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Smart Startup. Strategies for Sustainable Development

Smart Startup – Smart Up

Chapter 5: Strategies for Sustainable Development:

Continuous Improvement

As a business startup,

you always want your business to grow sustainably,

not start a business and then go bankrupt

or be forced to sell the company in an unforeseen situation?

The basis for the long-term

and sustainable development

of an enterprise lies not in its orientation,

but in its continuous improvement

according to the trend of creating new and different directions.

Continuous improvement for sustainable development?

This may sound strange,

but it is really the “secret” of sustainable development of every company.

Sustainable businesses are those that continuously improve

and change to go from the “mature stage” to the “starting stage”.

This interesting thing is the subject of centuries-long research

by leading experts in the United States.

There are many studies to find the answer to the question:

Why do so many companies develop long-term and sustainably?

Here is a research project to help you find answers

to long-standing concerns:

How to make a business develop sustainably?

Two researchers Paul Nunes

and Tim Breene are experts in this field.

They will help you answer the above question.

Paul Nunes and Tim Breene are the two leaders

of the high performance business research program at Accenture,

one of the world’s leading strategic consulting firms since 2003.

The goal of this program is to find understand

how companies maintain long-term development,

despite the difficulties and crises of the market and the economy.

Their research has shown that highly efficient firms are those

that are able to transition from a mature market to a start-up market.

The development of leading companies

is a continuous transition between many markets at different stages.

When the current market declines,

it is also time for the company to transition to the new market at the beginning stage.

High-performing businesses are always able to make new strides

when the current market begins to decline.

In other words,

sustainable businesses are actually businesses

that are constantly changing in the direction of being ahead of the emerging market.

That’s why despite the economic crisis,

there are businesses that are still highly effective,

and conversely,

there are also businesses

that are dead in the true sense of the word.

Simply because these are rigid businesses

that always believe that following the direction

from the beginning is effective.

But the reality is completely different from what they thought.

Paul Nunes and Tim Breene use the concept of the S-curve.

In business,

the S-curve is often used to describe the life cycle

of a product or service,

consisting of four stages:



and maturity and decline.

Initiation stage:

The stage where a product/service has just been introduced

to the market.

Basically, this is the period where sales

and profits will grow slowly.

If you look closely at the curve of the letter S,

the “bottom-up first step” curve

—that is, the graph that shows the sales

and profits of the product in the first stage

—didn’t grow or grew very slowly. .

Development Phase:

This is the second stage of the product life cycle.

In fact, this is the period

when sales and profits grow fastest.

During this stage,

because your PR and marketing campaign has brought the product

to the public,

people will buy your product in a rush.

The graph to represent the period of the strongest sales growth,

peak profits and sales is the second step of the S-curve

– the trend is extremely strong.

Maturity Stage:

At this point, revenue

and profit growth slows down and then stops growing.

You need to recognize this moment to change products/services

with new and more innovative ideas to keep up

with what’s to come.

The graph of revenue

and profit this period is the third step of the S-curve

– the period of slow growth

and stretching into the fourth period.

Decline phase:

This is the last stage of the S-curve

– the fourth and top rung of the S-curve

– the curve has gone down.

This is also the time

when you have to change your products/services,

business methods,

and new marketing systems.

It’s time for a change

– that’s the tagline of this period when you realize sales

and profits seem to be falling.

So it’s time for you to innovate your products,

renovate your brand,

renovate your company

and your staff to start the “starting phase” again.

So what are the things that you must improve on a daily basis

before you see a drop in sales and profits?

In fact, great leaders realize they need to change before there is any decline.

You must run before the rain comes,

run when you see the signs of the wind blowing,

not when the rain comes and then run.

The following three important factors must be continuously improved

before you change anything

product, team, system.

1. Products/services.

We realize that the product/service is the first thing

that needs to be improved every day,

making it better

before sales drop.

In the first stage,

Nokia was the dominant mobile phone company in the world

with a product line that was beautiful in design

and functional in use.

When Apple announced it would launch a smartphone product line (smart phone)

with a “keyless” feature,

Nokia said it was one of the “funniest” statements in the technology village ever.

Nokia is determined not to change

and believes that “the new model

with the keyboard is the phone that will last forever”.

Years later, the smartphone was born,

and Apple was right.

Apple has created phones that not only have “no keyboard”

but also integrate many features like a miniature laptop (mini laptop).

The advancement of the smartphone line along

with the appearance of many other smartphone brands has caused Nokia to struggle.

Before being acquired by Microsoft,

Nokia stood on the verge of not knowing where to go

when the eyes were full of signs predicting the end of the day would come.

Nokia did not see what would happen in the future

and was always “conservative” with the mindset

that it was the first and best understood the market,

as well as the phone product line it created.

And in the end Nokia failed.

Similar to Nokia’s story,

in the phone village there is another giant,


– one of the largest early phone manufacturers in the world

with an attractive sounding name.

This company was also officially dissolved

because it refused to change continuously,

before realizing its competitiveness had been surpassed by competitors.

Today, we also see the scene where Yahoo is on the way down

while Google is rapidly overtaking

and then leaving Yahoo far on the road of development.

Simply because Yahoo didn’t realize it had to change

when its product was overtaken by a competitor.

A change in customer demand is the first thing you need to notice

and improve before sales and profits decline

– the final sign of a declining product lifecycle.

2. System.

The operating system is the most costly factor.

A cumbersome system with many personnel,

many processes … will make your startup business grow slowly.

People often liken old growth companies

to “elephant” on the move.

But you need to know that,

for that elephant to move firmly step

by step is a change,

continuous improvement in each function,

each part in that “elephant”.

For a business to develop sustainably,

the silhouette of an optimal operating system is indispensable:

products/services have stable quality,

waste is minimized to the lowest possible level,

people operate. Synchronized system, minimizing risks…

Improving/optimizing the operating system will help businesses prepare

for the decline in the best way.

To put it more simply,

“landing safely and with minimal risk”.

Build a best operating system

and continuously improve it,

so that you and your co-founders focus on researching new,

better and better products/services

and making more of a difference. special for your business.

3. Team.

Team is one of the important factors contributing

to the development of a business.

There is a very good story here.

A sales and business development trainer meets a business owner

whose staff is underperforming.

This expert asked the boss:

“Why don’t you train personnel to increase competitiveness

and internal business capacity?”.

The business owner replied: ”

If training to increase the employee’s capacity to a new level

and then the employee leaves,

does it have to be laborious?”.

That expert said a sentence that made the boss dumbfounded:

“If you do not train personnel,

it is dangerous for untrained employees to stay in the company.”

Hearing that sentence,

business owners have realized that:

Developing a team is an extremely urgent job

and must be done immediately.

The best and almost only way until now for businesses

to develop their teams is through training.

After understanding the problem,

the business owner invited the speaker to his business

to train employees at a cost of $500 for 2.5 hours of training.

A year later,

the sales of this business had doubled

and the company had a team that was always full of enthusiasm,

ready to give their best for the company.

Highly effective companies often spend a huge amount of money on training.

You should also do it that way,

because otherwise you will have to pay the price for mistakes

that have to spend a lot of money

and time to repair and overcome.

Having a team that can quickly adapt

to today’s constantly changing business environment

is what any business owner wants.

Therefore, the team is one of the factors

you need to improve (training, coaching, mentoring) continuously.

If continuously improving,

the business will develop sustainably.

If continuously improving,

businesses will have the ability to self-improve

to have the ability to adapt quickly to continuous changes in the market.


systems and teams are three important factors

that businesses need to pay attention to

and improve continuously for sustainable development in any stage.

Keep in mind a surefire method for business success:


“Smart Startup is a practical book

that “exposes” the truth about entrepreneurship in the context of the media

that is coloring everything

and many young people embarking on this path

without understanding or imagining everything

I have to deal with.

Not stopping there,

Smart Startup also summarizes

and presents the most general knowledge,

as the foundation for building an effective business,

which I believe only someone who has ever started a business

and consulted.

Only many businesses can be aggregated.”

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Angel Cherry

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