So you have an awesome idea for your startup. You think you can make a difference in the world and make tons of money like some others before you have.

How should you proceed?

3 important questions to ask before starting a startup

What do you have to do to turn your “brave idea” into a “crude deed?

First you need to know that the odds that you will succeed in the long run are not that great. Many studies conclude the same thing, that around 30 percent of startups make it to 2 years while only half are still around after 5 years.

The herd of startup losers is HUGE and growing.

Why do so many die?

– Economies throughout the world are volatile and unpredictable;

– Competition is super intense; new competitors enter markets at a blistering rate;

New technology “rains down” relentlessly disrupting the flow of plans;

– Markets are cluttered with sameness; products and services are undifferentiated and competitive claims are lost in the crowd;

– Customers are more empowered than ever before, establishing relationships with suppliers that deliver distinctive solutions and ignoring those that don’t.

What do the survivors look like?

Those that are able to survive and win are DIFFERENT from their competitors.

They survive the scrutiny of the discriminating customer by providing relevant, compelling value that is unmatched by their competitors.

Those that have no distinctive identity simply don’t make it.

They die.

Answer these 3 questions and discover how you can beat the odds of long-term success.

1. Why do many companies who have been around a while fail?

a) They cease being relevant to their customers;

b) They don’t advertise enough;

c) Their cost structure is too high;

d) Their revenues decline.

They get too smug and comfortable and take their existing customers for granted.

Survivors remain relevant and invest substantial resources to stay there.

When you are up and running, never feel entitled to your current revenue stream. You have to go out and earn it every day!

2. What is the biggest mistake entrepreneurs make when starting a new business?

a) They fail to attract great sales people;

b) They don’t advertise enough;

c) They don’t test their idea with potential customers;

d) Their business idea is not different from their competition in a way people care about.

Your idea must resonate with people; it must address something they CARE about and it must be different than anything else out there.

It’s not about gee-whiz technology and all the cool things it can do.

It’s more about captivating someone with what they can do “with your thing” and that they can only get from you.

Don’t launch your new idea until it passes this test.

3. What is the most critical thing to look for in recruiting people to join your team?

a) The innate desire to serve other people;

b) Social media expertise;

c) Technology skills;

d) A powerful personal network.

The other attributes are important, but at the end of the day successful business is about building relationships with, and caring about other people.

Ensure that the individuals you recruit have demonstrated skills and experience in helping their fellow human beings. That’s what drives amazing customer service which is a key differentiator.

Startup success happens by being the ONLY one that does what you do with people that “love” human beings.

What do you think? Have would you answer these questions for your project? What other questions would you consider? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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