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What Makes a Successful Startup? Insights from Polish Entrepreneurs

BUSINESSWhat Makes a Successful Startup? Insights from Polish Entrepreneurs

When queried by EFL about what primarily determines company growth and progression to higher stages of development, the vast majority of entrepreneurs (84%) pointed to the knowledge and competence of the owner. Customer proximity (54%) came second, followed by a scalable business model (50%). However, the report “From Startup to SME: Stages of company development in Poland. Under scrutiny” clearly shows that the factors of success vary depending on the stage of the organization’s development. Infants, i.e. entrepreneurs just starting in business, significantly more often than others indicated customer proximity (72%). As a company matures, the importance of valuable job candidates increases. This factor was pointed out by only 8% of infants, 24% of adults and 39% of mature companies.

“People, ideas, procedures, numbers. Or maybe the reverse – numbers, people, procedures? Management practices and factors that lead companies to their success – whether it be industry, global or personal – vary. The sequence of what is most important and what is less so also depends on many variables. However, it’s worthwhile to scrutinize the findings from our report, as they can provide a valuable starting point and show the pathways to follow in order to grow one’s business. There’s no golden mean on which the success depends, but as the stakeholders themselves indicate, there are several elements that undoubtedly constitute a brick in the whole wall. Every third entrepreneur pointed to an innovative product as the element that most influences the increase in sales. Every fifth ties the company’s results to foreign expansion, and every tenth cannot imagine running a business without digitalization. As we can see, there are many such elements, it’s worth finding out as much as possible about them and reaching for those that best meet our needs and will enable to achieve the desired objectives,” says Radosław Woźniak, President of the EFL Management Board.

In the latest EFL report from the “From Startup to SME: Stages of company development in Poland” series “under scrutiny” about the factors of success most entrepreneurs agree that knowledge and competence of the owner (84%) are the most important.

As companies mature, the importance of effectively recruiting valuable job candidates increases. This point was indicated by only 8% of infants, 24% of adults and 39% of mature organizations. Taking into account the sectors, representatives of manufacturing more frequently indicated innovation and their own R&D (31%) and effectiveness in recruiting the best people (34%) as the factors of success.

Interested parties first pointed to such characteristics as communication (31%), creativity (18%), and competence and knowledge (17%), which may prove key in managing business, when asked about the characteristics of a company’s boss.

To build long-term resilience, the strategies and development directions of a company are the areas most frequently indicated (85%) in SME management. EFL’s report pointed further to resources and assets (68%), partners and suppliers (65%) and the business model (58%).

At the early stage of a company’s development, speed of action was significantly more frequently regarded as the most important factor – 25% of indications, while in mature organizations this amounted to 10%. Along with the age of the organization, the importance of partners and suppliers increases.

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