15 Tips to Avoid Startup Suicide

Originally posted on Twitter by Salil Sethi

Most businesses don’t die because of murder. They die because of suicide.

Starting a business can be a thrilling and rewarding experience. However, many startups fail within the first few years. It’s not because of the competition, the economy, or any other external factor. It’s because of internal factors, such as poor planning, lack of focus, and low motivation.

Are you looking for ways to ensure the success of your startup? Dive into this article to uncover 15 practical tips that will safeguard your startup’s future and ensure its continued success.

  1. Use the “Napkin Plan”

Many entrepreneurs get stuck in the planning phase and never take action. While having a plan is important, a business plan can be overwhelming and time-consuming. Instead, use the “Napkin Plan.” It’s a simple and effective way to plan your business on the back of a napkin. All you need to include are five simple things: the problem you’re solving, the target customer, your product distribution strategy, your monetization plan, and your timelines.

  1. 2023’s MVP Ain’t Your 2011 Version

In the past, it was enough to have a minimum viable product (MVP) that was functional but not necessarily beautiful. Today, design and user experience matter. Ugly products don’t win hearts. Build less, but build it beautifully.

  1. Marketing Resources

Marketing your product is often tougher than building it. To succeed, you need to spend three times the resources on marketing and distribution compared to product building. For every one day you spend building the product, spend three days telling people about it.

  1. Study Happy Companies, Learn Their Secrets, and Emulate Them

Success leaves clues, and all successful entrepreneurs and creators study happy companies, learn their secrets, and emulate them. So, you should too.

  1. Resourcefulness > Resources

Being resourceful is more important than having resources. Find creative ways to achieve more with less. Make every penny and action count.

  1. Efficiency + Effort = Unstoppable Outcome

Efficiency trumps raw effort. How you allocate your energy is far more critical than how much you put in.

  1. Monetization: Start ASAP!

Obsess over monetization from day one. Nothing speaks louder than someone paying for your product, and it’s the signal you’re solving real problems.

  1. Retention > Acquisition

Keep your customers close, and your churn rate closer. It’s cheaper to keep your customers than to find new ones. Focus on cultivating customer loyalty by going the extra mile, doing the unexpected, and making customers happy.

  1. Marketing Customer

Your best marketing channel is your customers. Word of mouth is powerful, so use affiliate marketing to multiply your marketing and sales team.

  1. Team

Take care of your team, and they’ll take care of the business. Celebrate your team and their successes.

  1. Controllable

Worry about what you can control. Stay focused on what matters.

  1. Your startup is DEFAULT ALIVE!

Startups only die when you lose the energy or motivation to work on them. Keep the fire burning, stay motivated, and your startup stays alive.

  1. Problem-solving is your ONLY job

Every startup has problems, and every problem has a solution. Solve one problem at a time and build a business.

  1. Build Friendships, Not Networks

Build genuine friendships, help others, and don’t have an agenda.

  1. Don’t Expect Miracles

Don’t expect miracles or instant success. Do good work, put in the time, and expect results.

In conclusion,  starting a business is not for the faint of heart. It takes hard work, dedication, and a willingness to learn and adapt. Most startups die because of internal issues, not external ones. By following these tips, you can avoid startup suicide and increase your chances of success.


Shupav Group is supporting business owners to build and scale successful brands in Africa. We do this through pioneering Digital Marketing, PR & Communications, and Sales Enablement solutions. www.shupav.com

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