18 Enablers of Startups

Building a Start-up is like throwing the ball at a distance target. The odd that you will hit the target will be higher is you know the correct direction to throw. While running a business most of the time we play blind.  An enablers always come to rescue the start-ups at the time of such blind games. In general there are 18 enablers in startup environment which are grouped under 6 categories .

Customers

A customer is always looking for those products which haven’t yet delivered. The size of market should match with the ability of startup to deliver the products.

  1. Unmet Need:-  Best Opportunity come from helping the customers. Find a problem that is not yet solved, where the customer is in need, they do pay for solution.
  2. Right Size Market:-  Market which meets your needs  and ability will help you to start quickly without any extra stress.
  3. Reliable Access to Customers:  Traffic acquisition  channels can’t be relied upon for viability of business. A viable and diversified customer acquisition model will helpful in longterm.

Product

A good product will be a direct response to a customer need or desire. If the value is well articulated and the customer is passionate about your new solution, the reason to buy will be compelling. Consider deterrents also – are their high switch costs and is the solution easy to use and understand?

  1. Customer Focused Solution: Keeping product simple and highly targeted solution will help to address the unmet need of customers.
  2. Low Barriers to Adoption: Minimum challenges that may face by customer while adopting your product will help to acquire more customers.
  3. Value Proposition: The value of your solution must be clear, compelling, and significant. Even if the cost of developing your product is minimal compared to its monetary cost, if the problem you solve or your approach to the solution is of significant value, you will spend much less time having to convince people to try your product.

Timing

Every market has a natural lifecycle driven by innovation and circumstance. Look for new demand or interest in something that wasn’t possible just a couple years ago. Be a “fast follower” into a validated emerging market rather than speculating on new opportunity.

  1. Innovation Enabler: Opportunity to enter a market diminishes as a market matures.  To take advantage of a positive competitive climate, you need to be started quickly so you’re entrenched when the market capitulates and supply outweighs demand.
  2. Fast Follower: Despite the importance of getting started early, you need to be careful about pursuing unproven markets or opportunities. It is better to let someone else do that hard work and instead take a “fast follower” approach. If you can see an area that someone else has recently validated, you can come in quickly enough to still be part of the early solution for customers, but your efforts are spent on developing a better solution rather than searching for a market.
  3. No Signs of Commoditization: The end of every opportunity lifecycle is marked by excessive competition fighting for market share. Avoid markets where you observe such a dynamic forming if you are not already well established.

Competition

  1. Clear Market Inefficiency: Markets are inefficient when they’re new, A single competitor will become the dominant solution provider and command the large majority of opportunity and profit.
  2. Low Barriers to Entry: Avoid a fight you cannot win! Avoid any markets where a dominant competitor has already achieved economies of scale and can thus product cheaper than you or can afford to acquire customers at a higher cost
  3. Differentiable Position: An effective way to reduce competitive pressure, is to remove yourself from direct competition – you need to clearly identify a viable positioning strategy with this in mind.

Finance

  1. Low Sunk Cost: Opportunities that require less up front capital, or which you can build slowly and begin to validate and monetize slowly will be better, rather than committing all the capital up front.
  2. Working Capital Float: Significant working capital, exposes it to risk, and may require a high interest loan, representing cost. It is better to avoid this financial dynamic when possible.
  3. Economies of Scale: Look for opportunities where profits increase with volume. Supply, development, and distribution costs all diminish on a per-unit basis when working in volume. As a result profit margins and competitive advantage both increase.

Team

  1. Subject Matter Expertise: You’ll need to have a deep understanding of the market dynamics, the players within the market, and how to position yourself among these players. You also need an intimate understanding of the prospective customer and what they’re lacking so you know how to address their needs and desires. Without this expertise, you risk never finding market fit and never getting off the ground.
  2. Functional Competence: Your team needs the technical competence to architect an effective solution. This is not a one-time project that you can easily outsource. Without this expertise, you risk not ever reaching scale or efficiency enough to maintain a competitive advantage.
  3. Supplier Partnerships: Very few businesses exist in a vacuum or are the source of every component needed to offer a compelling solution. If a competitor is able to establish a favorable supply advantage, they will also have favorable customer acquisition and will take market share from you later.

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