A startup can be extremely messy and no system immediately endorses or nullifies an idea. It is very critical to have an open mind in regards to change and adaptability as you learn the course your business is taking since you first began.
Three of the topmost cited reasons for failing startups are;(1) Not all are lucky to have financial backing and therefore, running out of cash to sustain the business; (2) Selling services or products that do not serve a market need, and (3) because they did not have the right people on board from the outset which makes a huge difference in the trajectory the startup takes.
Sometimes the product/ service can manage to have all three checked but still end up failing, and eventually require drastic changes to survive. It is just a process of learning, relearning, building, and evaluating at every level.
There are three types of startup adjustments;
ITERATION; this is making slow progressive improvements to your product/ service to better meet and serve your customers’ needs. This is mostly done by collecting feedback and customer insights.
PIVOT; this includes making a change in a fundamental part of your business strategy/ model.
IDEA CHANGE; sometimes, the adjustment requires a complete change in the startup idea instead of tweaking parts of it.
Some signs you need to look out for to determine the need for change or adjustments include;
- Having to constantly educate your customers
A vital part of a founder includes having to educate and enlighten your customers about your product. If they are unable to understand the essence/ value of the product on their own, it may be because you’re trying to solve a need that isn’t for your clients, isn’t urgent at all, or that you’re focused on the wrong clientele.
- Your product loses value to early clientele
Before you deeply delve into building your product, it is important to carry out customer interviews and research with your early market when you initially started. If they aren’t passionate about talking about your product, chances are it is not as vital as you thought it to be. The sooner you make a change, the faster and less expensive your adjustment will be.
- The product works, but partially
It may be possible that a part of your solution works exceptionally but the other part doesn’t perform on the same level. This means you need to consider improving the things that work and letting go of what doesn’t. The right change will marginally improve your productivity and positively impact your service.
- Scalability seems uncertain
A startup is created to scale. If you had a great start but currently don’t seem to be scaling, change might be long overdue. Scalability can lie in the financial docket where you aren’t sure how to grow without losing money.
In this case, it will be important to think about your long term funding strategy and how it aligns with the growth of your business.
With these few pointers, it may be time to assess your current situation for these signs and pull up your sleeves if it calls for some tough decisions. A startup that is not prepared to adapt to market needs will be unlikely to succeed in the long haul.
Let’s keep an open mind, shall we?