Many people are still confused about startups. They are mostly used to describe scrappy young ventures, new millennial apps, and big tech companies. But what exactly is a startup?
Most entrepreneurs agree that a startup is a company working to solve a problem where the solution is not obvious and success is not guaranteed. They describe it as a culture and mentality of innovating on existing ideas to solve problems.
Differences start emerging when entrepreneurs begin to define how big or small a startup should be. But one thing they can all agree on is that the key attribute of a startup is its ability to grow.
Business goals describe what a company expects to accomplish over a certain period of time. Companies usually outline their targets and objectives in their business plans. These goals might relate to the company as a whole or may pertain to its departments, employees, customers, and other areas of business.
In this article, we’re going to discuss five business goals for startups that entrepreneurs need to know.
1. Minimum viable product
A minimum viable product (MVP) is the earliest version of the product you build. Releasing an MVP is pretty useful because of it’s similarity to the actual product. The idea is to offer this MVP to customers and observe their actions with said product or service. When we ask people what they would do with a product, the answer is usually different from what they actually end up doing.
Genuine customer feedback lets you build out several iterations and improve your initial product sooner than if you built what you originally planned.
Try to make an MVP that is a little rough around the edges but is functional enough that you can use it to figure out what you should work on next, based on user feedback.
2. Research your market and client base
If you want your startup to survive, understand your market clearly. By researching your client base, you will likely improve your product or service.
To understand your market and figure out if your business model can work locally, look at what’s happening in your field and industry. Is there a viable market in your area? How many competitors do you have there? You can get this information from trade organizations, industry leaders, and local businesses.
Also, search the internet for industry-specific books and revise your business model as needed.
3. Bring on key hires
You’ve likely built your MVP and even made some iterations to it as well. But, you’re still not ready to go public just yet. This is the perfect time to bring in key hires who will take your company to the next level. If you’ve proven the need for your product then its time to improve and apply the finishing touches.
Lawrence Bossidy, former COO of General Electric, says:
“Nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day, you bet on people, not on strategies.”
4. Manage the cash flow
New businesses don’t usually start generating profits in their first year. To keep your startup from sinking, have enough reserve cash on hand to weather unexpected storms. By managing cash flow, entrepreneurs will greatly increase their businesses’ chances of survival.
Managing your companies’ cash flow doesn’t need to be complicated. It can be as simple as making a cash flow statement. A cash flow statement will show whether your business will have enough money to pay bills and make payroll.
5. Increase productivity
Distractions like mobile phones are proving to be a huge nuisance for employers. These days, employees constantly use their phones in the workplace. This directly results in decreased productivity. Restricting the use of mobile phones during work hours will increase an employee’s focus and productivity in the long run.
Use time tracking apps like Stafftimer to monitor employees and track their daily progression. It will likely encourage employees to avoid distractions and focus solely on tasks at the workplace.
These are just some business goals for startups to consider. Every company is different and they all have different targets. Make a list of realistic goals and then go from there. Everything else will start taking shape as well.