Startup KPIs

For a while now we have been trying to figure out the right questions and answer them accordingly. We rotate this responsibility amongst ourselves by having one team member present a question to the others each week. The motive behind this exercise is challenging our thought process. Like Pradeep, our founder says, “If we are not questioning the ordinary and conventional things then we can’t hope to build extra-ordinary”.

So when it was my turn, I asked the team this, “What are the most important Key Performance Indicators to measure the success of any start up and why?” 

Startup KPIs are basically values that show how a startup is progressing toward its goals and objectives. They’re used to measure progress and identify areas of your startup that need improvement.

Here are some of KPIs they thought were important to measure the success of a startup. 

PEOPLE: The founder starts the journey but it’s the people in the core team that makes the ending different. These people are motivated by a vision to create, solve and to bring about a change in society. Half your task is done when you surround yourselves with such people.

TEAM: Getting people onboard is just half the task. Making them understand why, what & how is more important. They need to see the bigger picture. How are we as a team amplifying our potential?

CUSTOMER SATISFACTION: The first lot of customers will always be our torchbearers and believe in our vision.

CULTURE: Culture is an extended manifestation of oneself and leads to the best desired outcome.

ITERATIONS: Breaking down the larger picture into smaller workable problems & achievable goals. Try to Imagine various possibilities and start executing them. Hardware start-ups are daunting because of the time it takes to iterate. Our goal should not be picture perfect. Our landscape is a clean slate so what we draw is already the best. So instead of worrying about having a perfect product or perfect sales pitch, set a time limit for the first delivery. Plan–>Execute–>Analyse–>Plan–>(circular)

Our competitors should gape at our speed of iterations. Speed of setting up the apparatus, analysing failures/successes, going to next iterations. Be scientific, adaptable, and intuitive.

CUSTOMER RETENTION:  It’s cheaper for a startup to retain the business of a customer that’s already been acquired than to market and sell to a brand-new customer. Initial customers are the ones you should never lose. They are the most important.

INTERACTION WITH STAKEHOLDERS: Customers, investors, industry experts. Be curious about these people. Be ready to fail. Differentiate platforms where you need to pitch and where you need to understand the stakeholder. Lockdown is the best time for such interactions.  Don’t ask opinions but go for understanding their behavior. Don’t ask about future predictions but ask about the things they did in reality. This will help you to understand their thought philosophy and decision process. Take undue advantage of your industry network. Connect the dots from several talks and perceive. Amass industry knowledge which only you have got.

CASHFLOW: Cash Flow measures your cost versus revenue. It captures money going in vs out of your business. Important parameters to indicate how long we can survive.

OPPORTUNITY: A startup, like any business, needs to understand its market. Thorough market research allows a startup to understand its potential customers and if they have a market sizable enough to make the sales that are required to become profitable. Companies must have a solid understanding of what portion of the available market they might be able to capture, called the market share.