As the vast number of failed new ventures can attest, growing a startup is no easy feat. A success rate of roughly 10% can be daunting, but no success story worth hearing about ever started with a favorable set of odds.
While the methods for success may vary across industry, location, and market demographic, there are a handful of tips that work across the board. Here are smart tips to give your business an edge:
- Your Choice of Office Space is More Important than You Think
There’s more to setting up a base of operations than mere ergonomics. Successful startup owners understand that situating a team in a productive environment means situating them in a human environment. Perhaps the best case for this comes in the form of Common Desk, and other virtual office developers.
The success of the coworking model suggests that not only are shared, dynamic spaces generally more positive and vibrant than the dull office setup of the last few decades, but that they contribute to overall productivity. Members’ human sides are fully engaged by the organic communities of freelancers and businesses that form within coworking spaces, as well as by extras like in-house fitness centers and weekly social activities.
While a startup could (and should) try and replicate an office space that mirrors what thecommondesk.com and other office for rent spaces have to offer, it’s usually more cost-efficient to look into options that are already tested and functional.
- Learn as Much as You Can, Whenever You Can
If you’re turning to this guide for help, odds are you haven’t already amassed years of experience in running a successful venture of your own creation –and that’s perfectly fine. One crucial habit for success is to learn as much as you can about topics relevant to your venture.
Whether you go the way of formal education, attend conferences and seminars, or simply interact with as many people who’ve been in your position –or positions close to it– as you can, maintaining an open mind and active hunger for lessons you can break apart and integrate into your venture is critical.
Train yourself to seek discomfort as a way of disciplining yourself to be on the lookout for greater perspectives. Elude your comfort zone when you have the time, or take the Socratic route and remind yourself that you know far less than you think; whatever method, motivate yourself to learn more.
- Learn When to Fold
The most important realization that an entrepreneur needs to have is that for every business that outlives its owner are three or four earlier projects that failed to take off. This is an unfortunate reality, but accepting the fact that 80% of all old and new businesses fail can save you from riding unlucky investments into the dirt.
Unless you’re starting a business for fun, chances are you aren’t sitting on a trove of resources and learning when to fold is vital. Have clear metrics for success and be honest with yourself about when you’re failing to meet them. Be critical in assessing when your problem areas can be fixed, and whether the value of fixing is worth the expense. Decide on early warning signs and thresholds in advance, and commit to slowing down if they ever emerge –you’ll thank yourself for it later.
Starting a business is a risk that only pays off with the proper combination of grit, intellect, and luck. Don’t play the game if you can’t afford to bust out, but don’t turn away because of the sheer difficulty either –instead, keep your eyes open for strategies and lessons that have worked before, and keep your mind open to every little thing that could go wrong.