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Visionary Chronicles: Steps to Avoiding Failure

In new PODCAST, Bryan Smeltzer outlines the 10 Steps to Avoiding Failure with your Startup.

Most Startups fail; unfortunately, this is a fact of life. But why? Most fail ever to deliver a return for the investment, and a VC/PE firm will go in knowing the rate of Success is 5%; their interest lies in the 5% left standing, not why the other 95% failed.

Too often, this equation and result seem to be driven by a simple cause and effect, a leadership team not prepared for Success. By Success I mean, defining a process common to those who did succeed and missing from those who failed. Although this is often a cause for failure, it was not the money but rather a seamless, executable process to ensure your Success.

Through years of being with iconic brands, working with generational brands through LiquidMind, and pier group studies, I have found that the following ten steps to what makes most companies fail while others succeed. Now, this is not the only reason, nor is it the definitive list, but it is a core compilation of some of the prevalent causes of Failure;

1. Define the problem with a clear, well-defined Opportunity; Assure you understand all potential pitfalls to attaining your Vision, not just your tunnel Vision. Many Entrepreneurs see a great opportunity but fail to recognize all the detours they will need to realize their Vision.

2. Execute the Vision; Once you have clearly defined the Opportunity execute the plan to achieving this Opportunity. This is the time to simulate; test, fail, fail, fail option, refine the path and the solution.

3. Validate the Acceptance; get outside your four walls, and Validate your Assumptions. Right now, all you have is an IDEA, one that you have accepted; seek Acceptance from those who are targeting. Measure adoption, attrition, and value provided.

4. Balanced Decision Making; Risk is the path to Success; however, be sure to balance decisions to limit Risk and move forward with caution.

5. Make IT Happen; have a clearly defined, executable plan w/ contingencies with alternate paths. Understand your Risk (pt. 4), learn to Adapt, and limit Exposure.

6. Be Passionate; be a Visionary; carry the Torch both visually and verbally. Lead, and others will follow.

7. Bootstrap your way to Profitability; Profitability is the key to success; eventually, you will run out of money, and this will be your undoing. Ensure everyone understands their role and their piece of ensuring Success.

8. Share the Success; each is sacrificing, ensure they are rewarded through compensation, equity, and appreciation!

9. Expand and Thrive; stick to your Success Formula, adapt where needed, and grow your business.

10. SUCCEED; do not let up, keep your foot on the gas, exceed expectations of both your customer and team! Relentlessly INNOVATE and EXECUTE!

Being great starts at the top; it is the foundation for which all generational brands have thrived. The founding principles, the ability to adapt, the knowledge to know right and wrong, and culture are driven by a Passionate Vision to achieve Greatness.