What makes a successful startup in 2019?

Thinking of launching a startup? Then this article is for you.

We’ve pulled together advice from leading business publications, reports and LAMA app interviews to create this short guide to startup success factors in 2019. It’s a two-minute read, and we hope it’ll give you some useful ideas to take away and apply to your business strategy.

More remote working is a win for startups and their staff

The ‘State of Remote Working 2019’ report by Buffer reveals a host of reasons why remote working can benefit startups and their people.

In a survey of 2,500 remote workers, the SaaS provider found that 99% of respondents wanted to continue to work remotely for the rest of their careers, while 95% said they would recommend remote working to others. Flexible hours, free choice of location and more time with family were named as key benefits of remote working.

Buffer’s findings tell us remote working is a desirable way of life for many. Startups that embrace remote working stand to gain high employee satisfaction and productivity, especially among those employees who prefer working remotely. Meanwhile, startups that do not offer remote positions run the risk of alienating some staff and job candidates.

It’s not just about employees. Startup founders and management also have much to gain from adopting remote working, including decreased office costs (rent, furniture, insurance, etc.), improved employee productivity and networking opportunities arising from working at coworking offices and other communal spaces. In the case of fully distributed startups where everyone works remotely, there may be no office overheads whatsoever.

Look beyond digital factors

From hyper-personalisation of customer experience to the rise of the internet of things (IoT), it can be hard for today’s founders to look past digital trends in their search for startup success.

Obsessing over digital is business as usual in 2019 – but this shouldn’t be at the exclusion of other factors.

Eco-friendliness is a particularly important consideration for today’s consumers. As we reported in our recent article, ‘How does a circular economy business model work?’, the highly regarded business intelligence provider Nielsen has stated:

“Brands that are able to strategically connect [sustainability] to actual behavior are in a good place to capitalize on increased consumer expectation and demand.”

So, the question of sustainability has evolved from an ethical battle fought by conscientious companies, into business orthodoxy driven by public demand.

The could be an especially important consideration for startups seeking talent from younger generations. According to a LiveCareer survey, three quarters of millennials say they would consider a company’s social and environmental commitments when deciding who to work for.

Another important focus area for startups that extends beyond digital is consumer trends. Forbes has named the following six trends as key for 2019:

  • Beauty for all genders, sexual orientations and skin colours
  • Responsible consumerism
  • Healthy eating
  • Home security
  • The rise of luxury brands aimed at high-earning-but-not-yet-rich millennials
  • “Phygital retail”, where bricks-and-mortar stores are enhanced with digital tech

There are obviously more than six areas in which today’s startups can thrive – but Forbes’ list, with its mix of digital and offline trends, would be a strong starting point for entrepreneurs planning their new startup.

What LAMA users have to say on startup challenges and success factors

Teresa Dentino is a startup coach, specialising in helping founders around the United States emulate the success of their contemporaries in Silicon Valley.

In a LAMA App interview, Dentino said: “I think one of the biggest challenges in smaller communities is […] not having a model from which to work, or an example of what is the heart of Silicon Valley innovation culture.”

Silicon Valley startups may be facing the burden of soaring rents, but there is undoubtedly opportunity for them to benefit from growing in an unrivalled startup ecosystem. The best chance for European startups to access comparable advantages may be to set up shop in one of the continent’s entrepreneurial hotspots, such as London or Berlin, or in a fast-growing startup hub like Zug, Novosibirsk or Ghent.

The alternative is to tap into the best of Silicon Valley startup culture through expert coaching and support.

Jeremiah Smith is the CEO and founder of StartupTracker.io, a search engine that indexes startups. Smith told LAMA app: “[Achieving success as a startup] is not just about making great products, but it is really about distribution. So, the startups that usually do well usually are the ones that have a sort of in-built growth mechanism within their product.”

Smith’s opinion echoes that of Forbes commentator David Semerad, who writes:

“If you want to survive past the development process, then you’ll need to earmark a good chunk, if not the majority, of your time to researching and securing the distribution channels that will best reach your target audience.”

More than three businesses are launched worldwide every second. Clearly, having a great idea for a startup isn’t enough in this teeming marketplace. It’s also crucial to find engaging ways to reach your audience.

LAMA App’s users have loads more wisdom to share on how startups, professionals and projects can be successful in 2019. Find out what they have to say via our video interview library.

Photo by Nghia Le on Unsplash

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