Why startups need to invest in strategy and operations from the start
When startup founders launch their companies, they often choose to only focus on product development. They think that once they complete their product and launch it in the market, the next step would be to work out their biz dev and strategy.
As the result, once they have the product done, they don't know what to do with it and where to push it to. They lose a lot of time and momentum and then nobody needs their product anymore.
I wouldn’t even be able to count the number of times I’ve seen this happen and pretty much in every such case, the company tanks after some time, depending on their runway.
Unless you have a well defined vision and plan on how you will operate and scale as a company, you will not be able to survive in the startup market that is getting progressively more mature year after year.
As one famous German proverb says: “What’s the use of running if you are not on the right road?”
The days when startups could take their sweet time getting off the ground are long gone. The market is moving much faster, there is more competition than ever before, and the bar for traction and revenue is much higher than where it was it was 5 years ago. In today’s economy you pretty much have to start generating revenue from day 1.
Incidentally, startups don’t have to wait until their Series A to hire operations and strategy experts. Often, founders think that they don’t have enough money to get expert advice and start relying on themselves. Equity based advisors often don’t have the right expertise or do not spend enough time to provide value to startups when it comes down to effective direction in efficient operations and budgeting.
It can be incredibly valuable for a company’s growth and development to engage the right expert for a brief project to figure out its go to market, operations, business development, and overall company trajectory. Furthermore, having a right person that can help founders strategically approach investors, can save founders time by fundraising meaningfully.