Start-ups are a marathon and not a sprint by@startmode

Start-ups are a marathon and not a sprint

May 4th 2018 446 reads
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“Start-ups are a marathon and not a sprint.”

Business experts have always compared start-ups to marathons; the only difference is, startups do not get to have a definite end, and their paths aren’t as clear as that of a marathoner’s. For the challenges are ever present and ever grueling. Just like marathons, there are those who finish the race, and then, there are those who fall along the way; using this analogy in the business world — start-ups especially — there are about 85% of those that start the race, but fail in the race to a successful venture, while the other 15% experience growth. But for both marathons and start-ups, one has to be fully prepared, fully equipped, before setting out on the racing track, so to speak.

Now let’s talk more on the comparison between startups and marathon races. A marathoner (especially one aiming for a win) never takes off in a sprint, he/she starts slowly because they know the distance that is to be covered. This logic can and should be applied to starting a business: start at your own pace and not and not at the pace that would see you exhausting all the strength you’d need to overcome challenges you’d meet down the road.

Many founders, from the get-go aim unrealistically high, trying to gain prominence, and also get value for their business (which is not a bad thing); but should that be your main goal? Your goal as an entrepreneur should be to lay a foundation — a solid one — for your business so it can survive its founding stage. Your dream should see your business past the short-term goals, and how to sustain it enough to achieve its long-term goals. There are businesses that take-off at very fast rates, but if you try to measure up, using their speed as a bar for how your own business should move, it just might be detrimental to the sustainable growth envisioned for your company. While this is not to encourage slowness, it is to help you embrace methods that might work best for both your company and yourself. Do not run the risk of burning out even before you get past the first hurdle in your start-up.

Do you have a proper vision? You might have the most brilliant idea, the idea that could change the status quo in a particular industry, but without a proper vision or strategy, you’d lose out in the race.

Every successful marathoner has his/her secret (well, it’s not much of a secret): Preparation and hard work. You too as an entrepreneur need to be prepared for the race you’ll be embarking on. You’d need to do a lot of learning about the industry you’re hoping to be a major player in, know your competition, get a wider network of people, evaluate your resources, go back to your business plan and revise, revise, revise. While all of these do not guarantee success, they sure as hell would help to reduce risks and stave off (to an extent) failure or a total shut down. They keep you on your feet, they keep you aware of the things needed to be put in place, and also, they help put you on the right track.

As a founder, you should know your strengths and weaknesses, and most importantly, you should be acquainted with the market you plan on venturing into, so as to be prepared for the torturous race. As stated earlier, concerning pace, two businesses can never be embraced alike; one, most definitely, would find favor easily in the eyes of consumers, while the other might struggle for customer acquisition. This shouldn’t let you down as an entrepreneur, it is not time to count your losses or give up hope, but rather, you should — as a founder — find the right market for your product. You should be prepared to showcase your products in the next competition cycle to the right customers. Your grit, coupled with your guiding objective (proper vision and business plan) will see your business to the “finish line.”

“Start-ups are a journey and not a destination.”

Never forget to bask in that journey. You just might be too consumed with the idea of winning that gold medal that when you do not get the prize, you lose focus and your business flounders in the process.

Now remember:

  • Start-ups are like a marathon, and not a sprint, so move at your own pace.
  • Never not be prepared
  • Know your competition
  • Have a strong vision for a better long-term
  • Know why you are in the race.
  • For a viable business, get a compelling value proposition (never forget to target the right audience or customers for your products/services.
  • Get a good business model.
  • Enjoy the journey.

The great thing is, StartMode is ready to help you through this journey. We’re ready to run this race with you, no matter how excruciating.

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