No one likes to fail. It’s a fact that every startup, however, is flirting with failure. No matter how badly you want to succeed, there’s still a possibility your business just won’t make it. The good news is, there are concrete steps you can take to make sure that doesn’t happen. A great way to ensure your success is to look at other startups that have made it, and see what they’re doing that you can emulate.

Check out these 3 startups and see what your business can learn from each of them:

1. Codeship

Codeship is a continuous development solution and support option for coders, working off of the motto “building for the builders”. They’ve worked for over 100,000 developers since 2010. Moritz Plassnig, co-founder and former CEO of Codeship, says, “A great team is the lifeblood of a fast-growing startup. I would even go so far as to say that people are the foundation of every organization, big or small, high-tech startup or huge corporate juggernaut.”

The lesson? Invest in recruiting and build your team carefully.

Hiring the right people for your team doesn’t just happen. As a startup, it is important to know how to identify the best fit candidate for each position. Design a recruitment process that will enable you to do this in the best way possible.

A highly productive team needs a combination of experience, skill, culture, and different personalities. Hiring only the ‘clever’ candidates does not guarantee outright success. Success goes beyond the books and skills. Develop a good culture for your company by setting a set of accepted values which should be followed by all. If you lead by example, the rest will follow.

Last but not least, hiring a great first team is crucial. Really take the time to select hardworking, reliable, creative individuals for your first hires. You’re setting the tone for your business’ future, take the time to do it right.

2. Anaplan

Anaplan, a cloud-based enterprise for connected business planning founded in 2006, had humble beginnings. Michael Gould, founder, started Anaplan out of a small barn on his property in York. That didn’t stop him from succeeding; Anaplan now serves more than 30,000 clients, and is called “the spreadsheet killer” since it so effectively plans for businesses across one platform.

The lesson? Find the need, be the solution.

Anaplan was started because of one simple reason: ““The tools that were out there were not really meeting the needs of businesses,” says Gould. He was frustrated with the tools of the time for online management, and decided he was going to create the solution. This approach to ideas is crucial for entrepreneurs. If you can see a need in the market and immediately fill it with an excellent service, you’ve guaranteed yourself an audience.

3. Slack

Slack is a wildly popular team management system, that allows employees to communicate across different channels. Founded in 2014, it’s “the fastest-growing business application in history.” There’s a good chance you’ve already used it or thought about using it for your team. How did Slack get so popular? Stewart Butterfield, a co-founder of this cloud-based company, shares their secret.

The lesson? Demonstrate your value.

Slack worked hard to set themselves apart from the very beginning of their entrepreneurial journey, and it shows. They actively listen to all customer feedback, and have a team entirely dedicated to solving customer problems as soon as possible. They also marketed themselves by showing what Slack can do.

Their strategy was simple. They would invite prospective clients and teach them how to use the platform. By providing free demonstrations and informative sessions, clients could try out Slack and form their own opinions, risk free.

Show your customers what makes you different. Don’t hammer them over the head with your company’s benefits; allow them to explore your service and they can see for themselves exactly why you’re excellent.

Move Your Business Forward With Confidence

Pay attention to what these businesses are doing right! Your small business will have a greater chance at success if you build an excellent foundation. By investing in recruiting, creating the solution to common problems, and demonstrating your value to potential clients, you’ll be a step ahead of your competition.

Codeship, Anaplan, and Slack didn’t just happen overnight. It takes time and careful planning to set your small business up for success, but the results are more than worth it.

Image courtesy of