In children’s fairytales, the unicorn is a special horse that stands out in the crowd as rare and unique. While all the other horses in the herd look and sound the same as they graze in the wild pastures, the unicorn stands out as a diamond in the rough. The world of business is not much different from these fairytales. There are a lot of powerful horses working hard to turn the economic wheels. How does your startup become the next unicorn that not only powers the economy, but stands out in the process? The following advice comes directly from some of today’s successful unicorn startups.
Generate Magical Connections with Consumers
If you want your business to become a unicorn startup in the industry, hand the reins to your customers. This doesn’t mean giving them control over the company, but rather, allowing their preferences, desires, and opinions guide product development. Creating products that meet the needs of your consumers as they demand them creates delighted customers who can help turn your business into the unicorn you want it to be.
Enchant Potential Investors
Anyone can find an investor. What you want is the right investor to help your company. This means starting your fundraising efforts before you need the money. Think ahead and weigh the options when it comes to selecting an investor to ensure that you find a business partner (because many investors are just that) that shares the culture and long-term vision you have for the startup.
Prepare for Growth
Unicorns aren’t small, and they don’t lead from the back. A unicorn is a company that is out front and guiding the growth of the industry. You have to prepare for growth, but a fast growing company requires a lot of effort, perhaps more than you can put in yourself as the owner. Growing fast is important, but so too is growing properly to ensure your foundation supports the needs of the business in the future.
Lead and Motivate
Success depends upon the work of the whole team. Your great idea isn’t going to become the next must-have product without the help of all your employees. You need to effectively lead the people working for you and find good ways to motivate each one of them to achieve greater success.
Companies don’t become unicorns by recycling someone else’s tired idea with a new label and look. If you want to become a unicorn, never stop in your quest to develop new products and bring them to the market. As crazy as your idea may seem, it’s worth bringing to life.
Make Sure a Market Exists
Great ideas are nothing more than thoughts in your mind if there isn’t a market for that product or service. If no one is interested in what you have to offer, your company won’t last beyond a few months. Take the time to research the market and determine what the competition level is and what demand from consumers looks like.
Nothing grinds sales to a halt like frustrated customers who don’t understand how a product or service works. If you have a great idea that is too complicated for the Average Joe, you won’t have the mass appeal you need to become a unicorn.
Never Sacrifice Quality
You don’t need to look any further than Apple’s iPhone to understand the value of quality in a product. In recent years the iPhone has lost its dominant grip in the marketplace, but that doesn’t mean it’s been shoved to the sidelines of history. Apple is content with providing consumers the best possible product in the smartphone market, even if it means allowing platforms like Google’s Android OS to surpass it in terms of volume. You can bet that there are more high quality iPhones floating around than there are smartphones operating Android OS.
If you can adhere to this advice, soak it in, and follow it as you guide your startup through the early weeks and months, you just may find that your status as a unicorn in the industry is quickly earned.