Launching your own startup is an exciting thing. But, how do you make sure that you launch your startup correctly? How do you ensure that your product is launched at the perfect time? Answering these questions and many more was Fathhi Mohomed – Co-founder of PickMe and Yoho Bed at Scaling For Tech Startups, organized by Hometree Coworking.
“Scaling is all about timing” says Fathhi as his opening line at Scaling for Tech Startups. A startup begins with an idea. From there, you need to validate the idea to see if it’s feasible. Once you have validated your idea, you will work on an MVP. Once your MVP is created, then scaling begins.
How do you identify the right problem?
Fathhi explained that there is no way to see the right problem. Its more about feeling it. So, if you go out into the world and you see that people are facing a problem that is ranked higher than other prevailing problems, then that is the problem that you should be focusing on. Once again, it comes down to timing. If you try to solve a problem at an incorrect time or when people are not ready, you will run into problems.
What exactly is scaling?
According to Fathhi, there are a number of components in a business. These include the product, technology, accounting, investment, HR, etc. Scaling is where you grow your startup whilst maintaining a balance with these components. Failure to do so will negatively affect your startup’s scalability sooner or later.
Fathhi added that for a tech startup, the tech actually comes in last in a business model. This is because it has evolved and there are so many options available. You can buy it, build it or even rent it. This means you don’t spend a chunk of your capital, allowing you to go to market faster.
Scaling is all about the numbers
Fathhi emphasized that almost 80% of a company’s revenue comes from 20% of its customers. As such, it is important to identify this 20% and their characteristic and then identify others with that same characteristic.
Adding to his topic at Scaling for Tech Startups, Fathhi explained that startups should focus on products that are built for people who want them, rather than building products that the company wants. In addition, working on the right problem is more important than working hard.
In order for a business to run successfully, it’s important to know what’s happening with your company’s finances. Speaking of finances, you also need to have the right investors and the right mentors. It’s true that investors will provide you with the finances needed to run your startup’s operations, but you also need to have investors who are in it to see your business grow. At the same time, if your investors are going to be breathing down your neck, then you need to find better investors.
Having a mentor is equally important for a startup. A mentor will guide startups along the correct path and advise them about the correct decisions to make. If you’re looking for a mentor, the best option is looking for a mentor who has a sufficient experience in running a startup or has been part of a startup. This ensures that the mentor sees things from a startup point of view rather than a corporate one.
Scalability needs adaptability and communication
It is important to hire employees who are willing to learn and shift their skills accordingly. When you kick off your startup, everyone in your company will know everything that happens. As time goes on and your business scales up, those in the company will be compartmentalized depending on their work. At this point, Fathhi warned, ego kicks in and people begin to question why they are left out of certain decisions.
As a remedy, Fathhi emphasized that clear communication between the employer and employees is vital. This ensures that you and your employees are on the same page. Having a good culture and community is also important. . A culture will not happen overnight though. It’s upto the organization leaders to create a culture so that employees would be motivated to work and do their best.
Having a good product is redundant if no one knows about it. This is where marketing comes into play. This can be done in a number of ways. For example, you can start off with growth hacking. This is where a company uses creative low-cost strategies to get new customers on board. While this would work at the start, after a certain pint, you’ll need to look at digital marketing.
Once all that is done, you can scale
Once all this has been seen to, you can direct your attention to scaling. Fathhi explained that there are a number of ways to scale your startup. With hyperscaling, for example, you carry out your normal scaling processes in an organization, just at a significantly faster pace. On the other hand, blitzscaling sacrifices efficiency for speed in the face of uncertainty. It’s a risky move but if done correctly means that company can become a market leader.
Lastly, Fathhi spoke about Pre-mature scaling at Scaling For Startups. One of the leading causes of startup failure, pre-mature scaling is where your business expands fsater than you are ready for it. This can be due to over-hiring, rapid market expansion and even having too many customers onboard.
Measuring your startup’s performance
Once you have done all these steps and your product is in the market, it’s important to see how it is performing. KPIs or Key Performance Indicators are our friend here. They allow you to measure the performance of your product to see how well it performs. For example, Fathhi shared that with PickMe, it was never about how many people downloaded the app.
Rather, it was about how many people used the PickMe platform. Once they had this number, they were able to draw up data to see how many people use the app on a monthly basis and then go on from there. “This is what matters”, Fathhi emphasized.
Wrapping up Scaling for Tech Startups
Overall, the session conducts by Fatthi on Scaling For Tech Startups was by no means rocket science. But it certainly did fuel the passion in those who attended the event (pun intended). The lessons learned here were simple, yet powerful. If you are planning on launching a startup, we hope that this article gave you the insight needed for you to blast off at the speed of light.
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