It will come as no surprise to learn that the majority of startups fail. But thanks to research by Shikhar Ghosh, a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, we can at least put a number to the failure rate—75 percent—and hopefully avoid becoming part of it. With three quarters of venture-funded startups failing to succeed, how can you make sure that your new business won’t be one of them?
Here are 25 tips to help you land in the lucky 25 percent:
1. Know your purpose
What need does your startup address? Why will people care? If you can answer these two major questions you’re already well on your way to success.
2. Do something you love
If your heart isn’t in it, the temptation to bail during difficult times will be high. If you’re able to do something that you love, you’ll have much more motivation to keep persevering. Startups require more than a 40 hour work week—make sure this is something you’re willing to do around the clock!
3. Believe in yourself
Self-doubt can be crippling, so it’s important that you believe in yourself. If you know that you’re putting 100 percent into making your business a success, you’ll find that self-confidence often follows.
4. Surround yourself with supportive people
While you don’t want to surround yourself with “yes” men, it’s also important that you don’t have to constantly contend with people putting you and your business down. Don’t waste your time or energy on the defense.
5. Learn from criticism
Relentless negativity is of no use to you, but thoughtful criticism can be very valuable. Any opportunity to improve an aspect of your business should be warmly welcomed.