Have you ever wondered what sets successful startups apart from the rest? Indeed, there is no single formula for success, so the answer might not be that simple. Startup challenges and competitors differ depending on the industry and the market size. While one cannot foresee who or what we will face, we can study the pattern. Despite the limitless ways startups can succeed, there are “check-points” most businesses need to pass before aiming for the next big thing. By studying these patterns, new companies can follow the lead and have a few tried and true principles which can contribute to their success.
Here’s what prosperous startups have in common:
- They offer a product or service that solve users’ problems
A great product is one their users cannot think of letting go of. In short, impactful. Extreme cases of life-changing product discovery in our times are the invention of Google and Uber. Nowadays, imagining going back to when we did not have a search engine or an app to order food seems impossible.
Another closer example will be the giant Indian startup called BYJU’S. Founded in 2015, BYJU’S services focus on providing online tutoring and coaching for students of class 1 to class 12. Now, there are 15 million BYJU’S users all over the world who quite literally rely on BYJU’S for their future. BYJU’S Freemium business model is also one of the reasons why it is named the most valued startup of India.
- They value their customers
Always strive for your customers’ satisfaction. Make sure that your company does not betray their trust and make it as if signing up with you was one of the best decisions they ever made. If you can make a customer stay, there is a higher chance they will recommend your product to others, and thus do the marketing job for you for free.
Acquiring customers is pivotal in every startup’s journey, especially if you are a newbie. To this, Xendit, Indonesia’s newest fintech Unicorn, has mapped out its customer journey map. Basically, they try to make every step of their users’ customer experience the best they ever had. Xendit believes that a good customer journey map allows companies to better engage with their users hence have a higher chance to retain customers.
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- They care about the bigger picture
Running a business is not simply about racking up profits and reputations, it is also about responsibility. People of our time are objectively more sensitive towards global and social issues. If you play this right, branding your company as responsible can be the “it” factor that leads a potential customer to entrust their investment to your company.
Bolttech, a Singapore-based insurtech startup, is one of those companies that have succeeded in this branding. Among many, bolttech claims to put its attention to acting as initiatives for diversity and inclusion, ethics, e-waste, and sustainability. Bolttech’s ESG business approach also contributed to their latest achievement in passing a $1 billion valuation, making it the next unicorn in Asia.
- They are creative in their marketing endeavor
Within the dense forest of advertisements and incoming competitors, your company should know how to stand out. You don’t want the product you have painfully created to get drowned in white noises, falling to catch users’ attention. This is why you have to be creative with your marketing.
For example, the Malaysian startup Piktochart relies on powerful storytelling to attract potential customers. They utilize different kinds of mediums across platforms to reach as many audiences as possible. However, the quality of each content has to be always “top-notch”, so it leaves a strong impression on people.
Successful stories are the best benchmark for anyone, and it is free for anyone to access. Learn from the ones who made it and try to mimic, while adjusting to your own needs. By learning through others’ past mistakes, you can skip their learning process and focus on solving problems that are unique to your company. Good luck!
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