A startup is a new business or an entrepreneurial venture that has been set up to resolve an issue for specific customers. Startups typically fail because most entrepreneurs think they have a service or product in mind that will easily solve a problem. Then, rather than building a solution for the customer, they search for customers to utilize the solution. Every single startup journey will be different. Yet they’ll all roughly follow the same stages in terms of experiencing change, development, and growth. This means understanding the essential stages of a successful startup will go a long way when concocting a long-term scalable business plan.
Here are the 3 essential stages of a successful startup.
This is the first step for early-stage startups. The main purpose of this stage is to clearly define the things that a company is planning to do. This includes how they plan to solve problems for customers.
As a whole, this particular stage allows startups to assess where their product fits. It’s also the time to define what the company offers in terms of competitive advantage.
Detailing the original startup team, creating a website, and then selling and delivering a specific service or product rarely winds up working out as the company may have originally outlined in a business plan.
Fortunately, this stage allows startups to prove that there is a gap in the market for this service. They can prove they have the means to compete, and learn it’ll generate money to put such ideas into action. After all, before a startup can attract customers, it needs to have some form of funding plan.
If a startup struggles at this first hurdle, it may be time to bring in the expertise of an experienced startup consultant. These individuals can help startups to improve their projected business performance. They do so by assessing factors such as hiring, finances, marketing, and company procedures.
This particular phase is designed to show that a startup can realistically execute its business plan and build a loyal customer base. It’s also when a startup must put its money where its mouth is, so to speak. It involves refining an initial idea and creating a sustainable and predictable business as a result.
Issues like causing delays with the development of products, can benefit your business as you make changes. However, opting to get hands dirty to solve customers’ problems before product creation doesn’t guarantee it'll work. Consider an at-scale product to address all relevant needs.
As a result, it becomes essential to have a minimum viable product (MVP) at this stage. This can validate the product idea and draw in customers early on. Having an MVP also grants some much-needed feedback which allows improvements to be implemented.
Internally, proving a concept works is also where startups seek to grow their marketing and sales teams. Then, based on the improved product, come up with a picture of an ideal customer. With a general funding round of anywhere from $1-2 million, the startup can then continue to grow.
Essentially, a startup company will take a core group of entrepreneurs, add additional (and necessary) capital, and then transition towards growing the company at scale. This is the scaling stage of a successful startup.
This final phase is where companies will provide evidence of the business model or the scale-up process. Fortunately, if the previous stages have proven to be successful, the company will have already built the machinery of growth to prove that is it working.
In the context of an enterprise, this usually means that quality deployment, sales, and general support teams are firmly in place. However, there may also be talks of scaling the business further.
This might include anything from opening extra offices or even building a team devoted to products and future product line developments. Whatever it is, the data should demonstrate the competitive advantage that the company holds.
Additionally, this stage involves taking a much closer look at all recorded sales. This is one of the most important factors that determine the success of a startup. So, by examining sales, successful startups can analyze and address any performance issues and work on a resolution.
Starting a business can be a lengthy and stressful process, and it can become pretty easy to lose sight of end goals.
However, if a startup company can accurately follow these 3 stages, success is far more likely. It will also result in some much-needed company growth to get the product or service out to the relevant consumer market.