By Kumar Arora, serial entrepreneur and investor
Building and running a successful startup is no easy entrepreneurial endeavor. It can be a fast-paced, mentally and physically exhausting experience with a small margin for success. I say "can be" because it doesn't have to be this way.
1. Do your homework beforehand.
If you're an entrepreneur at heart, you probably have a long list of startup ideas scribbled down in a notebook that are keeping you up at night. On that list are probably a few gems that have legs, but most probably don't.
How do you know if your next startup idea is primed for success? Do your homework. Did you know that 42 percent of startups fail due to lack of market? Another 29 percent fail because they have no funding. And to further the point, 23 percent fail with the wrong team in place.
This can be detrimental to your entrepreneur brain, but these statistics are important to keep in mind. Doing your homework about market need, funding options and the team needed to bring your vision to reality can catalyze success.
For example, startup funding is different than funding for small businesses. Startups often need big investments, usually from angel investors or venture capitalists, to get things moving. This differs from small business loans from banks, and it also means that startup investors will get a share and say in the company, unlike small businesses.
2. Create and implement your mission ASAP.
Having a startup mission statement from day one is vital. Why? Your mission is what serves as your guide, the playbook for your team and the compelling story that entices investors to give you the time of day.
If you simply say that you have a great idea and you need $2 million to turn that idea into a business, no one will listen. Most entrepreneurs begin with a deep-rooted idea that solves a problem they have seen or experienced. Experiences caused by specific problems, combined with your proposed solution, can be a building block for your mission statement. For instance, the founders of GrubHub came up with their idea after exhausting themselves calling around for takeout options.
Chances are, the solution you come up with will impact a large majority of people who have had similar negative experiences in the past. Develop your mission around your story, and then develop your startup around that mission.
3. Take things one step, or idea, at a time.
Entrepreneurs have the uncanny ability to build a billion ideas off of one main idea. It's what makes us successful and unique. However, trying to implement everything at once can be detrimental to startup success.
To combat this common problem, lay a strong foundation first. If you have a solution to a problem, make that solution as powerful as possible before implementing new features.
Uber is a good example of this. It started as a ride-hailing company and undoubtedly cornered the market. Once it had a strong foundation, it began implementing new solutions such as Uber Eats. If Uber tried to do both at the same time, it may not have had as much success.
4. Have a multichannel marketing strategy.
Being visible to your target audience is obviously important. Having a multichannel marketing strategy in place increases visibility and is vital for startup success. This is especially needed if you're in a highly competitive industry.
The good news is that the internet exists, and you can increase touch points with your target audience by using multiple online channels. Social media, press releases, mentions in articles and blogs, netting backlinks, employing SEO strategies to capitalize on organic search traffic and other marketing assets should be part of your strategy.
Having a multichannel marketing strategy also allows you to see what marketing channels work best. Put effort into building your online presence and you'll make your brand, product and/or service a familiar one among your target audience.
5. Schedule time to reset your entrepreneur brain.
Startup success isn't all about implementing your ideas as fast as possible. Long days and no rest can cause you to rush things, as well as cause burnout. Instead of being at the helm 24/7, take some time to reset your brain.
This could be going to the gym for an hour three to four times a week, spending time with your family for 24 hours with all technology turned off or simply spending 20 minutes every morning meditating. The goal is to simply step away and recharge. This may seem counterproductive, but in the long run, you will have more energy and mental clarity to make your startup a success.
Kumar Arora is a serial entrepreneur turned investor, and one of the sharks on CNBC's "Cleveland Hustles," produced by Lebron James.