Airbnb is an online marketplace, which allows people to rent out properties or spare rooms to
Airbnb works on a commision based business model. It charges 3% commission from the hosts and 6-12% from the guests.
Airbnb is currently valued at 31 Billion dollars and is expected to value at 38 Billion dollars in the upcoming year.
But how did Airbnb be where it is today. Airbnb is not only one of the most successful startups in the world but also has one of the most inspiring startup’s journeys.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
It all started in 2007, San – Francisco. Airbnb founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia shifted to New York. Being unemployed were having huge trouble paying their rent and were in dire need of extra cash. To fulfil their cash requirements, they decided to rent out their extra lodging space.
But as Joe Gebbia explains, they didn’t want to post their listing on Craigslist because they felt the website was too impersonal and they decided to put up their own website. A simple blog with maps under the domain name airbedandbreadkfast.com
In those days a design conference was coming to town and as the hotel space was limited and a simple website converted them 3 guests. They offered 3 air mattresses on the floor and home cooked breakfast in the morning, charging $80 from each guest.
A simple idea struck the minds of the founders and they realised the potential of the business.
Late, Nathan Blecharczyk, a Harvard grad and technical architect joined the team as 3rd Co-Founder.
FIRST FUNDING RAISED
Summer of 2008, is when it all started. The founders were in dire need of raising money to expand their growth. For raising money they bought a Ton of cereal and designed special edition cereal boxes releasing the same that fall under the name Obama O’s and Cap’n McCain’s selling the same at $40 a piece.
They managed to get a sale of 500 boxes under their belt helping them raise $30,000 for AirBed & breakfast.
Despite an amazing effort and results from their cereal campaigns, the website was not generating business and the founders faced the lowest point of their life at this point of time But very soon received $20,000 from Y-Combinator in funding.
Y-Combinator is an influential startup accelerator and seed capital firm. Co-founder of Y-Combinator Paul Graham had doubts during the initial stage of the pitch and though the idea was crazy & doubted whether the people will pursue it or not but later on he realised the potential of the business model
Y-Combinator funded the company in Jan 2009, and the website was launched under the domain airbnb in March 2009.
THE SECRET OF AIRBNB SUCCESS
Airbnb even after funding from Y- Combinator was earning 200 dollars a week and was not gaining traction.
Co Founders Gebbia and Chesky flew out to New York Booking with 24 hosts to figure out the problem. They realised that the images used on the listing of the pages were not at all presentable. There was no conversions as the users were not believing they will receive quality services seeing at the images .
A standard corporate solution to this problem was to send emails to hosts and train them for uploading acceptable pictures. Screw that the founders said, they rented $5000 camera and went door to door to capture professional pictures of the listings, covering as many listings as possible in New York.
The strategy worked and the conversion rate tripled not only in New York, Paris, London, Vancouver, and Miami.
HISTORY HAS BEEN CREATED
Rest is history. Airbnb proving it’s worth to the world. The latest stats suggests Airbnb is present in every single country of the world except Iran, Sudan, Syria, and North Korea. That’s 97.95% of the world.
In its first year of life, Airbnb hosted roughly 400 guests. Now, roughly 400 guests check into Airbnb hosts every 2 minutes. Woaaahhhhhhhhhhh….. 26,280000% GROWTH.
Your mental stability should be your most important concern for making your startup future safe and secure. According to a report based on the recent survey, a lot of young entrepreneur in India, end up over work, suffering from extreme anxiety and stress in few months just after the launch of their startup which shows that mental stability and health should be your most important concern for making your startup future safe and secure.
Your new business might be your dream project, you are going to live it in open eyes and for this, you don’t want to leave any stone unturned. But working on continuously can’t provide you with a better solution. You must have to sleep at least for 7-8 hours a day to keep your mind healthy and fresh and even also you need 1 or 2 hours for yourself also.
Your idea may have the weightage of millions but it can be successful only when it is properly implemented and a right implementation can only work with good health otherwise it can’t be sustainable.
Here are these 3 Habits which must be inculcated by Startup Founder To Avoid Failure:
1. Set yourself as your priority-
Throughout the day you have to make sure that you and your health is your first priority as you can’t execute your tasks well with poor health. Just give time to yourself and do at least two-three activities which you like the most. It can be anything like running, gyming or reading books. Schedule your day with these few activities along with working on your startup. So self-prioritization is like the foundation on which you can build your startup.
2. Delegate your responsibility to your team members-
You can’t handle everything on your own, no matter how passionate you are for your dream project But yes there is a possibility that u may not have that much of resources to hire a big team but you can have a small team and you have to just delegate your work to your team in a systematic way.
The key is to maintain a right balance between the work you love to do and the work you don’t.
Keep update yourself on why did you choose to be an entrepreneur and note down the reasons and read when you have free time. If u will not assign your work you will end up frustrated and distressed.
3. Count your every Task-
Milestones you have to go can’t be cover in one day. You have to count your every task even it is a small task in order to achieve your vision. As it is your startup live your journey and cherish each and every moment of it. You deserve to hold the tiniest accomplishments.
Marketing is a contest for people’s attention. It’s how you market your product determines its brand creation in the minds of consumers.
Startups often faced challenges in its early phase to promote its products due to lack of sufficient funds. Traditional ways of marketing are expensive if compare with the ROI it provides.
Here we are presenting you some innovative and cost-effective ways to market your product:
- Create a virtual image of your ideal customer
Before you start any marketing tactics, get clear about which type of customers do you want to focus on. This will help in further strategizing your marketing efforts. You can also see your competitors and get an idea of whom they are focusing and what portion of audience they are missing. Get a leg up in the competition by prepare marketing strategy for that portion of the audience too.
- Focus on the target audience
Instead of wasting your energy and money to the masses who don’t have any interest in your product, focus only on your target audience. The target audience has more chances of converting into customers. This also helps in cutting down the marketing cost.
- Leverage benefits of content marketing
Content marketing is the only marketing left. But you should be very apprehend of the fact that without a proper strategy, it is not going to reap off any benefits. Create blogs that answers the queries of your customers. Also, try to keep it detailed and lengthy as google is more likely to rank blogs that is not only good in quality but also have ample amount of information.
- Don’t lose hope
You will not get success in one go. Success is constantly trying inspite of the fear of losing again. Measure the results of your marketing efforts again and again and do the changes wherever required.
- Start networking
Look for people who got expertise in your product’s space. Meet them in personal. If not possible, strike up a conversation online. The motivate is to build a relationship with people who are continuously writing, blogging, commenting or retweeting about the products like yours.
- Maintain a good Online Reputation
Keep a close eye on bad reviews of your company spread by your competitors. Set up google alerts to see who all are commenting about you. When you get to see a series of bad comments, target them by creating many positive reviews. This will bury bad reviews or decrease its effect of on the customers.
- Combine online and offline marketing
A successful marketing includes both ways of marketing i.e; traditional and digital. Don’t ignore traditional marketing completely under the effect of online marketing. Offline marketing includes distributing leaflets, handling business cards. You can also attend local networking events. This is the best way to get customers as well as to make people aware of the products and services.
- Take Care of your customers
A satisfied customer is the best advertisement you can get. Listen to your customers, engage them in conversation, work on their feedbacks. This will help in building a positive relationship between you and your customers. Once you have a bunch of loyal customers, let them share their positive experience in their group circle.
If you are the one who doesn’t want to be confined to a 9-5 desk job and want to build your own business then this article might help you. We know that taking the decision to start your own business and leaving the security of your 9-5 job is tough but it can also become one of the best decision of your life if followed proper steps.
Here, we are presenting 7 key steps that will help you to start your own business quickly and effectively.
- Evaluate yourself
Do some personal evaluation and find out the reason of why do you want to start a business? This will give a clear picture of the kind of business you want to start. The more you are clear of the reason and the type of business you start, the more it helps in further planning. Answer some basic questions will help in this:
- What is your Skillset?
- What’s your passion and area of expertise?
- How much finance will you require to start the business?
Answer these questions honestly and proceed with further steps.
- Think of a business idea
If you already have a business idea, you can start with the next step. But there are many individuals too who struggle to get a unique business idea that works. For those, it is advisable to do some brainstorming before they lose the hope. Analyze market, upcoming trends, needs of the customer that need to be served etc.
You can also take the advice of your friends, family or it would be better to consult other entrepreneurs to seek idea. Nevertheless, there are also many tools available online that would help you to research brilliant business ideas.
- Do Market Research
It always gives a leg up in the competition if you do this step honestly. Do some market research and find out your potential competitors. You can also go for surveys and ask people about their opinion regarding the type of product/service you are going to offer. This will help you in avoiding those mistakes which your competitors are already doing.
- Write a Business Plan
A business plan is a formal statement of your business goals and also define your strategy and tactics to achieve those goals. Make your business plan cautiously as it’s a well-written description of how your business will evolve over time. It’s also of great importance as it is the key factor in attracting your potential investors.
Here are some key points that must be mentioned in your business plan:
- Title page
- Executive Summary
- Business Description
- Competitive Analysis
- Plan for each department ie. Management, Operations etc
- Finance factors
- Choose a business structure
Decide on the type of business structure you want for your business. You want to be a sole proprietorship or want to go for partnership. You want to have a traditional Corporation, an S-Corporation, or a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Whatever you will decide, decide after a considerable thinking as it will have a long-lasting effect on the tax implications of your business.
- Get Finance
Estimate the amount of money you require to start a business and also to maintain it till the time it does not start generating traffic. Look for resources to finance your business. You can ask for help from friends or relatives, pitch your business idea to investors or apply for a loan.
- Start building your team
You will be aware of this right. If you are starting off a new business, you need a team and more importantly, right people on your team. Look for people who are as passionate about their work as you are for your business. State your goals clearly to potential employees during their interview. Make them understand your mission and vision and also, tell what’s required and expected from them at the very starting to avoid any chaos.
Managing a startup is more difficult than actually starting it. It might seem a little awkward but it’s actually the truth which most of the entrepreneur feel in their entrepreneurial journey. There are many reasons for startup failure and not managing the growth well is one of them.
Growing in the business is great but it comes with its own additional responsibility and failure to fulfill it leads to failure of the business.
Here are some key steps which if followed, may help you in effectively manage startup growth:
1. Customer focused
If in the midst of the growth of your business, you have forgotten to listen to your customer needs and demands then you are probably making your own way to the failure. To manage startup growth, you must focus on customers’ evolving needs. No business can grow without keeping its consumers happy.
Always keep in mind that no matter at which phase your start-up is, you should never stop listening to your customers.
2. The Right Team for your Business
Hire the right team for your business and focus on retaining them as it is the team that plays an important role in understanding and executing the founder’s vision. Having the right team gets even more crucial when your organization is growing at a fast pace.
Whether a startup makes or breaks highly depends on if you have the right people on the team. The right team will take your organization to success and helps to manage startup growth.
3. Timely Improvements
When the organization is growing at a fast pace, it should pay adequate attention to changing trends and make timely improvements accordingly when and wherever required to manage startup growth. It should make use of trending apps like Hotjar, Databox etc to kickstart the startup growth.
Keeping up with the changing trends will give the company a leg up on the competition in this dynamic world. It’s only by doing so one can effectively manage startup growth and ensure success.
Someone has rightly said “Ideas are worthless. Execution is worth millions.” Ideas are everywhere but what will make you outstanding in the competition is how well do you execute it.
If you are good in execution, your startup’s growth is going to be a smooth sail.
Invest in individuals who perform duties and obligations in a clearly defined way. This can ensure the efficient functioning of your startup. Make use of tools like checklists, if needed, to make sure that every function runs smoothly and gets completed within the deadline.
5. Assess for sustainability
Your startup has to be scalable. Check for the sustainability of your business. If your business has the capability to sustain then only it is wiser to take the decision of scaling the business.
Do keep in mind the above-mentioned points to manage startup growth and be a successful entrepreneur.
Got any query regarding business, discuss with other fellow entrepreneurs.
Doing work and getting something productive out of that is two different things. We have observed it often that we spent the whole day staying on the laptop and end result is not much impressive.
It will quite surprising to you that 80% of the results obtained depend upon the 20% of work that we do according to the Pareto Principle also known as 80/20 rule. But what happened with us is that we spend 80% of our time doing something which brings only 20% of the results.
Being productive at work and living on 80/20 principle is not something which requires our lots of efforts, you just have to be deliberate about the way you manage your time
Here we are providing you 7 simple tips to increase your productivity at work:
- Prioritize your tasks
All you have to follow is one simple rule: every morning, think for some time and write down 3 important tasks for the day.
Focus on finishing these three tasks first and once you are done, you can go ahead and do something else. This is a very simple rule to follow but its results can amaze you by increasing your productivity in a couple of days. The secret behind this tip is that when you are clear about what you have to accomplish in a day, chances are higher of its accomplishment.
2. Avoid Multitasking and Focus on one task at a time
It’s a myth that multitasking saves time. It is scientifically proven that when you do multiple tasks at a time or switch between tasks, you lose lots of time in between. It’s not saving time, it actually costs time. Also, when you try to do two things at once, you lack the capacity to do both tasks successfully.
3. Adhere to the “two-minute rule”
According to Entrepreneur Steve Olenski, if you have a task that can be completely in two minutes or less, do it immediately without pushing it to the future course of action. The fact behind this is that completing the task right away actually takes less time than having to get back to it later.
Following this two minute rule in life has made Steve one of the most influential content strategists online.
4. Turn off phone notifications
It doesn’t take much time to divert your focus when you see any notifications popping out of your phone. Notifications of social networking sites tend to divert us the most, wasting unnecessary time. It would be better if you turn your notifications off and check these every once in a hour.
5. Complete the most dreaded task first thing in the morning
Whichever activity you’re currently stressing the most is probably the first thing you should do. This way, it will not only reduce your stress level but also make your day and you will end up finish your all other tasks more efficiently and effectively.
6. Keep your goals in sight at all times
After you set up your goals, keep them in sight at all times. Keep them in your mobile phone, your notebook or in whatever you often use during the day.
The objective behind this is to look at your goals throughout your day. When you look at your goals several times in a day, it motivate you and you work hard towards achieving it.
7. Sleep Enough
Even if you’re bombarded with work at the office or in the early stage of your startup, you should never cut down your sleeping hours.
Take ample amount of sleep daily and wake up fresh everyday. You can also take a power nap (6 min sleep) during your day. It is perfect to replenish your energy.
Business Ideas Are Cheap – Execution is Worth Millions.
You read it right. Having a great business idea will not make you the CEO of a successful startup. Unless you execute the business idea well, your dream of becoming a great entrepreneur will remain a dream.
You must understand that it’s the execution of the idea that matters in today’s dynamic world when no idea is unique. So, it’s all about how you execute that decides the future of your startup.
Gone is the time, when everyone dream to have a fancy corporate job right after their graduation. People now not dream to have a 9-5 job; they are fascinated towards setting up their own business and being their own boss.
Also read: Reasons Startups Fail and How to Avoid Them
But, just having a business idea doesn’t determine the success of a business, it’s the execution that has 98% share in making the idea into a successful startup.
Do you know, 90% of startups fail within their first five years. And in majority cases, it’s not the business idea that leads to their failure, it’s their execution strategy. None of them executed their plans efficiently.
Now, the question arises, how should one execute their business idea to build a successful startup?
Also read: How to be a successful entrepreneur?
Here are some key points you must consider if you are passionate to be a successful entrepreneur with a successful business idea execution:
1. Fund utilization
It’s not only the lack of funds but also the imprudent spending of the available funds that leads to the startup failure. Early stage startups must have a proper plan of fund utilization to avoid cash-burn situations. If you are thinking to expand your business which involves a lot of expenditure, make sure you only do it after a thorough research.
2. Proper infrastructure
Most startups often ignore the need for proper infrastructure to save money. In short run, it may be saving you money but in the long run, it’s not an effective execution strategy.
Appropriate software platforms, data storage infrastructure, efficient communication channels etc. as per the need of a company can help in saving a huge amount of money by increasing the efficiency of employees as well as propelling the speed of product development.
3. Competition analysis
If you want to see your startup flourishing, then you must have to keep an eye on your competitors. Keep track of what they are doing. It can be efficiently done by identifying your niche market and then analyzing who all are serving in that market.Being aware of the niche market enable you to predict the next step of your competitors.
Such analysis is very important as it can avoid your start-up from getting completely disappear from the market.
4. Appropriate price strategy
It’s a very important factor to keep in mind. You must not keep the price of the product purposely high to cover the costs.
Factors like perceived value of the product, purchasing power of your target audience, competitor analysis etc. must be analyzed before making the pricing decision.
5. Steady Revenue model
For any startup to sustain in the market, it must have a steady revenue model. It often happens that you are getting a good amount of revenue in your early days but it gradually starts decreasing.
Don’t defend this by saying that fluctuation is a part of the business. It surely is but when it starts happening often, it leads to the failure of the business. Try to get clients opting for monthly plans, use partnerships to win new sales and set up multiple revenue lines etc.
6. A Great team to execute Business Idea
Organisations are much more likely to perform well when their people work effectively as a team. Hire people with different skill sets who are passionate about their work.
7. Customer focused
Many companies fail to achieve business goals and objectives due to lack of a customer-centric approach. Don’t get so engrossed in developing the product that you forget about your customer.
Develop a habit of gathering timely feedback from your users and then make changes to adapt to their needs.
Don’t waste too much time on R&D. It’s an important part but doesn’t overdo it. In such dynamic times, where any idea is hardly unique, it’s the one moving faster will succeed.
You sit in the front of your notebook for the twentieth time a day, scratching your head and screwing pieces of the newspaper you’ve scrawled and scribbled on till you’re blue in the face. You’re a creative and an inspired individual who’s more than prepared to turn into a full-fledged small business operator, but you have not really got the education you will need to develop into an outstanding entrepreneur. You want a few suggestions on where to start, the way to turn your idea into a prosperous company and everything in between. You won’t develop into a high flying company person in the blink of an eye, so be certain you’re exploring each component thoroughly and correctly. Get the proper credentials, inquire for specialist advice and carefully prepare for the start of your organization by producing comprehensive strategies and plans; you’re going to shortly have all the knowledge and resources that you want to construct an empire.
Even when you have studied this topic throughout college, you may wish to think about refreshing your head with some extra instruction. Study online courses related to management. Courses like this will put you up with the important skills you need to have to be a successful small business owner and director. Furthering your understanding in areas like this won’t only boost your mind for company, but it is also going to provide you with the opportunity to evaluate whether you are prepared to take the entrepreneurial leap into your ventures.
Assistance and Advice
Talking to local small business people or successful members of your family comes among the very best ways to broaden your knowledge. This will offer you the best start possible once you’re prepared to take the leap into opening up your own organization. Individuals that are close to you are likely to be completely honest, by putting out exactly what their positive and negative experiences are. It is possible to read all the books and information on the planet, but obtaining tips right from the horse’s mouth has been demonstrated to be among the most honest and productive procedures. Evidently, it’s a useful idea to keep your eye on the company you may be seeking to compete with as well. These folks are not very likely to spill all their internal keys to you, but seeing the way they function, are a valuable place to start.
If you presently have a wide notion or generic notion for your company plan then you want to begin optimizing it. You could have a business idea that has enormous potential for achievement, but it’ll not be a good in case you have not discovered the gap or market for your niche. Beginning with a broad notion is a fantastic place to begin, but you truly must locate a smaller branch that will set your company apart from the rest of those. By way of instance, you would like to begin an internet company that offers expert advice for people designing sites. You may then wish to refine this further, to target a particular company, such as site design for E-commerce shops or special goods. Decide where your wisdom and passions lie and it’ll be simple for you to create the choice.
To be able to get your business rolling up you want to be certain that you’ve put aside some cash to get it off the floor. You’ve probably been intending this business enterprise for some time, which means you may have had the opportunity to save enough startup capital to get you moving. Your local branch will have the ability to counsel you on the best way to apply and if you’re eligible for loan or not. Bear in mind you’ll have to pay back the loan so don’t borrow money you know you will not afford to return.
Strategies and Preparation
To be able to get a business loan, you’ll have to draw a clear and concise business plan. Search on the internet for a fantastic template to found your thoughts around and be certain to include every small detail. This strategy will stick with you to your whole journey, so be sure to spend lots of time perfecting your thoughts and long-term plans. You’ll have to outline where your startup funding is coming from, your planned price factors, your marketing strategies along with your long-term objectives. Your business plan must be a record that you could keep returning to if you’ve lost your attention or you eliminate motivation on the way.
Not only do you need a good marketing plan, but in addition, you should understand how to execute your abilities whenever you’re running campaigns. Pick a platform that is suited to your company kind; online marketing appears to be the most popular platform on the market today. Using the power of the world wide web to bring your company name out to the world is a priceless tool. Internet advertising and marketing campaigns could be widespread and economical. Consider creating social networking accounts to your company and think of a strategy to make creative content every day. It’s also wise to think of establishing a site for your enterprise, which provides you the chance to go over the business information with your clients. A site personifies a company and lets you voice topic-related problems with your intended industry.
Samples and Services
Before officially launching your company to the world, you have to give it a test run. You may think that this is really a time consuming and expensive undertaking to perform, but it is going to allow you to detect glitches and flaws in your system until you wake up and running. Testing your services and products allow you to learn what works and what has to be tweaked.These phases will take a significant amount of effort and time from you, so if possible, do not take any shortcuts on the way. In case you’ve got the determination and persistence, then you’re certain to go ways. All you have to do is to stay focused on each movement that you make on your business travel. Before you know it you’ll be earning money from the revolutionary idea and your clients will be flying in from every direction.