Leadership & Management

8 minute read

Startup Tips: 7 Unconventional Hacks for Accelerated Success

Claudia Buckley

Claudia Buckley

In the hyper-competitive world of startups, staying ahead of the game requires more than a great product or service. The recipe for success often lies in using intelligent strategies that enable you to grow faster, smarter, and more sustainably. Here are seven unconventional hacks that every startup should take to heart.

1. Dynamic leadership

It's not just about being in command; it's about learning to influence and lead a spectrum of personality types and drive your startup's trajectory upwards.

At the heart of every thriving startup is a passionate, influential leader. Strong leadership is the binding force that aligns the team, sets the vision, and navigates the business through turbulent waters. As a startup, investing in leadership development is not a luxury but a crucial necessity. Why? Because startups need trailblazers to make sense of chaos, inspire their team, and make informed decisions that steer the business toward its mission. 

If you have a great business plan but don't consider yourself a natural leader, that's where leadership training comes in. No matter what you've been told, you can learn how to set and implement purpose-driven targets, anticipate and overcome challenges, and get leverage to motivate individuals or your team towards desired outcomes. You also need to educate yourself on the various leadership styles one can adopt. A dynamic leader is able to influence behavior using strategic consequence, reward, and reinforcement, and achieve desired outcomes through cohesive teamwork. 

3 leadership styles
Free lesson from GoSkills Leadership Training

2. Pick the right business name

Choosing the right name for your business can make a big difference in how it's perceived by potential customers and investors. In the startup world, where time is of the essence and quick decisions are the norm, coming up with a catchy, relevant, and meaningful business name can be a daunting task. However, with an AI-powered business name generator, this process becomes surprisingly straightforward and efficient.

examples of great business names

For instance, the TRUiC business name generator not only comes up with unique names but also checks for domain availability, helping you carve out your digital space without a hitch. The benefits of using this tool are twofold. First, it saves time and mental energy that you can redirect to other vital aspects of your startup. Second, it presents you with options that you might not have thought of on your own, expanding your possibilities. In a world where a name can spell the difference between obscurity and recognition, this little hack is a secret weapon every startup should have in its arsenal.

3. Adopt lean startup methodologies

The lean startup methodology revolves around creating a minimum viable product (MVP) to test the market quickly. The idea is to release a product to the market as quickly as possible without committing heavy resources during the initial launch. The idea is to see how real users in the target market respond, and whether the product is likely to be a success or not. 

It helps entrepreneurs save resources by learning what customers genuinely want before investing heavily into a product or service. This way, startups can adjust their offering based on real-world feedback and avoid wasting time and resources on unwanted features.

4. Utilize cloud computing

Startups can substantially reduce their IT costs and increase efficiency by leveraging computing services over the internet (the "cloud"). These services provide startups with access to high-powered IT resources without the need for significant upfront investment. Using cloud instead of on-site tech services reduces physical storage space while increasing flexibility and performance.

Instead of buying, owning, and maintaining physical data centers and servers, you can access technology services, such as computing power, storage, and databases, on an as-needed basis from a cloud provider.

Cloud services also offer scalability, meaning your IT resources can grow with your business, making it a cost-effective solution for startups.

5. Streamline organizational learning 

In our rapidly evolving business environment, startups must adopt efficient, scalable learning solutions to stay competitive. On-the-job training is a great way of learning by doing, but it often lacks the organization that team members get from formal, documented training sessions. Using a learning management system (LMS) means you can easily identify and resolve knowledge gaps, as well as upskill your team from within. 

There are several LMS solutions on the market, but don't just get one that has all the bells and whistles. Pay attention to the features that translate into real value for your business so that you're not paying for stuff you don't need and will never use. Do they have a flexible, budget-friendly pricing model? Will you be locked into a contract? What kind of customer support is available? Is there ready-made training content, and can you upload and create your own?  

Here are some resources that you might find helpful when thinking about choosing a learning management system:

6. Foster a culture of innovation

Create a safe, non-judgemental space for creative thinking.

A culture of innovation encourages team members to think outside the box and bring fresh ideas to the table. Experts who have worked in a particular industry or field for several years may find themselves with tunnel vision that leads to groupthink and traditional ways of doing things. However, a different train of thought or a simple question from an outsider may help them to snap out of it. This approach can lead to the development of unique products, services, or processes that give your startup a competitive advantage.

Regular brainstorming sessions, rewarding innovative ideas, and providing a safe space for taking calculated risks can all contribute to fostering this culture. So encourage the flow of ideas across departments. 

7. Take care of yourself

Startup life can be demanding, with extended hours and high stress levels, both for you and those who are on the startup journey with you. When your team sees you working passionately to reach organizational targets, yet setting healthy boundaries through self-care activities such as exercise, proper nutrition, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance, they'll understand that there is no expectation to suffer burnout because of insane demands from an unreasonable boss.

woman getting breath of fresh airSo take care of your physical and mental well-being, and your team will do the same. Besides, a healthy founder and startup team are better equipped to handle challenges and make sound decisions. 

Onward and upward!

It's true that Rome was not built in a day, and the path to startup success has numerous challenges. By applying these seven hacks – from investing in leadership development to taking care of your health, you can equip your startup with the tools it needs to thrive in today's competitive business landscape. And remember to take GoSkills as your partner in navigating the challenges and uncertainties of the entrepreneurial journey more effectively.

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Claudia Buckley

Claudia Buckley

Claudia is a project manager and business skills instructor at GoSkills. In her spare time, she reads mystery novels and does genealogy research.