If you’re a total beginner in the start-up world, it’s going to be challenging. You’re about to jump into the ring with some of the most competitive areas of business on the planet. If market volatility, the thought of juggling multiple roles, aggressive competitors and the long journey you’re in for don’t put you off, you really can create something incredible.

There are critical elements at the core of any successful start-ups and if you address them all, you might just make it in the industry. Well, that’s providing you have a viable product.


Establish your key performance indicators

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It will be difficult to measure success without defining the key performance indicators for your business. Some of the savviest startup bosses will primarily focus on the KPI’s that have the biggest impact on the overall growth levels of their business.  This ensures that resources can be dedicated to these key areas to ensure key performance indicators are met. 


Some of the most popular growth metrics include:

  • Customer Acquisition Cost: This is the price you typically pay to acquire a new customer.  If you want to calculate this growth metric, simply divide the total costs associated with customer acquisition by the total number of new users over a specific period of time.
  • Customer Lifetime Value (LV): Customer lifetime value is the total net profit attributed to a customer during their relationship with your business. 
  • Gross Profit Margin: This measures revenues after paying the cost of any goods sold.


Do one thing better than the rest of the pack

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Too many new startups, and even long-established companies, try to go after as many opportunities as possible.  Trying to make a quick buck by pushing new products or services launches can often have drastic and irrevocable consequences as too much capital ends up getting tied up in a service that ultimately flops.  This type of tactic is not a smart move when planning a sustainable growth plan.


Instead of doing as many things as possible, a savvy startup understands that sustainable growth comes from offering one product or service and doing this better than the rest of the pack.  A great example of a huge corporation backing a flop is Microsoft.  To counteract Apple’s dominance within the music market, Microsoft came out with their own attempt Zune

Due to its inferior design and functionality, they couldn’t compete with what Apple was offering.  Ultimately, they should have stuck with what they are good at.  This was a pricey lesson to learn, so it’s vital to identify your core product offerings early and push that as far as possible.  Only then should you consider moving into other profitable markets.


Scalability is key

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To ensure you avoid premature scaling within your startup, it’s vital to monitor overall spending habits by limiting overhead costs and avoiding taking out unnecessary debt. 


A great way to keep overheads low is to rent coworking space.  Historically, startups who opt to use coworking spaces instead of a classic office spaces easily save tens of thousands of pounds.  They can also quickly scale up or down depending on the success of the company.  A successful start-up business that is going through a period of rapid growth is certainly no walk in the park either.  In fact, this can be just as scary as when you first launched, so it’s vital you scale your business responsibly.


Have you considered growth equity?

Growth capital is typically designed to help facilitate accelerated growth for a target company.  This is often through entering new markets or expanding current operations.  Industry leaders like Goodwin offer insightful advice and guidance right across the technology, private equity, life sciences and healthcare sectors and provide invaluable information when it comes to investing in emerging growth companies.  This is definitely worth looking into further if you are considering growth equity opportunities.


Ready to build your growth plan?

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As you can see, every startup needs to hit the ground running with a solid growth plan and every plan should include:

  • An outline of KPI’s
  • Competitor analysis
  • Expert guidance
  • Careful financial planning


Success in the Start-up Field Requires Skill (and a little luck)

While we’ve taken a good luck at some of the crucial steps that any start-up should consider, it’s important to remember that getting your company off the ground and into the green is not an exact science.  There are plenty of issues and obstacles you will need to overcome, and some businesses luck out with timing more than others.  However, having a strong plan in place means you are setting up your company for a higher chance of succeeding.


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