5 Big Business Lessons Startups Should Learn

While cutting-edge entrepreneurs have recently received the bulk of press, take lessons from experienced leaders and make better decisions early on. We couldn’t agree more with Aaron Shapiro, in his recent Inc.com article, “5 Practices Startups Should Borrow From Big Businesses.” Aaron highlights these 5 takeaways.

Limit the scope of your greatness.

Rather than have an end-all, be-all mindset, recognize that the most successful companies are laser-focused on being the best at one very particular thing.  Examples of this are Walmart, who always offers rock-bottom prices and Apple, the go-to  for beautifully designed devices.  This is what helps define you path to market leadership without distraction.

Take away – Pinpoint where you will be the best, the expert.

Don’t just plan–prepare–to make money.

A real business model is not based on number of downloads, site traffic, or capital – you need an upfront revenue strategy.  Whatever the business or user experience, every new business needs to know how revenue will be generated in phase 1.  This can and will evolve as the business grows, but it’s essential to long-term success to evaluate and navigate next steps.

Take away – Know how you will make money.

Be careful with putting people on a pedestal.

A founder is a founder.  A company is a company.  The company takes precedent over the founder.  It’s should never be that is a single person fails, the company fails.  An example is Apple, which famously struggled after Steve Jobs left in 1985 but was better prepared in 2011.

Take away – Build a culture, training programs and processes that instill leadership into all of its employees.

Bureaucracy isn’t a four-letter word.

Find the correct balance of checks and balances that guide progress.  You don’t want to limit entrepreneurial genius, but you also don’t want to overlook lack of productivity.  Process among the best, the smartest, is necessary at whatever the level.

Take away – Communication is key and everyone needs someone to check in with.

Avoid coasting on enthusiasm.

There will always be down or bad days.  Enthusiasm is key, but not the right long-term strategy.  Hard commitments like  performance incentives sustain long-term determination.

Take away – Take the time to implement smart incentive structures that reward where deserved.

To be successful, don’t ignore finding the tough answers, rather than jumping on a bandwagon.  In the end, do something to make customers happy.

More insights and this article can be found here.