What Characteristics Does a Startup Need to Succeed?

Startups are everywhere in the US. Yet, as everyone knows, the studies say that 90 percent of them will fail within five years. Success as a startup is notoriously difficult to achieve. But with the right characteristics you are vastly going to increase the chances of getting what you want.

This guide is going to show you the key characteristics your startup needs to get the success it deserves.

Grim Determination

If your business strategy is to find some rich venture capitalist to fund your wacky ideas, forget about it. You need to have the determination and the grit to build up your company from the bottom. Look at the following statistics to discover the reality of things.

90 percent of all startups still bootstrap their way to the top. This survey only focused on successful companies, so it proves that you can still succeed without the need to find someone rich to give you all the money you need.


Timing comes in multiple fashions. To begin with, you need to make sure that you launch your product at the right time.  What the right time is can vary depending on the industry you happen to be operating in. It also relies on your competition.

Another aspect of timing you have to take into account is how you can get your business off the ground quickly. Your business plan must move quickly or you are going to run out of momentum, and in the startup world this usually means cash flow.

A Budget You Can Make Sense Of

Cash flow is a huge part of keeping your business afloat. If you can’t manage to do this, you are bound to fail. Financial mismanagement has been the curse of many good concepts.

When you make your budget, it should be clear and easy to understand. You should be aware of where every dollar is at any time.

Make sure that when you make a budget you continue to review it. It should reflect the current circumstances of your startup, which are bound to change constantly.


Every good business needs the CEO to match. A CEO must be self-disciplined and must believe in the plan they have crafted for the company. Self-control isn’t just about spending the budget, it’s about not reacting to every single fad and trend that hits the streets.

You must have a firm schedule so you come in at a certain time and leave at a certain time. But at the same time, you need to have the discipline to not allow your business to consume you. A good work life balance is essential to avoiding burn out.

Sharp Social Skills

In the world of business, it’s not about what you know it’s about whom you know. If you don’t have the social skills to go out and network, you better find someone who does. Your connections will turn you onto leads and teach you things about your company to help it grow.

Unless you already know a bunch of successful businesspeople, you need to be at every event banging the drum for your brand. You need to follow up on every rumor and every lead.


Accept the fact that not everything will go as planned when you run a startup. In fact, very little will go as planned. What you know at the start of the process will change as you run your business and encounter new challenges you’d never taken into account before.

Successful companies are flexible and they know that they have to change based on what’s in front of them. You need a business plan, but sticking rigidly to that business plan no matter what happens will only lead to disaster.

A business plan should be reviewed constantly. If results are worse than expected, you should have the ability to alter your business strategy and try something new.

Flexibility ensures that your business can move with the times both in the short-term and in the long-term.

Why an Idea Isn’t Enough

The concept a startup is built around is always important. But if that idea is employed in the wrong way it’s never going to take off. What every startup in every industry has in common is the person at the top. They all have the same characteristics, and they are displayed in this article.

You need to have them in some form or your business is going to fail, and it’s going to have everything to do with you.

How do you think businesses should be managed?

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Written by:
AJ Agrawal is an entrepreneur, speaker, and writer. He is the CEO and Co-Founder at Alumnify Inc.
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