Entering the startup world can seem rather daunting. As an entrepreneur, you must develop a sound idea, acquire funding, and target a specific market in order to survive in the sink-or-swim realm of business. Simply avoiding failure is challenging enough, let alone dealing with the inevitable threat of cutthroat competition. In order to truly be successful and dominate the market, your company needs to be better than its competitors in every aspect.
Heiko Rauch, Co-Founder of the advertising network zanox and mentor at the Berlin Founder Institute, offers some invaluable wisdom on becoming the fastest growing company and surpassing the competition.
The following key points are outlined in his talk from the Berlin Founder Institute:
“Lead, don’t follow.”
Having this mindset means that you should always stay one step ahead of competitors; do not focus on what other companies are doing, but rather on how you can continually improve your own.
Heiko emphasizes the importance of getting the word out about your business in any way possible. “Be transparent. [...] Tweet about your business idea. Invite people to support your business.” The point is simply to be more visible and more aggressive than potential competitors.
Listen to your clients.
According to Heiko, responding to feedback from clients is absolutely essential to improving your product. Your clients are your market, and their needs are what your product must address; you must take their concerns seriously and genuinely listen to what they have to say about your product.
Make your business scalable.
Heiko stresses the importance of scalability for your business, particularly in terms of your clients, publishers, and markets. “We don’t scale with people, we scale with computers. [...] This really increases your profitability which [you] actually could use to enter into new markets and into new ventures.”
Focus on your core competency.
“You don’t have all these resources to do all these different projects. You have to prioritize your tasks. And that’s why you should have a clear understanding of the core competency of your company,” says Heiko. Understanding the main strengths of your company and utilizing those strengths are the key to effective growth.
Focus on your KPIs.
Heiko states that Key Performance Indicators are necessary for assessing your company’s growth. If you aspire to be successful, you need to have tangible measures for how to define success for your company and to see how you compare to competitors.
See the full video of Heiko's talk from the Berlin Founder Institute below, and if you are looking to launch a company in Berlin, apply to the Berlin Founder Institute today.