During the past decade, the world has witnessed growth of global startups facing serious threats from lack of longevity plans. Many startups that mushroomed during the mid-2000s disappeared overnight due to the lack of a “long-range vision.” Although these upstarts dared to disrupt and demolish the old order of business, they completely ignored the traditional values of preservation and sustainability.
Longevity should always be the primary concern of a burgeoning business, without which success will just be a passing fad. In the startup world, very few business ventures survive beyond incubation or early-stage development. How can the startup culture that rarely allows businesses to survive beyond the early stages of growth and development buck the trend?
Startups that prevail beyond the early-stage growth generally recognize that profit is necessary for sustainability, but they:
The founders of a startup drive the mission and vision of the company, which is why strong-willed and decisive mindsets will make good leadership candidates for startups. During the early stage of development, it is this core team of leaders that makes the financial and funding decisions, the technology choices, the products and services design decisions, and other strategic decisions for moving forward. Thus, it is imperative for these leaders to have:
They devised lasting strategies for adapting to change in technology, regulations, and market needs. An ongoing effort to adapt and implement new technologies, relevant laws, and market policies to fulfill the broader objectives of business through solid partnerships or collaborations with other businesses is a must.
They were less focused on quick wealth creation and more on sustainability. The focus of startups should not be just quick profits but delivering value-added products and services to human society.
Here are the typical traits of successful startup leaders:
Good startup leaders have to be visionaries while keeping a focus on day-to-day operations. They never lose track of details – be it business objectives, long-term strategies, product design, service development, or customer engagement. Walt Disney led the masses with his “dream.” He had such an influential and charismatic personality that he transformed his entertainment world into a globally renowned brand and a highly profitable business. He was the pioneer in the edutainment business.
In the startup world, it is not enough to just create good products and services for fulfilling particular consumer needs for profits. Startups generally go beyond wealth creation, which the old-world businesses have only recently understood through corporate social responsibility (CSR). Understanding value creation for human society was always a business priority for startups.
Through their business mission & vision, they generally serve the poor and downtrodden sections of the society, focus on the underserved population, rely on eco-friendly business processes, and believe in humanistic methods of profit generation. They often innovate recycling strategies, cost-effective production methods, and technology-enabled practices to keep their businesses lean and efficient and make a social impact.
By implementing the aforementioned goals, successful startups increased the odds of long-term sustainability without sacrificing short-term growth objectives.
Let’s see how these three startups located at three different corners of the world survived the recent pandemic:
Belva Anakwenze, owner of the LA based Abacus Financial Business Management, has taken one month at a time to help her niche financial advisory business survive COVID-19 by:
A pan-India grocery retailer was hit hard in March of 2020 when their supply-chain network suddenly faced a crisis and the majority of their delivery staff could not report to work because local trains and buses were not running. So, what did Big Basket do to turn around their lost business? Here’s something to learn from their redesigned business model:
Here’s a story of real inspiration. In the pandemic-ridden year, when a series of events like global lockdown and closure of airports brought the international travel industry to its knees, here is one unusual travel startup that braved the recession and refused to back down. This startup not only survived but raised funds and generated revenues.
If you ever get a chance to talk to Amsterdam-based Bidroom’s CEO Michael Ros, you will know that some extraordinary business leaders like Ros reinvented their travel-tourism services business models to survive the year-long crisis.
Michael Ros took the following bold steps to save his travel startup from succumbing to the global recession in the travel industry:
The large-scale failure or disappearance of the startup boom of the mid-2000s has signaled an era of drastic changes in business practices and long-range business planning. The startups of the present decade are much more conservative and cautious in their business plans. For starters, most modern businesses have clearly charted out Exit Plans. Startups have a lot to learn from traditional, resilient businesses like American Express or Microsoft that know how to adapt to change.