Roy Osing
13 Nov 2017

How to be a winning startup

You have come up with a great idea that you believe will capture the hearts and minds of people.  

You have laboured for months and maybe years making sure your product or service concept works; the technology is sound and consistently stable. 

You have now arrived at the point where you need to morph your idea into a business. More specifically your challenge is to turn your innovative idea into a thriving economic engine. 

How do you do it?

If you're not different you're dead or soon will be is the principle that all startups must follow.

If you can't provide unique reasons to attract customers your startup idea will never get off the ground.

The number one consideration for anyone looking to start a business is that your idea has to be unique in some way or it can be morphed into a unique state. 

You can have a great technology idea, but unless it can be converted into a product or service no one else provides, you may never have a great business.

The starting point: develop your strategic game plan based on answering three questions: 
- HOW BIG do you want to be? 
- WHO do you want to SERVE? 
- HOW will you compete and WIN? 

HOW BIG - declare your 24 month revenue growth goals.

WHO to SERVE - select target customers that have the potential to deliver your growth expectations. 

HOW to WIN - create a value proposition that is unique and unmatched by your potential competitors.

The essential component HOW to WIN to craft the ONLY statement for your business; this is the essence of your strategy to beat your competitors in the trenches. 
The challenge is simple to explain but challenging to complete:
"We are the only ones that....."

This is the ultimate manifestation of a real differentiation strategy and you should look in every nook and cranny in your business for this edge. 

Figure it out with your team and then test it with prospective customers. Make sure it is real, compelling and believable and that you are not mesmerized by your own thoughts of grandeur. 

Your strategic game plan must be set in place first; all action plans, tactics and activities are driven from it. 

The bottom line for entrepreneurs: if you cannot define your business in relevant terms to your target customers (i.e. you will deliver something that is a high priority to them) and if you cannot explain in clear concise terms how your offering is different from the other alternatives available then STOP. 

Continue to work on your idea until you can morph it to one that is unmatched in the marketplace. 

There are a number of practices you can look at to see if you're on the right track to separate your idea from the crowd. 

Roy Osing (@royosing) is a former President and CMO with over 33 years of leadership experience covering all the major business functions including business strategy, marketing, sales, customer service and people development. He is a blogger, content marketer, educator, coach, adviser and the author of the book series Be Different or Be Dead


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