Establishing & running a startup company is one of the biggest challenges nowadays. But there are some common characteristics which are shared by the most successful ones.
1. Don’t waste time, resources and energy in grand and impressive strategies and long term business - marketing plans. Prefer smart resource utilization and store this energy when the real opportunity arises.
2. Don’t follow a predefined and predesigned track and don’t be afraid to change things. Flexibility is and should be your main weapon. Mix opposites in your business without creating any mess. The company’s principles are the only thing you should NOT change.
3. Don’t imitate large companies. Look at the adaptable bio-organisms - striving to live but growing day after day. Look for cases of similar small growing SMEs as good examples.
4. Don’t be stuck with innovation. If you are innovative there is no need to worry about it, but if you are not there is no chance to be. All those people who speak for innovation are just changing the position of their desk. Seek for differentiation instead. Realize what makes you unique and invest in whatever makes you stand out of the competition.
5. Don’t adopt complex structures and organograms and don’t work with specific roles and strict rules. Make a simple, working and not exclusive organizational chart with a limited extend and depth. Build an open environment and get the maximum of all the people you cooperate with.
6. Don’t give fancy and glamorous titles to your personnel which do not reflect reality. Choose moderate ones and give the opportunity for personal development.
7. Don’t evangelize repeatedly your vision and strategy. Every company claims one but only few really have one. Alternatively, you should clarify the business principles and support them through all business operations.
8. Don’t look for extra skilled or over qualified personnel. These people are likely to be attracted by bigger “players”. On the contrary, you should invest in other human abilities like passion, engagement, commitment, hard working, ambition, etc.
9. Don’t set numerous, unclear or unrealistic objectives. An extremely high target lead to poor results in most cases and so does a very low. Set a few simple, measurable and substantial objectives, which can be achieved with hard pressure.
10. Don’t ignore the strength of the team. Take for example football teams. Think of small clubs which gained great victories over bigger ones. They had not the greatest and talented players but they could play as a team and had their chance. With an appropriate Enterprise Collaboration software, that organizes everyday tasks, measures productivity, provides CRM tools and Business Intelligence functionalities, excellent teamwork online can be achieved.
Androklis Mavridis is an expert in Project Management, Software Quality Assurance, Real Options and decision making in S/W investments