CEO Challenge - Miguel Fonseca " It takes time … and effort!

miguel fonseca.jpg

It takes time … and efforts!

I strongly believe in having happy customers that buy regularly, more and more. Start-ups need a great idea that solve a real existing important problem. Unfortunately to assure success that is not enough. Some other key aspects are timing, team, business model and attitude.

We all seen start-ups launching great products/services before the market is ready for it. Bad timing… no… it´s lack of understanding the market. It´s mandatory to adapt our product for the market, not the opposite. Market is the truth! Clients decide to buy based on what they need and we need to offer the mix they are looking to buy or we are deadly out. It´s quite simple. Understanding what is the mix is challenging, requires training but it´s fun!

But this takes time, while the market as no time. Either we run and adapt to it or we die… as dying is not an option, so need to run, analyse, decide, execute and keep improving it. Play this to get more customers, more business, be more relevant and succeed within a bigger market and much bigger revenues.

Another rule at DISPLAX is to know why we didn´t win a specific business. Know it in very detail. That will help us improving or fixing what we need to fix so we can win the next customer, asap. Share that with the teams so we all know what needs to be done. It´s our DNA and it´s helping on the short, mid and long term at the same time it creates a culture of continuous improvement. Everybody is happy with that and gets involved.

As you build the long-term plan for your startup, you’ll be faced with doubts… normal. An easy exercise is to talk to customers. Get yourself face to face and learn the sales process. At some point, you have to figure out what problems you are fixing for them and then your sales potentials; You´ll know better how much you can expect, then plan and how much can spend in order to reach your goals. You’ll need to have a detailed sales model prepared so you can make quick decisions about growth opportunities, or decide how much you can afford to spend on sales and marketing when needed.

In order to secure success, important to install a leadership team that is willing to listen, learn, share and execute. Their confidence is often a great attribute, and you and your employees must feel great about standing behind the value of your product or service. Still, you may make mistakes, and you and your collaborators have to learn from them if you want to succeed in the long term.

The best way to accomplish success is to surround yourself with people who understand that there are opportunities to learn and improve. In fact, there are numerous examples of successful entrepreneurs describing how failures made them and their company stronger. Only interesting, in my perspective, if you use it to grow the team, the product or service. Trying to eradicate mistakes from your venture is a lost cause. But, if you and your team learn to recognize it as an opportunity to improve, you will be able to turn it into an asset.

There’s no guarantee that your start-up will succeed, but with a solid strategy built upon the key factors, you give your ideas a fighting chance to provide value to clients. Your attitude and your teams attitude will be decisive!

Miguel Fonseca, CEO Displax