The Most Important Reason Why Startups Succeed

  • Aamir Qutub
  • | CEO of Beyond Grades
  • | Updated on September 28, 2023
key success factors for startups

What’s the magic formula for startup success?

The main reason why startups succeed is something that remains a mystery to most aspiring entrepreneurs.

But what if I told you that there is a code to crack? A secret recipe for success?

It can be anything like a great idea, flawless execution, clever marketing, a positive work environment, or maybe a bit of everything.

In this article, we’ll find out the key elements that make startups successful. So, let’s start!

But before that, let’s take a look at some startup statistics.

The Startup Success Stats

New businesses usually have success rates ranging from 10% to 20% over the long term. However, there is usually more than one reason that led to the success or failure of a startup.

Here are some vital stats to keep you motivated:

  • The success rate of first-time small business owners is 18%.
  • Entrepreneurs with prior failures tend to have a slightly higher chance of success rate of 20%.
  • Business owners who have successfully started a business in the past have a higher business success rate of approximately 30% when starting a new venture.

While startup success statistics can be intriguing, it’s essential to examine the factors that hinder their success. Let’s explore some reasons for startup failure first.

Failure Statistics Of Startups

  • 95% Fall short due to Meeting Projections
  • 80% Fail to achieve Projected Returns on Investments
  • 40% End up Liquidating and Losing most or all Investments

reasons for startups success and failure

Feeling overwhelmed by numbers? Let’s see how you can maximize your chances of having a successful startup and prevent your startup from failure.

Key success factors for startups

Successful startups usually have a few things in common, like making smart plans, executing them with unwavering focus, and not kneeling down in front of failures. These might sound simple, but they can get pretty tricky when you look closely. Let’s talk about 5 key factors to find out how to make a startup successful:

1. Business Idea

The foundation of it all. A killer idea isn’t just important; it’s make-or-break. Having a solid business idea is essential for startup success. But, first of all, let’s find out what a business idea is.

A business idea is why the company exists. It’s what the company intends to make or sell. The idea doesn’t have to be new or different, but it does need to be something that people want.

Generating a successful business idea involves a mix of creativity and strategy. One effective way to come up with a strong business idea is to start by identifying gaps in the market where customer needs aren’t being fully met. This is often where opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship lie.

Another important thing to consider is working in industries or areas where you have specialized knowledge and skills. This can give you an advantage and help you understand the market better.

But remember, just having an idea is the first step. You need to check if your idea is really needed by doing research and asking potential customers or experts. It can be either through face-to-face interviews, surveys, etc. This makes sure that people actually want what you’re offering and that you’re doing it in the right way.

2. Business Plan

Every startup needs a roadmap. A detailed business plan is your trusty guide. You should create a detailed business plan that will help in strategizing your startup’s development, monitor progress, and make timely adjustments. Startups that think ahead and have an organized approach are more likely to succeed.

Your business plan should include both your short-term and long-term goals. A short-term business plan is a detailed and realistic plan of action that outlines the specific steps you will take to achieve your immediate business goals. It typically covers a period of 1 to 3 months.

On the other hand, your long-term growth plan should be more flexible to accommodate changes and evolving circumstances in the startup landscape. While flexibility is crucial, aim for accuracy and realism in your long-term goals. Make sure to consider factors such as market trends, any recent advancements in the industry, and potential challenges that may arise over time.

Startups that plan ahead and stay organized are more likely to do well. You can always adjust your plan later. Adaptation, or “pivoting,” is key to a thriving startup.


3. Market Research

“You must know your customers like you know your favorite song lyrics.”

Seriously! If you don’t know your customers well, you are actually diving into the sea when you don’t know how to swim. You can’t make the right decisions when creating a new product or service without analyzing your customer’s needs.

Understand your target market and what they want by deploying various methods like conducting surveys, face-to-face interviews, etc. You can also collect data from secondary sources such as government statistics.

Startups that do market research and create buyer personas using real data are better at making effective products, marketing and sales plans that reach their target audience accurately.

4. Competitor Analysis

“Spying on your competitors isn’t just fun; it’s a necessity.”

Before you step into the market, make sure to know your competition. Study your rivals so that you can stay ahead in the game.

I have actually encountered many aspiring entrepreneurs saying that their product is novel and they don’t have any competitors.
Dude! That’s far from reality. Even if your product is new, you are fighting for the same user base that someone else is already tapping into.

For example, PVR and Netflix— while their products differ significantly, there’s a substantial overlap in their audience base. If Netflix had failed to acknowledge PVR as their competitor, it wouldn’t have been able to devise strategies to tap into its user base.

Checking out what other companies are doing helps a startup better understand its market conditions. Startups can gain valuable insights by recognizing their competitors’ successes and mistakes.

Additionally, it can greatly benefit startups in areas like gathering innovative ideas, developing effective marketing strategies, setting optimal pricing, and improving sales tactics.

5. Core Team

“Your startup isn’t a solo act; you need the avengers of your industry.”

To make a startup successful, having a fantastic team is super important. You need people who are motivated, really good at what they do, ready to work extra hard, and aligned with your startup vision.

It is important to have the right people around you when running a business. Finding and recruiting the appropriate individuals plays an important role in making a startup successful.

So, these were the 5 key success factors for startups that can help you make your startup successful. One should ensure paying keen attention to these factors to make their startup a success.

Successful Startups Case Study

I bet you’ve been fueled with entrepreneurial inspiration by startups like Uber, Zomato, and Airbnb. But guess what? Today, we’re going to spill the beans on some other big shots who once walked the same path you’re on right now.

Let’s talk about the inspiring startup success stories in India.

1. redBus

Redbus Startup

Image Source: Redbus

The success of redBus relies on providing excellent service to its customers. It has earned the reputation of being the largest online bus ticket company. Their social media plans are smart and consistently bring in exciting offers for their audience. They primarily promote things that customers want and like.

Some of the unique features that redBus offers include:

  • You can check where your bus is.
  • They offer reserved seats for women.
  • You can pick buses based on the customers’ ratings.
  • You can share your feedback about the service and your trip experience.

In 2019, redBus achieved remarkable success with annual earnings of $85 million. As stated on its official website, the company currently boasts a user base of more than 36 million worldwide and has established partnerships with 3,500 bus operators.

2. Paytm

Paytm Startup

Image Source: Paytm

Paytm has changed the way individuals carry out transactions and make payments of bills since it was founded in 2010. The convenient and user-friendly platform of Paytm has gained popularity among Indians.

Paytm, which was established in August 2010, has experienced impressive expansion and consistently ranks among the top three UPI apps in India. The impressive increase in revenue of this company can be attributed to its expansion, innovation, and emphasis on facilitating merchant payments, as well as distributing loans and offering other services.


Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a successful business. It is important to keep in mind that success does not happen overnight.

Starting a business doesn’t mean you’ll instantly make money. It takes time, effort, and determination.

Here’s a tip: focus on building a loyal customer base and a strong brand image to ensure the long-term success of your startup.

If you want to learn effective techniques and tools for building a successful startup, then join us in this course and learn to build your dream startup.

Aamir Qutub Aamir Qutub, the founder and CEO of Beyond Grades, has a sincere passion for innovation and startups. With over a decade of experience in entrepreneurship, he has successfully co-founded 4 technology startups and invested in dozens of other startups, focusing on real-world problems and their solutions. When not juggling with his reports and presentations, he loves to create unconventional recipes and cherish moments with his family.


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