When starting out in business, there are so many problems founders are desperate and eager to solve – so many questions they want to answer. Most often than not, the whole process of thinking and processing a business idea can be really overwhelming. The weight of the idea development process can sometimes make you see many customer frictions you may want to tackle at the same time but obviously impossible due either lack of resources, the right talent on your team etc. Hence, startup founders must learn to pay attention to a common but most often neglected word – “FOCUS”.
Setting up a really profitable venture that would solve pain point issues for a very long time takes focus – focus on the right resources, strategy, talents and so on. It is this approach that prepares and determines if your startup would be a multi-million dollar venture or not. You may want to spend some time evaluating what is important to you and the venture you are building. There are a number of things that require your attention as a new business owner, and setting yourself up for success means taking a meditative approach to each one.
So quickly we are going to run through a few aspects of the business or startup company every founder must pay attention to and focus their strength and resources to develop for maximum productivity when setting out.
Your Why (Problem statement)
Your why is a big determinant of how much comes in for the business, but beyond that it is the reason the business exists. Many times people set up businesses out of passion without understanding whether the solution they are about to provide is a must have or a good to have. Just because they see a few of those problems, they assume there is more.
You should be specific about the kind of problem(s) you are about to solve. Put a figure, extent or boundary. You cannot solve all the problems, at least not at the early stage of the venture.
According to Angela Moonan, of BLOOM with Angela Moonan and I quote “A leader can ask herself, “what experiences, connections and feelings do I want to create for myself, my employees, my customers?” Everything that the leader wants to create is because she believes the world is better because of it. Overwhelmed feelings happen when she loses touch with that “why.” Reminding herself of what’s at the heart of her creation recentres her so she can be her most resourceful.”
Your why as an entrepreneur or a startup founder/company is what re-focuses you when there are overwhelming demands or urge to shift. Your why is your compass, so focus on your why.
Pick one problem your company solves and stay with it. It’s tempting to continuously add more and more fancy features to your product, but until you’ve completely solved one problem, none of those extra bells and whistles are going to impress your customers.
The one area that needs a significant amount of upfront time is establishing your value proposition because it enables you to accommodate what will set you and your startup apart from others.
Understanding your value proposition will allow you to develop a business plan that incorporates important resources, key activities, customer segments and required relationships and partners etc. Sometimes startups start-off with a clear why statement but along the line they bring in other products or services that are not in line with their why – making them lose brand identity. Unfortunately, some startups do this sometimes majorly to increase their revenue. For instance, I know of an IT solutions company that started off with the aim of providing IT solutions for other businesses but one year down the line, they started selling phone and laptop accessories while still trying to provide IT solutions to other businesses.
My point is, be clear on what your value proposition is – the solution you are offering. Rather than introduce something that changes your entire brand identity, you can consider pivoting certain aspects of the business that are inline with your problem statement and initial value proposition.
Building fantastic solutions can be very exciting until you find out there are not too many people to pay for the solutions you are offering. An important slightly looked upon are the customer segment. They are the ones with the problems you want to solve. As a startup you need to pay close attention to this segment. They are your key to achieving your product-market fit. A more intense focus on your solution rather than the people that would pay for the solution would be a very bad approach that may affect your business.
Another aspect of a startup that needs prompt attention is the model of the business. There is no one-size-fits-all business model that applies to every startup or business. New and upcoming founders should take the time to conduct in-depth research into which model they should adopt for their company before launch. Changing models while your startup is already up and running can affect the success of that startup. Hence, rather than change a business model completely, it is advisable to pivot certain aspects of the model.
Other focal points of setting up a venture include research, understanding the market and the key players, the competitive landscape, the funding opportunities for your industry or sector, hubs and community memberships and the right crop of talent for your team.
All of these are essential areas to focus on rather than the revenue that is often looked at. Succeeding in all these areas many times equals high returns (revenue). Hence, venture building is a process that budding startups must pay close attention to. Conclusive, starting out in business founders must focus on what matters if they must build a substantial venture that would keep solving pain point problems for a long time.