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Startups at a Glance

Do you have a product or service idea and are considering turning it into a start-up company? But you do not have enough information about the characteristics of startups or how they work?

Do not worry, in this article we will try to provide you with the information you need to learn about the field of startups.

What is the meaning of a start-up company?

For many years, investors have dealt with the start-up or the startup as miniature copies of large companies. This deal has caused great problems in understanding and dealing with these companies as there are largely intellectual and organizational differences between the startup, small companies, and large companies, which require the presence of different financing strategies.

Famous entrepreneur Steve Blank defines startups as a temporary organizations designed to search for a project that generates profit repeatedly and can be measured, meaning that the startup must make its project succeed quickly and have an impact on the market it wants to exist and work in immediately.

Another definition for Neil Blumenthal, who co-founded and manages sunglasses retailer Warby Parker, is a simple and succinct definition that explains the concept of a startup with insight.

Neil says that a startup is a company working to find a solution to a problem that is not clear how to solve, and the success of this solution is not guaranteed.

A startup depends on the concept of work as a task, and not as a traditional work that has dates and quick money, so you may find workers in the startup, including its owners, working all the time.

They do not commit to a certain number of working hours, because the primary goal is an achievement and rapid growth and results.

Entrepreneurship KSA spoke to business experts and successful entrepreneurs to find out what are the 10 things to focus on to get your startup off to a great start.

1- Do a thorough research

Your business idea should be researched thoroughly to ensure that there is a demand for it. You can base this idea on your skills, a market gap that can be filled by your service or product or emulating a successful business in one industry or area. Afterwards, you need to analyze your competitors, to understand how they attract customers, as well as their strengths and weaknesses.

2- Stay Away From Politics

If you contemplate the state of most of the giant companies that started as emerging companies, you will find that most of them, if not most of them, did not engage in any political battles, or take sides in any conflict.

Most of these companies when they talk about politics in the form of support for the opinion of their audience, for two reasons, the first is that the audience is the source of profit, and no company wants to lose its audience because of differences in political orientations.

The second reason is to avoid clashing with political parties or governments. The companies that followed this method continued and gained great public popularity.

3- Accurate Financial Control

Startup owners carefully monitor the movement of financial flows within their companies and treat them with great care as if they were their savings (sometimes they are dependent on their savings as a source of their funding) because simply losing money means sure failure.

4- Relationships

In difficult times, the role of relationships and communication appears, the more the company is in contact with a large number of people, whether they are potential customers, companies similar to them, or even competitors is an advantage.

Therefore, start-up owners are keen to form many relationships on several levels, to benefit from them in the future, and to rely on them if necessary.

5- Strong Leadership

The managers of start-up companies are strong and adopt a positive work ethic. They are also keen to raise the morale of their team and encourage them, believing that a high team spirit is a basis for the efficiency and success of their companies.

6- Mutual Respect

There is a career ladder, managers, and employees, but everyone is respected equally, and successes are collectively celebrated regardless of the individual or department that made it possible.

7- The client is the main focus

Successful startups see the customer as the most important asset, so they care about their satisfaction and evaluation of the product they offer and provide them with after-sales service to ensure their continuity and gain their loyalty.

8- Positive Energy

The work environment in emerging companies is characterized by the presence of a general atmosphere of encouragement and positive energy for motivation and production as these companies know that without this energy, the work environment will transform from an active form to a routine one that is concerned with wages and working hours.

9- Fun

Never underestimate startups that know how to entertain their team. When early-stage startups were monitored, the ones that thrived in their early stages were often the ones that worked hard, had fun, and had a good time too.

10- Honesty

Successful startups usually have a high level of honesty and transparency, so these companies always try to be honest with their customers, as well as with their employees, as they know that without these qualities they will not gain the confidence they need to continue and grow.

How do you get ideas for your startup?

Perhaps you have the enthusiasm and desire to start your startup, but you do not have an idea that is suitable to be the basis of this company, there is no problem.

1- Meet New People

Go out and meet new people to get out of your normal life, talking to new people who don’t think like you and don’t know how to think helps stimulate the brainstorming process.

Also, going to learning meetings and workshops can refresh and refresh your ideas, and it is also useful to talk to people outside your field of work.

If you are already working on a traditional project of your own or a startup that you manage, your communication with your current customers is useful in more than one way, for example, knowing their opinion of the service you provide and examining their requirements, which may often lead to new ideas either.

2- Keep a small diary to jot down problems

Successful companies have one thing in common: they create solutions to common problems. 

Companies such as Google, Netflix, and Uber have solved problems facing many people, and through these solutions, the services of these various companies have come out, which have provided and are still providing solutions in the form of great products to some of the most important human problems in the modern era such as:

Difficulty quickly finding information on a particular topic from different sources (this is a problem that Google search engine solved).

It is not possible to rent movies and TV shows directly from your TV at a low cost (Netflix offered this service in addition to providing only Netflix exclusive content).

The high cost of transportation and the lack of it on demand (Uber took advantage of this requirement to offer cheap and easily orderable transportation).

Simply ask yourself: What is bothering me? Dedicate a note to write down the obstacles and problems you face daily. Review the note regularly and let some of your friends or colleagues look at it to see if they are facing the same problems. Finally, think of a product or service that can solve this problem.

3- Dive into your interests

Restaurant appraisal services company Zagat often leads by example when we talk about turning a hobby you love into a business.

The founders of the company, Tim and Nina, were lawyers who loved eating in restaurants, and in 1979 they began sending letters to their friends asking them to rate the restaurants they visited.

As the volume of messages and information increased every year, they began charging fees for their work, and in 2011 the company was bought by Google.

4- Discover new ways of thinking

New methodologies and ways of thinking are constantly evolving, and some industries are better at embracing them than others. Take design thinking for example. The core of this thinking is having a mindset and methodology that aims to better understand problems and implement innovative solutions.

This definition was first articulated by David Kelly, co-founder of the design firm IDEO, which has designed logos for popular products like Apple, Steelcase, and Oral-B.

Read about the new methodologies of thinking and alternative learning methods, and apply them to the problems you wrote in your memo that we talked about in an earlier point.

There is a good chance that you will come up with a startup idea by applying these solutions to your problems.

5- Travel

There are many countries with great ideas that have not yet entered the market, if you saw an idea during your travel and liked it… you can re-implement it in your country, and give it a new role that specifically meets the needs of your market or society.

Even if you don’t find inspiration, traveling will help take you out of your surroundings and rejuvenate your life. There are also places around the world that have ideas waiting to be commercialized, such as in universities with office of Technology Transfers, which are Its role is to identify research that can be commercially exploited and potential strategies that can be applied to projects and profited from them.

6- Search on the Internet

Don’t waste your time looking at funny videos on the Internet, or at least don’t waste all your time watching funny videos on the Internet, research the field of entrepreneurship and browse the sites that entrepreneurs use to communicate and exchange information.

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