5 Ways to Determine What Success Means To Your Startup Business
May 9, 2015
Some will argue that a company can do both; and, I respectfully disagree which is why 95% of startups companies fail:
Marketing is centered around an actual product with sustainable sales numbers while Branding is centered around a concept with no real revenue stream where focus is on image and imaginary growth (often unethically fabricated). Before you can determine what success means for your business you’ll have to determine which lane you’re in and have the data to back it.
This is not a “fake it ’til you make it,” scenario and if you’re company is Branding please go collect your prize in the 95% of failed startups. And we’re on to the serial entrepreneur when branding future, bios, websites and résumés with fake business titles as a means to manipulate the facts while deflecting from accountability it’s actually a lightning rod to the fraud. Go get a job because you’re hurting the industry.
Example: My goal for the blog is help patients, consumers, employees and taxpayers expose unethical and or illegal behavior as it relates to their everyday lives in order to prevent future harm to themselves and or their families. A blog is not a business (again for 95% of the world) myself included.
However that’s different than my audience for the consulting business which targets companies that want to learn how to operate both ethically and profitably-it doesn’t have to be choice, a company and do both-be profitable and ethical. The consulting business was able to establish credibility through successful beta test(s) with positive trackable sustainable data resulting in increased profits and increased employee happiness. Once the second beta test is complete and that data can ethically be shared it should help the consulting business, not the blog. There is no advertising or revenue stream on the blog; and, that’s by design as it keeps the integrity and focus untainted and on the tools to help people help themselves.
If you’re having trouble remembering your company’s goal or remembering what your company set out to achieve please feel free to reach out (free of charge). If you try to forge ahead no matter how great the product, without focus, the company will operate well initially but eventually water will start to seep through the cracks.
3. Admit You Know What You Know & What You Don’t
There isn’t harm in not knowing something but there is harm in not figuring it out. This is also different than the “fake it ’til you make it,” approach mentioned above from the Branding group in that their goal is to not take accountabilty while they move on the the next project leaving a trail of distruction in their wake. Admitting to not knowing something is taking accountability and working towards finding positive fact based results for both you and your client. Credibility is lost with the client if a company is not transparent. This site often states the lies we tell ourselves are always far worse than any ever told to us. Being honest with yourself on limitations isn’t a weakness it’s a strength.
Many startups make the mistake of not listening to client feedback or worse employee feedback as executives aren’t often on the frontlines to hear the real world problems. Egos that can eclipse the sun in the startup realm are a dime a dozen and founders who think people should adapt to their product and that employees are just complaining when they’re really just presenting fact based evidence will quickly find themselves scrambling to create a sustainable revenue stream alone (as they’ve run the customers & talent out of the company).
Big data is a big joke if the company isn’t listening to customers & employees then their likely ignoring what’s right in front of them. There are a lot of analytic programs that are free like Stat Counter or Alexa where a company can pay if they want to drill down specific targets. A mistake many startups up is buying and focusing too much on statistics and not content or the product. There’s a lot of nice to know data and very little need to know data. Once the foundation is solid then I recommend drilling down into specifics to help bring in additional revenue streams. Focus with adaptability and a viable product with a sustainable sales model are the simple keys to any successful startup, coupled with the ability for executives to be honest with themselves as well as their team and customers.