Recently, I came across this question, “Is Cybersecurity easy?”.
The answer was, “No, cybersecurity is not hard. Although there may be difficult concepts, like cryptography or areas that require more technical knowledge, cybersecurity is one of the few fields in the Tech World that does not require a strong technical background.”
Cybersecurity per se may be easy, but is starting up and running the business (or any startup businesses) as easy as it sounds?
Two well-known sayings come to mind, in relation to the subject of startups:
- A smooth sea never makes good sailors
- Survival of the Fittest
All founders of startups will agree the business world journey is a vicious, violent dog-eat-dog jungle, thus the above sayings could not be more apt.
There are three-figure million startups in the world today with two-figure million new startups launching every year, with an average of hundreds of thousands of startups mushrooming every day. Such alarming numbers beg the question, “How many startups will survive the vicious and ruthless competitive waves of changes and business landscapes of the nature of today’s startups?“.
Not only strong but fierce ones in the corporate world. Competition poses one of the biggest challenges for the survival of startup businesses, and even more challenging for online business startups, the competition gets tougher. Startups cannot afford to relax or be complacent but be on their toes with practically zero margins of errors – damn if you do and damn if you don’t.
To survive the strong competitions faced by business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C), startups have to be aggressive in challenging traditional and online businesses.
2. Unrealistic Expectations
Startups face challenges when they set unrealistic expectations following a booming success. Success is a short-lived experience and expectations continue.
Sustainability is the key and requires consistency.
To survive and succeed in a very competitive business world, startups will need to have highly focused realistic expectations, resources availability, potentiality of growth and factors of market forces.
3. Hiring Suitable Candidates
The team fit or synergy is an important factor that defines organisational culture in a startup company, consisting of individuals with similar skill sets, capabilities and vision. To form a credible team culture, organisations and startups need to hire suitable candidates. Recruiting a suitable candidate who will fit the job well is easier said than done. It is high on the list of challenges facing startup businesses in our digital age. When hiring a suitable candidate, organisations have to remember the golden rule of birds of a feather flock together.
4. Partnership Decision-Making
Partnership in startups is the essence in order to succeed today. In the ever-expanding and ever-changing digital age where organisations need to fight tooth and nail for their survival, startups face the difficulty of finding trustworthy partners. It is a big challenge for startups and as far as Tech startups are concerned, stakes in partnership are high. It is a known fact that embarking into a partnership will pay dividends for startups but startups should consider a number of considerations before making a decision to collaborate with another company working in the same ecosystem or industry. To reap maximum benefits from a partnership, startups should look for organisations who are reputable in the market and with the industry Big Boys.
5. Financial Management
Money begets money. Note the fact that when income increases so will the cost of expenditures. Managing company finances is one of the biggest challenges startups face and this saying No Money No Talk is aptly obvious.
The smaller startups rely heavily on financial backups from investors.
Startups need to be prudent in managing their business finances and having a reputable financial investment firm will be beneficial in managing financial crises that startups will be facing today’s challenging world of business.
We are living in the digital age and small startups operating online should be equipped to counter online security threats. Hacking is rampant these days and hackers are going to take advantage of any loophole in the systems implemented in a startup firm. The rate of cyber crimes has increased dramatically during the past few years. Startups who are active online will face online security threats, be it unauthorised access to startup’s sensitive information, employee records, bank accounts information, or any other related information that is deemed important for the survival of a tech startup, they are at risk. To safeguard important online data, startups need to have robust and high-grade security systems in place. A virtual private network (VPN) connection serves the purpose of protecting a startup’s information and employee records, by offering the much needed encryption and data security to the startup’s employees, thereby restricting unauthorised access to organisational data over the web.
7. Winning the Trust of Customers
Our customer is the king, and so is Cash (flow). Winning the customer’s trust is essential. With a highly satisfied and loyal customer base, startups can scale and make progress towards excellence. Customers are the real force behind a startup’s success. Their word-of-mouth power and their presence on social media can give tech startups an edge against all traditional businesses. To win customers’ trust and loyalty, startups need to work aggressively to implement a customer-centric working philosophy so as to enable them to succeed in their pursuit of attaining the height of sustainable growth and progress they desire to achieve in this tech-savvy and challenging business world.
In order to face and tackle the challenges of the vicious dog-eat-dog business world, startups need to be resilient and focus on keeping their integrity intact against all odds.
Catch When Expert Meets Expert by Eugene Chung articles every bi-weekly Tuesday. Don’t forget to subscribe to stay connected. You are also encouraged to ask questions and seek advice from him.
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