With the increasing popularity of Eric Ries’ proposed methods on how to run a business, most startup businesses in Asia have begun taking notes on using lean startup business strategies.
Startup Business Strategies
Here are some helpful lean business startup methodologies you and your colleagues might want to try:
- Be transparent with your plans and test immediately.
Most start-up companies try to protect their ideas by keeping their operations in stealth mode. Ries warns that operating in stealth mode actually increases risks of failure when businesses continue developing product or services that may not actually work out in the end. To resolve this, he advises being transparent with ideas so that it may also be immediately tested by the target customers. The earlier a company determines whether the method they’re using is working or not, the better, as it will save everyone time and effort for undoing plans that don’t work and putting in place new methods that will be met with warmer acceptance from the target audience.
- Be prepared to undergo changes in strategy for different business processes.
A second principle Ries placed emphasis on is to not be afraid of changes in strategies or “pivots.” According to him, it is essential to test out all kinds of pivots for all aspects of the business plan to figure out which one will work the best. Although the value of changing pivots was highlighted, the vision, he said, should not necessarily change. He enumerated different areas where changes can be set in place.
Some of them include shifting target market, changing the product, the need to focus, the need to see the bigger picture and focusing on one business model.
- Shifting target market
During the course of your startup business’ first processes, you might find that your product does attract customers and finds solutions for their problems, but it does not target the audience you originally want. In this case, you need to shift the target market and focus on the customers that will have more appreciation for your product.
- Changing the product
After getting feedback from customers that your product does resolve a problem, but the problem is not a priority for the customers, or they don’t have the budget for it, it’s time to find a new customer problem to solve that is higher on their priority list.
- The need to focus
If you find that a certain feature of your product is doing very well, while its other features are not being received as popularly by the customers, you might want to focus on that feature completely, and get rid of the other features to maximize the product and make it more efficient.
- The need to see the bigger picture
The opposite of the need to focus, you may also find that customers want more features or the current feature your product offers are not enough for them to purchase the product. As a resolution, you should try thinking of other features you can add to your product.
- Changing business models
Don’t try to do it all and target all. You will have more success when you focus on just one business model. Either target high margin but low volume or go for low margin but high volume.
- Saving on the budget can just slow down imminent failure.
It is also important to note that saving cash is not the solution to everything. Don’t scrimp up on the budget when doing so can potentially lead to additional iterations and processes for the company. Some business ideas need financial support to make things more efficient and to accomplish tasks in the least amount of time possible. Cutting costs can only slow down the time it takes for your business to shut down and close.
- Enjoy the struggle.
Every successful startup business starts somewhere. Before the customers start pouring in, try to enjoy the stealth mode phase of the company and pay attention to the process your business have to take with each phase of the project, as this will give you lessons you can use for life.
As a summary, the lean startup methodology teaches small business startups in Asia to stand out from leading competitors by placing importance on innovation. It is advised to take time to think of what problems the customers need to resolve and to solve this through crafting original features in your product that will have so much persuasive value, your customers will not be able to resist purchasing.