Jeff Bezos, the world’s second-richest person, the founder and executive chairman of Amazon once said, “Nine times out of ten, you’re going to fail. But every once in a while, you’ll hit a home run that in business terms is more like one thousand runs. Given a ten per cent chance of a one hundred times payoff, you should take that bet every time.”
It certainly says about how startups should learn from their or even others’ failures.
The year 2021 is over, and for many, it has been a period of recovery and growth following a difficult year in 2020!
How are you getting ready for 2022?
Life is returning to normal as Covid-19 vaccinations become more widespread around the world. Today, tech companies will have their work cut out for them as they experience challenges and new ways of working. But this is not the world we knew before the pandemic. Because of the long-term nature of this global crisis, customer needs and daily lifestyles changed. This, in turn, will alter our expectations for the tech and software world in 2022 and beyond.
Even without Covid, the digital world is constantly evolving, with trends, technologies, and company cultures changing with each passing year. And if you don’t keep up with the pace, you’ll find yourself falling behind the times and your target market.
3 founders who changed the way they do business in 2021
For businesses to survive the global pandemic, they must revamp their business models and restructure their safety protocols. They also need to develop comprehensive digital presences.
We got here 3 champs who battled their way in the business world. Let’s see if their vision, stories, and experiences during the past year, will inspire a shift in your business operations as we step into a better 2022.
Melanie Perkins (CEO and Co-founder of Canva)
Canva was already successful before the pandemic. However, features introduced during the lockdown and global shift to working from home, such as collaboration tools, accelerated its growth, propelling Perkins to the top ranks of tech influence and making her a very wealthy woman. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, she is currently worth $5.9 billion. And Canva now has reached 40 million active users and provides accessible graphic design tools, promoting creative freedom to anyone with a freemium account.
Speaking at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen conference, Perkins, who claims that the whole point of her platform is that “it’s really simple and easy,” believes that demand for Canva’s tools will remain high even after the pandemic is over.
“Visual communication isn’t just reserved for a few people. It’s becoming a really critical competency for everyone in almost every profession.”Melanie Perkins
And because of that, the company has focused on developing a platform with 500,000 templates and a library of 100 million images where novices can jump in, “play,” and design themselves.
Patrick Collison and John Collison (CEO and Co-Founders of Stripe)
Patrick and John Collison are the Irish entrepreneurial brothers who co-founded Stripe, a payment infrastructure developed for the internet, which is now a global financial-tech giant. The software is available to businesses of all sizes, from new startups to publicly traded companies. And it facilitates payments while allowing businesses to be managed online.
In this day and age of online shopping and thriving eCommerce, and as people worked from home, and enjoyed online deliveries and shopping, it is more important than ever to provide customers with a smooth and hassle-free shopping experience.
“Stripe really did come about because we were really appalled by how hard it was to charge for things online.”John Collison
The pandemic has accelerated the company’s growth. Stripe is developing a set of APIs that will allow developers to integrate its payment capabilities to help enable online commerce. It is also pursuing some more offerings, such as resources to assist businesses in developing their own internal analytics tools and Stripe Atlas, which assists entrepreneurs in forming US-incorporated businesses in minutes.
Stripe has seen explosive growth in product adoption and valuation as a result of its product innovation efforts. It now works with businesses in over 120 countries, covering every industry, company size, and business model. Stripe’s growth rate has only been accelerated by the increase in e-commerce sales caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
What you need to avoid and stop doing in 2022
With adversity known to breed innovation, it is no surprise that entrepreneurs around the world are pivoting within their businesses to navigate the challenges posed by the COVID19 pandemic.
Business models must be revamped, safety protocols must be restructured, and comprehensive digital presences must be developed in order for businesses to survive.
The best way to ensure the success of your business is to carefully plan each step to avoid falling into obvious traps.
Here is a list of things you should avoid at all costs when starting a new business.
1. Ignoring market research
When you skip market research, you are passing up valuable opportunities that will benefit your business in the long run which can lead to indecision and inaction, fear of risk or the truth, and/or having too many options, all of which can lead to business paralysis.
Successful business owners understand their markets, their competitors’ and customers’ wants and needs, and they gather all of the information required for their companies to be competitive. They understand why people buy their products and services, not just when and where they buy them.
According to Joe Newsum, Founder of Kentley Insights, as we approach 2022, it will be critical to conduct insightful and timely market research in order to understand how these disruptions will affect your industry. It will be critical to understand growth rates, inflation, operating costs, profitability, competitive dynamics, inventory levels, and compensation trends in particular.
2. Trying to do everything by yourself
Many entrepreneurs believe that they must do everything themselves in order to succeed. Don’t! Avoid doing everything on your own. You also need other people to help you think and come up with a better. Having counsellors and partners on whom you can rely can make everything much more efficient and manageable.
When you find yourself in a difficult situation, don’t be afraid to delegate your responsibilities and ask for help. It will free up your time and mind to concentrate on more important aspects of your business.
“A big mistake that entrepreneurs make is thinking they are all alone, and they try to operate independently without surrounding themselves with wise counsel. Don’t try to run a new business by yourself. Find and onboard trustworthy seasoned advisors to discuss your business ideas, strategy, challenges, and progress. Wisdom and power exist in the multiplicity of counsel. Incentivize four to six people to join your company as advisors in order to receive continuous feedback so that fewer mistakes will occur.” – James Zimbardi, chief executive officer, Rent Items
3. Undervaluing your products or services
Many entrepreneurs begin at a lower price than the market price in order to attract more customers in the early stages of their business. But this strategy is one of the things the tech industry should avoid. It can backfire in the long run because you can’t suddenly raise your prices once you’ve established yourself in the market.
Don’t do this. Always charge an optimal rate that justifies the value of your product or service. According to James Chittenden, small business consultant, OneClickAdvisor, businesses shouldn’t price too high, or price too low just to gain market share. If you are good, price like it! Many entrepreneurs start with the best of intentions and give things away for free, or do free things for charity, community, or visibility. Be very careful with this, because you don’t want to be known as a source of freebies.”
4. Making unnecessary expenses
You’ll get a lot of ideas and all of them may seem profitable. BUT, refrain from diving into all of them and making unnecessary expenses. Financial mismanagement can have serious consequences for your company. You must avoid it if you want to stay afloat.
You can focus on the more important things your company needs for more efficient business operations, marketing and advertising, and more.
5. Poor marketing tactics
Poor marketing strategy is one of the things you should avoid this year. You must learn how to develop and execute a killer marketing strategy. This will serve as a roadmap of where you’re going and how to accomplish getting there.
Whether you’re a new start-up developing a plan from the ground up or an established company in need of a refresh, a killer marketing strategy can help you focus on who your company is and how to achieve its goals.
And these are the keys you need to keep in mind in developing a killer marketing strategy:
- Define your vision. Have a clear, concise understanding of your brand’s vision, how it improves the lives of your customers, and why customers should choose your company over a competitor.
- Be proactive. Start putting your plans into action. To get the most out of your marketing efforts, be proactive about getting ahead of tasks and working your strategy.
- Maintenance is key. Marketing strategies need to be CONTINUOUSLY nurtured.
- Patience, patience, patience. And a lot of Patience. Good things come to those who wait. There are no shortcuts or fast tracks in marketing. It is a long-term strategy that requires dedication to your vision and patience to see it through.
6. Overthinking about competition
Aside from competition, there are other important things that require your attention. This includes self-evaluation, analyzing your customers’ interests, applying new market trends, managing your finances, and so on. Avoid obsessing on how to compete and being number 1 in the industry.
Don’t get too obsessed with your competitors because in business competition is a fairly common scenario.
Although there are several things you should avoid while building and growing your business, mistakes are inevitable. So set your expectations accordingly.
Don’t be afraid to fail; instead, learn from your mistakes and pivot your business model as necessary. Test new ideas and gather feedback so you can improve your product to better meet the needs of your customers.