How to make sure your startup is a success

Last checked and updated on November 25, 2020

Did you know that 90% of start-ups fail? Sadly, whilst many of us have dreams of being the director of our very own company only 10% of us will actually make a success of it. So, how do the other 10% manage to make their company one that stands the test of time?

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You start a business because of your passion for that particular industry, but when you have to become the HR, sales, marketing, advertising, finance and receptionist guy all rolled into one, juggling so many different hats can be one reason why many fail to get off the ground.

It’s not all doom and gloom though, as it is possible to make your startup part of the elite 10%. Quit the daydreaming, take a reality check, work hard and keep in mind these top tips and you’ll soon be on your way to success.

Be flexible

Yes, your business plan should be your bible to work from, but there are times when you will have to be flexible and break away from your pre-planned route in order to succeed. Business is fast paced, especially where tech is involved and you need to be ready at a moment’s notice to switch tactics.

How flexible you can be is largely dictated by your finances (which we’ll come on to in a moment) but not all decisions are dictated by money. Some different routes may even save you money, some may cost you but whatever you do should be in the best intentions of the business in order to make it the best.

Get the best team

‘Teamwork makes the dream work’. It’s a bit of a cringey (and not to mention clichéd) motto but it is a motto for a reason. Don’t be one of those people who wants success all for themselves. As a one-man band it can become very hard to be all people to everyone. Of course, you may struggle to be able to afford to hire a team in the first instance. But when the time comes make sure you employ the best talent for your team.

You want your team to be both passionate about doing the role they applied to do and passionate about working for your company too. The waters can be rocky as a startup and making sure your team is adaptable and ready for change can also help to navigate your journey to success.


You need to make sure you get your name out there in the first few weeks, months and even years of business. It can be easy to feel as though you need to be chained to your desk in order to make the hard work pay off, but networking is a key part of making success happen.

Accept any invitations that may come your way. If the invites aren’t rolling in, then make them happen. Your success is how you make it. Get out there and meet your peers, industry influencers and fellow business owners and see what they can teach you. You never know when you may need to use that connection later on down the line.

Keep on top of finances

Mistakes will be made, whether it’s in the first few weeks or even much, much later down the line.  When things do go wrong it will cost you money – be it to fix the problem or if things simply didn’t quite work out. Keeping on top of your finances at all times will allow you to see exactly where your money is at any given time. Make finance management an ongoing task rather than a once a month job.

“Many businesses have room to expand, but are concerned about the financial risks involved.  We’ve created software specifically for businesses looking at expanding. It’s a software solution for capital budgeting, financial modelling and valuation. It uses discounted cash flow methodology, international accounting standards and best practice to allow its users to calculate the risk involved with any expansion” explains DataPartner

Be a (low-key) dreamer

It’s okay to have dreams of where you want your business to go, but try to keep them low-key and act small in the first instance. With any new venture you make it’s important to minimise the risks and going too big initially could put things on an uneven path.

You may want to have the large fancy office and the big launch party but invest in the things that matter most at first; your marketing campaign is where you should be putting most of your budget in the first few months.

There is no golden rule when it comes to business or even a magic wand that can be waved to make all your dreams happen, but a good dose of reality and common sense can help to make your business part of the 10% who succeed.

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