvement, indicating which processes are failing, so you can fix them. Furthermore, they can attract investors by allowing them to identify startups’ financial forecasts and determine if they want to invest or not.

  • Growth strategy:

A growth strategy helps you organize the business, set clear goals, and pursue them with accuracy. Doing so addresses how your company is going to evolve to meet the challenges of today and the future, creating a safety net for the long run. Bad decisions often happen when you make decisions based on today alone. So what a growth strategy does is compel leaders and employees to think long-term. 

  • Funding

Well, of course, you will need funding for the success of your startup. A lack of capital is one of the most common reasons why startups fail. However, keep in mind that external funding such as investors and business loans can support your startup but can’t ensure long-term success. To become a profit-making company and reach sustainability, you need to plan your finances, make projections, and follow revenue goals.

Team

Startups usually begin with a small team of people who manage different tasks, before building a bigger team of driven, competent, and dedicated professionals. The attitude of the founding members and how they contribute to the startup determines the success of the business and influences employees as well. If team members do not share the same vision, it affects development. Therefore, clear up any disagreements early on and agree on a clear chain of command.

Market research

Conducting market research is one of the main critical success factors for a startup business that wants to prosper. Without understanding who your customer is, you can’t be sure of developing the right product. Startups that conduct market research, and build buyer personas based on statistics create strong marketing and sales strategies. It can be carried out at various stages of a business life cycle, from pre-launch and beyond. Having a regularly updated understanding of your marketplace enables you to grow your brand into one worth competing with.

Competitor Analysis

If you want your startup to succeed, you should know who you are up against in the market. This allows you to learn from competitors’ experiences, mistakes, and successes. It also helps you collect ideas for product development, marketing, and pricing to position your business and stand out as a new interesting product. Here are some steps you can take to conduct a successful competitive analysis:

 

  • Identify Competitors
  • Analyze their online presence
  • Check their online reviews
  • Talk to competitors’ customers
  • Identify their strengths and weaknesses

Product development

To succeed, startups need to constantly listen to their customers, work on evolving and developing their products, and adapt to the market’s ever-changing preferences. Hence, you should always adjust to the market’s requirements, but make sure to also preserve your company’s initial vision and values. What we advise you to really consider here is custom software development due to its many benefits for startups. Custom software development is the process of building digital solutions based on the particular requirements of a certain business. What could be better right? 

Let’s make it easier for you. At Staggering ROI, we provide you with a dedicated software development team assigned to develop your software solution in accordance with your business goals. It’s a business model in software development that describes a long-term collaboration between the product owner and a service provider. Product development is among the most critical success factors for a startup business that you shouldn’t take lightly, be sure you make the best decisions regarding it.

Let’s start developing your software solution!

Pricing Strategy

Choosing the right pricing model is one of the most disregarded growth tactics, but also one of the most profitable. Startups should be aware that the market dictates the price, not the company. Therefore, conducting pricing research is essential for your company to take pricing decisions based on actual facts and market trends. Otherwise, you might fail to increase profits if you undercharged customers, or fail to attract new customers if you are overpriced. Here are two reasons why pricing is key to startups’ success:

  • Price is information

For customers, a high price automatically increases their expectations of a product and a company’s services. But a low price on a product that customers expect to have a high price is not necessarily a good deal. It is a reason for concern regarding the product’s quality. The trick is to discover the price that is right for the customer. 

  • Right pricing gives your market power

A decisive part of the product-market fit study that is usually missing is whether there is a willingness to pay for the product. By finding out users’ willingness to pay as well as the right pricing needed to trigger their willingness to pay, you increase your startup’s desirability for investors. They see a business they want to be part of.

  • You get to know your customers 

Knowing your customers’ willingness to pay also indicates what they care about and what attracts them. You can then enhance your product based on the information you gather and consequently increase customer demand. Pricing is an opportunity to observe customer behavior and work on your product development.

Creating Demand

Great products do not sell themselves. Demand for a product is something you generate, fuel, and maintain consistently. The process comes down to three steps: 

  • Conduct thorough market research to get to know your target audience
  • Discover how the product relates to customers’ needs
  • Work on a marketing strategy that encourages customers to purchase the product

Companies that study customer needs and work towards creating demand for their product have better success rates. 

Launching a startup is challenging and requires a lot of work while having limited resources. However, everything is possible if you think strategically from the start and take into account the critical success factors for a startup business. Those factors we discussed contribute to the success of your startup and keeping it in business. But above all, remember that achieving growth and success needs persistence, planning, and hard work. 

We’re up for the challenge!