7 Rules Thriving Startups Swear By

by | Nov 1, 2023 | Business | 0 comments

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9 out of 10 startups crash and burn within their first year.

(Or somewhere around that)

It’s a real bummer.

But let’s cut to the chase.

Do you want to be a mere statistic? Or do you fancy being part of that elite 10% that soars?

Look, you’ve probably had a ton of advice thrown at you from every angle.

“Do this,” they say. “Don’t do that,” they warn.

But here’s the thing:

Much of that advice? It’s the same old tired spiel that everyone’s been preaching for years.

Today, I’m going to spill the beans on some (simple) truths that many “experts” won’t tell you.

Here are 7 game-changing rules that thriving startups swear by.

🙋🏻‍♂️ Audience First. Product Second.

Ever met someone who talks only about themselves and never stops to listen? Annoying, right?

That’s how some startups behave when they put their products before their audience.

Picture this.

You spend hours, days, maybe even years perfecting a shiny new gadget. You believe it’s going to change the world. But then, crickets… Why?

You didn’t stop to check if anyone actually wanted your gadget.

Before diving headfirst into product development, take a step back. Listen.

What are people craving? What problems are they itching to solve?

Don’t shoot in the dark.

Creating a product without knowing your audience is like trying to hit a bullseye while blindfolded.

You’re just tossing darts hoping something sticks.

Instead of gambling on what might work, do a bit of detective work. Understand your audience’s likes, dislikes, and most importantly, their pain points.

The Bottom Line:

Your audience is your compass. Let them guide your journey.

Before dreaming up the next big thing, ensure there’s someone out there who’s actually dreaming of it too.

🎁 If you’re struggling to define your perfect customer… Check out our FREE Customer Clarity Kit. It’ll help you discover everything about your perfect customer, so you can target the right people with the right message.

📝 Content isn’t King. Relevant Content is.

Everyone and their dog seems to be pushing out content these days.

Everywhere you look, there’s a new blog post, video, or podcast episode.

But quantity doesn’t equal quality, and noise doesn’t equal knowledge.

You need to cut through the noise.

Imagine being at a loud party. Everyone’s talking over each other, and you can barely hear yourself think. But then someone whispers something interesting in your ear.

That’s what your content should do.

It should be that whisper that cuts through the noise, reaching out directly to your audience.

Another thing?

Speak their lingo.

If you’re trying to sell skateboards to teenagers, don’t use terms like “fiscal responsibility.” It’s a snoozefest.

Instead, dive deep into their world. Understand their slang, their values, their challenges. Make them think, “Hey, they get me!”

In a nutshell:

Stop shouting into the void.

Create content that resonates, that speaks to the heart of your audience.

Give them something they can nod along to. Something they see themselves in.

🔁 Feedback Loop

I know no one really likes criticism.

But here’s a secret:

Those startups that thrive?

They don’t just accept feedback. They actively seek it out. They understand that it’s the golden ticket to growth.

And, your customers are your best critics.

Ever bought something and thought, “If only they’d done this one thing differently…”?

That’s the goldmine right there.

Your customers are using your product. They know its strengths. And, yes, its weaknesses. Instead of fearing their critiques, embrace them.

But ask, don’t assume.

Waiting for feedback to fall into your lap? That’s a rookie mistake.

Be proactive. Send out surveys, conduct interviews, or simply ask after a sale, “Hey, how can we make this better for you?”

Growth isn’t about staying in your comfort zone.

It’s about understanding where you’re going wrong and setting it right.

And who better to guide you than the very people you serve?

💥 Omnipresence isn’t Necessary. Smart Presence is.

Here’s a myth that needs busting:

Being everywhere all the time is the key to success.

Spoiler alert: It’s not.

In the rush to be everywhere, you risk being nowhere effectively.

Quality over quantity, remember?

Think of it like this.

Would you rather shout in ten rooms where no one’s listening? Or speak confidently in one room where everyone’s tuned in?

It’s not about being on every platform or attending every event.

It’s about picking your battles and making them count.

Find your audience’s hangout.

Are your potential customers busy professionals? Maybe they’re on LinkedIn.

Teenagers with a love for quirky content? TikTok could be your stage.

The point is, don’t stretch yourself too thin. Find out where your audience hangs out the most and plant your flag there.

🕶️ Long-term Vision Over Short-term Hype

Quick wins are tempting. Who doesn’t love that instant gratification?

But here’s the hard truth:

if you’re always chasing the next shiny thing, you’ll end up exhausted and directionless.

Adopt a marathon mindset instead.

Ever watched a marathon?

You don’t see runners sprinting right out of the gate.

They pace themselves. They strategize.

Because they know it’s not just about leading in the first mile but being able to cross the finish line.

Your startup’s journey is much the same.

Think beyond the viral moment.

Going viral is exhilarating.

But what happens when the buzz dies down? Will those crowds stick around?

Building a brand isn’t about that one viral moment. It’s about what you consistently offer, day in and day out.

Think about fidget spinners.

Remember how they were EVERYWHERE and then just… weren’t?

Now, contrast that with Lego.

They’ve been around for decades, steadily building (pun intended) their brand, evolving, and adapting.

lego vs fidget spinner

So, see the big picture:

Hype is fleeting. Vision is lasting.

Don’t get so caught up in the sprint that you forget the direction you’re headed in.

Lay the bricks for a legacy, not just a moment.

🤏 Genuine Value Over Gimmicks

People are smart. (I know you may think otherwise)

They can sniff out a gimmick from a mile away.

And while gimmicks might grab attention momentarily, it’s genuine value that builds trust and loyalty.

The substance over show.

Think of your product or service like a book.

A flashy cover might get someone to pick it up, but it’s the content inside that’ll make them stay.

Sure, get creative with your marketing, but never at the expense of real, tangible value.

Earn your spotlight.

Gimmicks are like those cheap fireworks – bright for a moment and then gone.

What you want is a bonfire. Steady, warm, and inviting.

Make sure your core offering is solid, something people can rely on time and again.

Ever notice how brands like Apple always emphasise the actual value of their products?

They don’t just sell a phone. They sell an experience, an ecosystem

It’s not about the flash. It’s about the function and feel.

So, ditch the tricks.

Roll up your sleeves and offer something so good that it speaks (and sells) for itself.

Remember, in the long run… it’s genuine value that turns customers into advocates.

🔍 Data-driven Decisions

I never understand this weird habit of founders.

Why rely on hunches when you’ve got cold, hard facts at your fingertips?

In the age of information, making decisions based on gut feelings is like using a map when you have a GPS.

Numbers don’t lie.

Emotions can cloud judgment.

Trends can be misleading.

But numbers?

They tell it like it is. Whether it’s user behavior, sales trends, or feedback scores, the data holds clues to what’s working and what’s not.

But… It’s not enough to just have data.

You’ve got to dive into it, dissect it, and draw insights.

That spike in sales last month? What caused it?

That drop in website traffic? Where did it stem from?

The devil, as they say, is in the details.

How do you think Netflix seems to produce show after show that’s just right?

It’s not magic. It’s data.

They use viewer preferences, watching habits, and feedback to decide not just what shows to produce, but even how episodes should be paced.

🧠 Final Thoughts

Look, starting a business?

It’s not a walk in the park.

It’s a climb up a mountain.

And every startup founder has to choose their path.

Will you take the well-trodden trail that many before you have taken, only to stumble?

Or will you carve out your own way, backed by tried-and-true principles, ready to reach the peak?

This journey of entrepreneurship? It’s yours.

But you don’t have to navigate it blindly.

Let these principles be your guiding stars.

And remember, every titan of industry started with a single step, a single decision to do things differently.

Isn’t it time you took yours?

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Rahul Choudhary

Rahul Choudhary

Founder, Beef Up Media

With almost 6 whole years of experience in the online marketing world & specialising in email marketing + funnels, I’ve seen most – the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.

My goal?

Try to share as much of my knowledge & experience as possible.

Don’t forget to connect with me on social media. ↓

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