7 signs of a strong startup

Source | | John Boitnott

You’re ready to take your business idea to the next level. You have a compelling vision for the future and devoted customers flocking to buy your products and telling their friends about them. Influencers showcase your brand frequently.

The harsh reality, however, is that most small businesses never develop into top startups.

Your vision is an important part of starting your company, but it’s important to take the actions necessary to develop a sustainable business too. Here are seven characteristics that define a strong startup:

1. Product-market fit

Although there are a lot of good ideas for products and services, not all of them will work as a business. The “if I build it, they will come” philosophy doesn’t produce actual concrete results.

Only startups that address the needs of a specific customer group will succeed in aligning what the market wants with what the product delivers. A strong startup has a strong customer base that appreciates the product’s solution to their problem and continues to buy from that startup.

For firms that have achieved product-market alignment, considerable market research created the company’s understanding of the market: what it looks like, what customers want, and why.

2. Robust market/user testing

A startup must consistently check the product-market fit to ensure they provide an exceptional experience and an ideal solution for the customer’s problem.

Regular user testing and trial runs of products in the marketplace demonstrate confidence and a willingness to make necessary changes should a user uncover an issue. This process can also help detect conditions that might detract from the customer experience.

Successful startups leverage user testing services and beta testing apps to assess how their products work and where tweaks need to be made. That way, they don’t make a bad first impression when a product launches.

3. Passion to disrupt the current market

Strong startups fuel their success with their passion to revolutionize the current way of doing something through a product or service solution. That disruption doesn’t have to be a large, explosive change. Startups project strength through incremental changes as well.

In fact, the startups that make incremental changes to existing products are most often labeled as disruptive. Think about how Airbnb changed the vacation rental market, how Uber and Lyft altered the ride-share/taxi business, and how Apple disrupted the way we communicate through mobile phones. Each worked with an existing paradigm or product but revamped it to be more efficient, convenient, or valuable to a particular audience segment.

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