Winning the Startup War with the help of competitive intelligence and common sense

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Winning the Startup War with the help of competitive intelligence and common sense

Launching a startup is akin to going to war. The business battlefield is littered with the wreckage of startups that didn’t make it. To avoid becoming a casualty in this startup war, you need insights and an open mind. We delve into the common reasons why startups fail. Think of these reasons as landmines scattered along your path to success. Awareness of their locations can help you navigate safely through the startup terrain. Significantly increasing your chances of victory. This is winning the startup war with the help of competitive intelligence and common sense

Insignificant Target Audience

Your idea may be groundbreaking, and your chosen niche may appear uncharted. However, pause for a moment and ask yourself: Why is this niche unoccupied? More often than not, it’s not because no one thought of it before but because the demand isn’t there. Or it’s a great product, but potential users see it as a solution for something that’s not a problem. 

Before venturing forth, study and analyse the market thoroughly. Failure often results from neglecting this crucial step. Look to reinventing something that already exists. Find innovative ways to present your idea to a broader audience, just like what Apple does very well. And here is another article of interest: How to Estimate Market Size in Competitive Intelligence

Ignoring the intelligence

Ignoring competitive intelligence is a ticking time bomb. Yeah, you’ll be ok until you’re not. Many startup founders get into it ill-prepared. They focus on their project, ignoring essential aspects like: 

  • Market research
  • Target audience analysis
  • Competitor analysis

This negligence is akin to building a house on shaky ground. You cannot establish a viable business model without market research. Prioritise competitive intelligence, as it lays the foundation for your venture.

Not Knowing Your Audience

Failing to understand your potential customers is like walking on a field of unexploded mines. It’s not about demographics like age or income; it’s about psychological profiling. Knowing your customer’s psychology helps you identify triggers that motivate them to buy your product. The pain you will resolve by them using your product. Also, avoid narrowing your target audience too much; unexpected customers might emerge. Prepare psychological customer profiles and consider expanding your target audience. Or simply talk to your potential customers. Get their view and dont regard them as stupid because they do not get it. 

Not Following the Plan

Plan all critical features in advance and adhere to the plan. Deviation from the initial plan wreaks havoc on your startup. Changing plans during the final stages can be detrimental. Stick to your original plan and incorporate new features after testing and validation.

Overcomplicated and Extensive Projects

Complexity can ensnare and cripple a startup. Some founders mistakenly believe that adding numerous features signifies progress. Starting small with minimal features allows your product to adapt quickly to market demands. Again, think of Apple and their original interface for their iPod. The iPod played music; it didn’t try to be anything else. Single button for forward, stop, start, back, up and down. Begin with simplicity and build from there. I still have the original iPod instructions in my wallet as a reminder to keep things stupid. 

Unrealistic Financial Estimates 

Inaccurate financial estimates can obliterate your startup. Calculate your project’s funding needs accurately from the outset and follow your plan diligently. And not every project needs funding, cash is not as cheap as it once was, and not every startup is going to be a unicorn. Also, don’t assume the investor knows what they are talking about. They invest in something that’s a success. They try to find another similar investment. The same is true in reverse if they fail. 

So it’s really important to make realistic financial estimates and divide tasks into stages. And make it simple for the investor. 

No Testing

The absence of product testing is a ticking time bomb. To gauge demand and functionality, you must test your product. Create and launch a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to receive crucial feedback from your customers.

Satisfied with Minimal Growth

Growth is vital for survival. Avoid complacency. Incorporate aggressive growth strategies into your plan from the start. Prioritise aggressive growth in your initial plan. And when we mean growth, we mean growth. Not appointing a Chief Growth Officer and over to them.

Being Unaware of the Current Situation 

Stay informed about market dynamics and competitors. Awareness is key to success. Market conditions change rapidly; remain vigilant. Keep abreast of market changes with competitive intelligence and have a contingency plan.

Lack of Feedback from Developers

Stay in regular contact with your developers for ongoing improvements. Maintain constant communication with your development team. Developer feedback is crucial for product improvement. A close partnership ensures that your project evolves and prospers.

Winning the Startup War with the help of competitive intelligence and common sense

In the world of startups, courage and ambition are vital. However, avoid the pitfalls. Landmines can be defused or avoided with the right approach. May your startup emerge victorious on this battlefield.

However, armed with insight and guided by wisdom, startups can navigate the treacherous terrain. They can emerge victorious. Avoiding the pitfalls mentioned above can significantly increase your chances of success. In this startup war, courage and ambition are essential. But the strategic and insightful approach will ultimately lead to triumph. Yes, you need a bit of luck. But the harder you work, the more competitive intelligence you have, the luckier you get. May your startup rise above the challenges and carve its path to success in this competitive landscape.

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Competitive intelligence is the finding & critical analysis of information to make sense of what’s happening & why. Predict what’s going to happen & give the options to control the outcome. The insight to create more certainty & competitive advantage.

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