Source | Entrepreneur : By Senthil Natarajan
When you think of the word startup, one of the first points that come to one’s mind are challenges.
Challenges exist mostly around money, talent and survival. But if one has to weather the startup storm and not just survive but succeed, they have to look beyond these ‘initial’ challenges.
A term that is bandied around of late is ‘cockroach startup’ – which implies that the company can withstand all kinds of pressure, be it external or internal and still do more than just survive. (Exactly like how a cockroach survives for several days even if the head is cut off).
And to do that, it is imperative to view challenges beyond the immediate ones’ startup environments present and plan for long-term impact. Survival and success depend on several things, but the most critical ones in my mind have to do with problem identification, designing scalable solutions and putting the right team in place to execute it.
Address Issue: If products and services of companies do not address a problem, need or challenge, they may as well shut shop. That said, identifying this is critical too – it has to be something that does not lend itself to going out of business. It has to be something that will always be in demand in some form, shape or size. Fashion, money and food are classic examples of such industries.
Scale: Scalability should be looked at from several perspectives. Is the market or the requirement large enough? Do we have the means to reach this market? And finally, is there scope for expansion – not just into newer markets; but by way of new product/service offerings as well. This level of planning will ensure that there is a clear roadmap that keeps long-term health of the company in mind. Goes without saying, it will pave a clear path for the company to understand what kind of funds and org structure they would require to get there.
Structure: Organizational structure and team composition are significant. This perhaps is the most critical component and can make or break dreams the company has seen for the market and consequently itself. Some criteria to absolutely tick off while selecting the core team are the ability to take risks; willingness to get hands and legs dirty; obsession with the cause the company stands for; and playing to strengths to further a common goal – not constantly worry about individual growth and success.