How to be a unicorn startup

by Shreyas Nair  |  26th Jul, 2022 in Business Insights

Earlier the term unicorn was just used to denote a mystical character from fictional novels and stories. Today, the term unicorn has become a symbol of achievement for new startups.

All of us have heard the term Unicorn Startups once or twice. But have you ever wondered, what it exactly means to be a Unicorn Startup?

Any private startup with a company valuation of USD 1 billion and above are referred to as Unicorn Startup. Today 361 private startups have made to the rare list of unicorn startups globally.

The term ‘Unicorn Startup’ was first used by Aileen Lee – the founder of Cowboy Ventures, to honor the achievement of 39 startups who had valued at USD 1 billion in the year 2013. It was used to represent the kind of achievement that seemed unreal.

The word and the milestone of becoming a Unicorn startup became popular since then. Not only that, but the list of startups entering the unicorn list increased substantially.

As achievable as it may appear, making it to the Unicorn list, is not a cakewalk. It requires funding, idea, strategic planning, and digital marketing for startups to achieve the Unicorn title.

Most startups aspire to become Unicorn startups, but only 0.00006% of startups have the chance to become one. Most of the startups shut down within a year. While some go on to become big and a few make a mark on the unicorn list.

All the unicorn companies from the oldest like Uber, Myntra, and Airbnb to the latest like Purplle, Amagi, and Cred share a few common traits that helped them to succeed.

After studying the steps & moves of successful unicorn startups. We have jotted down all the points that are necessary to make a startup business successful. So, if you are a startup owner, enthusiast or aspirant then get your glasses on as we are about to share with you,

5 Steps to make your Startup Venture Successful

These points will surely help your startup biz survive and flourish substantially in the first few years so someday you even make it to the list of Unicorn Startups.

1. Cause Disruption in the Market

If you refer to the case studies of the unicorn startups, you will observe one thing in common across all these startups.

The common thing that they share is a ‘Disruptive Idea’, all these startups came up with a unique MVP (minimum viable product) that appealed to a larger audience, was cost-effective, user friendly and addressed a pain point that nobody knew existed.

For instance, Netflix became a platform that offered movies and shows online. This disrupted how users consumed content. People shifted from DVD rentals to online. Before anybody knew Netflix became a household name for entertainment.

The key is to create a product or service that is needed and disrupts the existing functioning of the market. Make sure that the developed service or product appeals to a larger audience.

2.B2C Startup is the way to go up, up & up

As mentioned earlier, think of a disruptive idea that appeals to a larger audience. And by being a B2C startup, you have the potential to reach and appeal to a larger audience.

Most of the startups that have reached unicorn status are B2C. One of the greatest examples of a B2C startup is The Urban Company. They developed an app that puts users in touch with skilled people for a particular job. They offered professionals like Plumbers, AC repairmen, Beauticians, Carpenters, and more.

This made living easier for millennials and also boosted the business of professionals. Taking leverage from both sides.

So while thinking of a startup idea, first think about the problems you face daily and how can you creatively solve them. Go, get a book and pen to start honing your ideas.

3. Being Savvy is good, Being Tech-Savvy even better

Did you know that 87% of startups on the unicorn list are software driven? Technology is the future, so keeping up with it is essential.

Masses are relying hugely upon technology. It not only appeals to a larger audience but makes your business functions easier. The layout of Uber is user-friendly, shows the customers how many minutes will their cab be arriving, shows the route, and more.

Such features make your service convenient and can only be applied through technology.

If you are a startup aspirant, make sure to stay up-to-date with technological trends and think of leveraging them.

4. Here comes the king, whom the world calls Marketing

All of us are swooned by the ads by Cred Club, aren’t we? Well, their hilarious ads and presence across TVCs & digital platforms have landed them into ‘The Unicorn Club’ with a valuation of 2.1 Billion USD.

Digital marketing for startups is essential. It is a medium that allows you to reach your target audience. No startup can escape marketing.

Imagine, you are having a perfect service offering that will surely work, but nobody is aware of it. Then how will you succeed?

Startup marketing is often handed to startup marketing consultants. It is true, even CRED hired advertising consultants. This is important because being a startup your entire energy is spent focusing on funding, improving the services, and growing the business.

Thus, it is great to rely on professionals for marketing. It will help you in generating concrete results through paid marketing, data analysis, SEO, PR articles, and more.

5. Investing & Funding are the keys

Bringing investors into your startup is important, it is a renowned truth and shark tank has made it universal.

An investor not only brings monetary funds but also provides advisory support. Fetching the right investors for your startup is important. It can be done by expanding contacts and increasing your goodwill in the market.

One must set funding goals, be prepared with a pitch deck, and practice elevator speech again and again and again.

It is also necessary to showcase how investing in your company is going to be beneficial. The potential investors can be approached through email as well.

Get in front of your mirror and start preparing your elevator pitch.

We hope that you found these big five tips of huge help. For further reference, you can bookmark this blog and for assistance in startup marketing, we are here to help.

Director, Litmus Branding Pvt. Ltd.
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