How to compete in a startup jungle?

How to compete in a startup jungle?

No. of new company registrations in 2013.

Founding a startup became the new ‘I’m in a band’ thing. Considering the fact there were over 500,0001 new companies registered in 2013 in UK alone, ‘startup movement’ is a phenomenon that is hard to miss.

One can wonder if it’s still possible to be successful with such a fierce competition, is it worth giving it a go? The answer is: yes. The huge number of new company formations shouldn’t scare you as - like in school - there is always going to be a difference in achievements among students or entrepreneurs in this case. The elite usually stands for not more than 10%, the rest are performing badly, on average or just good. Regardless of the numbers, there is always going to be a place for the best, no matter the industry, market condition and trends.

Here are few tips that will help you survive and eat competition like cupcakes.

1. Embrace yourself with patience. 

Those who became ‘entrepreneurs’ for wrong reasons e.g. by following the fashion or hoping for quick and easy money, will burn out quickly. Their motivation is too weak to stand the trial of time and obstacles that need to be faced each day. They are the sprinters not marathoners. If they cannot reach their goals fast enough they will divert their attention to another ‘hot’ thing. On the contrary, those who kicked off their startup because of love, passion and devotion to what they do will be able to handle much more difficulties and slowly but steadily add value to their business. Each day will make them wiser, stronger and more focused at achieving their goals. Those marathonians will eventually win as success doesn’t happen because of a sudden stroke of genius, it’s a result of years of hard work.

2. Listen to your customers.

‘Become an entrepreneur and you will be your own boss’ some say. Well, that’s not totally true. If you’re running a product company, you will have hundreds of bosses - your customers / users. For service companies the number is smaller but still you should get the point. Customers are the reason your company exists and you can’t exist without them. That’s why you should hide your ego and open your eyes and ears. You may be an expert in one area or another but only users can provide you enormous amounts of invaluable feedback that will let you improve the business and stay ahead of competition.

3. Surround yourself with the right people.

When you open up a business you make a lot of people happy. Accountants, landlords, advertising agencies, hardware shops - they will all see you as the new fish in the sea and will try to sell you their services. Watch out though. A lot of companies are there for profits only and will do everything they can to milk you. Forget about quality services and real support in difficult moments. The only thing they care about is getting the money out of your wallet. That’s why you should seek teams that are out there for the same reasons as you - because they love what they do. They will look after you because they are driven by ambition, not greed.  Also, because they are there for the long run they know they can’t compromise on quality of their offerings. So before you commit to somebody, have a chat first to find out what is his/her motivation.

4. Start simple.

Remember that Rome wasn’t built in one day. It’s better to solve a simple problem with a simple solution via one platform than try to over do at the very start. It’s very costly to market a breakthrough idea and it’s much easier to do that after you set up a stable foundations for your business. Be realistic and remember that you don’t need to invent a time machine. Some companies make a pretty good living by selling hamburgers.


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