Six best practices to help your startup grow in 2016
This is an exciting time for individuals who are interested in building their own startup. The Internet has lowered the barrier to entry for many industries, and provides virtually limitless access to many of the world’s consumers. As technologies continue to develop, brand new industries are cropping up alongside them.
Just consider the massive multibillion-dollar App Store industry that has cropped up around the iPhone and iPad — both products which didn’t even exist a decade ago. Innovative entrepreneurs were able to identify the opportunities presented in this new market, and a number of successful startups were born.
As a way to help you maximize the likelihood that your current or potential startup will succeed, we have gathered six best practices for startups looking to have their business really take off in 2016.
Write out a legitimate mission statement
It isn’t enough to simply have a general mission statement in your head, even if you’ve discussed it at length with other members of your team. Actually writing out your mission statement — and referring directly to it during meetings (or simply when brainstorming on your own) can help keep your company on track once the inevitable hiccups and challenges start piling up.
Spend time with people more knowledgeable than you
No matter how knowledgeable you are, there is someone more knowledgeable about your industry that you can learn from. This is true for seasoned veterans, and it’s even more true for the owners of a startup.
Find one or more individuals who are willing and able to guide you, and provide insights into the nuances of your industry that you simply haven’t experienced yet. If you can’t find someone who can explicitly mentor you, you can still learn from thought leaders in your industry by reading blogs, attending networking and industry events, and befriending people wherever you go.
Understand what you need for an MVP and execute it
An MVP, otherwise known as a “minimum viable product,” is whatever product or service your startup can provide in the least amount of time and at the lowest cost — while still representing the specific mission and ethos of the brand you’re trying to establish.
The key to developing the ideal MVP will differ based on your specific industry and your desired place within it. However, be sure to remember the aphorism: “Perfection is the enemy of progress.”
Spend as much time as possible learning the industry
Whether you’ve been out of school for 10 months or 10 years (or longer!) it’s imperative that you consider yourself a student of your industry. Invest time reading about industry news, the size and direction of the market, and who the industry’s thought leaders are.
Listen to what they say, but think critically to see if there are points you disagree with or can counter. If you can find ways to go against the so-called “conventional wisdom,” you’ll be at a substantial advantage over your competition.
Think carefully about every single hire you make
The people you hire in the early days of your startup can quite literally make or break your company. Make sure you vet them thoroughly, and understand the role that they will be playing towards your larger goal of building a successful startup.
Know who your key employees are
The sooner you know who your key employees are, the better. Once you identify them, leverage their talents and delegate responsibility so that you can focus on big picture areas.
These are just a few of the essential best practices any startup founder should keep in mind. If you have other suggestions, be sure to let us know!