The statistics for failure for start-ups are too well known. The idea might be wrong, the capital might be limited, or the opportunity might not be there at the moment the start-up is born.  The fact that 10% of start-ups succeed each year1 is a testament to the remarkable sense of endurance these endeavors have to battle through to make it to year two, three or beyond. 

Traditional barriers are well understood. But the question in a digital age is, “Can start-ups use technology to avoid traditional barriers and elevate their potential for success using their assets?” Ponder these challenges, commonly held by start-ups and a pathway to success as you navigate through one, two, three or more, even in different sequences.


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Lean in, learn on the job (Yes, even the CEO)

69% of start-ups work from home2. Adding employees does not happen at home, so collaboration across locations is a near-instant requirement. And start-ups represent maybe the best places to learn the ideas and practices of entrepreneurship. Working in a start-up is one of the best ways to learn.

Everything needs to be at its best for success to happen.  Given how tough it is to hire that first employee (six months on average4), leaning in requires building functional teams from the very start. This means you need to put technologies in place that’ll immediately bond people from inception. 60% of start-ups state that issues with team members leads to their failure5. Tools like UCaaS (unified communications as a service) can help you become a better-functioning company almost immediately. UCaaS gives you multi-channel forms of collaboration and communications infrastructure, without your business needing to purchase clunky hardware.

Which comes in handy especially for start-ups.

Collaboration reigns supreme

The ability to collaborate should go beyond employees. You should be able to communicate easily with customers, partners, and suppliers too. Imagine the power you could generate by connecting all these components together from the very start. 

Communications and collaboration systems that work on the cloud (like UCaaS) should be seen as a partner enablement platform. It’s especially interesting when you see that start-up failure tends to be most pronounced when there are 11 to 50 employees6. Clearly, the ability to collaborate is vital for success. 

Soft skills matter (constant connections help, and UCaaS delivers)

For all the need for constant connection, great strategy, and products… the soft skills needed to help a team perform at its very best require the ability to deliver those soft leadership skills and methods across all methods for communication.

UCaasS not only opens up your virtual infrastructure, but it also creates more moments for energizing team members (that, in the end, will boost overall performance). A study in the Harvard Business Review looked at the relative power of collaborative, shared vision teams across start-ups7:

“ (T)he group that reported high levels of previous experience but average to low levels of passion and collective vision demonstrated weak team performance when it came to innovation in products and services, customer satisfaction, cost control, and expected sales growth. Contrary, the group of teams that reported average levels of previous experience, but high levels of passion and collective vision demonstrated significantly stronger performance…”

To navigate success, you need to, of course, avoid the traditional challenges all start-ups could experience. But there’s more than that. Success is also driven by leaning into less tangible goals, like amplifying those soft management skills and collaborating with every person involved in the business. How can you make these interactions in a start-up greater than the sum of all the parts?

UCaaS should be one of these force multipliers for you.


Learn more about how tech startups are using RingCentral to collaborate more effectively with distributed teams and keep customers happy.

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 1 review42.com/what-percentage-of-startups-fail

2 smallbiztrends.com/2019/03/startup-statistics-small-business.html

3 freshbooks.com/press/releases/freshbooks-survey-finds-majority-of-self-employed-professionals-have-no-intention-of-returning-to-traditional-employment-more-than-7-in-10-intend-to-grow-their-business

4 forbes.com/sites/sophiamatveeva/2018/04/30/what-makes-great-start-up-teams-and-how-to-find-it/#6034851616f6

5, 7 hbr.org/2019/03/what-makes-a-successful-startup-team

6 failory.com/blog/startup-failure-rate