Building a successful startup is no piece of cake, which is why out of every ten startups, only one will succeed. Those aren’t good odds. If your company is to stand any chance of being a success, it could pay to keep the premise of K.I.S.S. in mind. A great strategy for reducing conflict, saving time and effort, and making life easier in general, “Keep It Simple, Stupid” is a great motto to reference as a startup as well. By simplifying the process and boiling your business model down to a specific thing, it’s easier to avoid falling down rabbit holes, becoming distracted by the multitude of monthly flavors to choose from, causing stress to your organization, while making it easier to stay focused on your end goal.
Don’t Try to Be All Things
Are you looking for capital for your startup? Imagine that a new startup approached you, asking you to invest in their company. When you ask them to explain their business model they say they are an eCommerce business, an ad sales network, an artificial intelligence company, and a human resources company. Would you be interested in partnering with them, or would you be more likely to invest in a company that had one defined industry/product/service? And more importantly, wouldn’t the fact that the company was trying to be both a B2C and B2B be off-putting?
At some point in the future, that could be you asking others for capital. Your chances of achieving that investment would be better if instead of having five business strategies, you had one. Only one – the easiest and most viable one to pursue. Pick one business angle based on what you do better than everyone else as your core competency, and if need be, outsource or partner up if there are other important pieces to the puzzle.
Do One Thing, and Do it Well
As an entrepreneur, when you pitch your business, it is important to have a clearly communicated message that you are the leader of a specific industry process. If you sell commercial building materials, don’t try to sell appliances. That may work if your startup is a new industry with no competitors, but most existing industries are large. Within those industries, there is plenty of room to specialize. The odds of being successful at one specific thing, and then down the road adding on services or product is better than starting off at the gate trying to do too much for too many, too soon.
How Simple is Too Simple?
When it comes to structuring a new business, it’s hard to simplify too much. The K.I.S.S. philosophy applies to all areas of a startup. Streamlining your product or service, keeping operational processes simple, creating a clear company culture that’s easy to follow, prioritizing monthly financial statement contents, and laser-focusing marketing efforts on the most profitable strategies are actions that will save you time, effort, and headaches.
In conclusion, before jumping in headfirst, trying to be the solution to every problem, ask yourself, is everything in my company as simple and laser-focused as it could be? Take a step back and assess your business plan and goals. Make sure that the “one thing” you do is successful and profitable before you start branching out.