Zebra startups are a relatively new type of business that has evolved in the modern era as the corporate world changes in tandem with new technology and contemporary principles.
Zebras are gaining popularity recently all around the world because they cherish coexistence and strive for sustainable progress.
You’ve definitely heard of unicorn companies, which are start-ups worth $1 billion or more yet have undergone rapid expansion. Although these firms may appear great, the unicorn model completely disregards sustainability and compromises business ethics.
Zebra startups have displaced their forerunners as the focus of the business world due to the growing awareness about how corporate operations affect the environment and society as a whole.
A zebra corporation is both black and white; it strives to better society while also being successful. Organizations that fit this description are said to have a “double bottom line.” As a counterpoint to the disruptive and profit-driven unicorn paradigm, this business strategy is presented.
The fact that zebras are believed to wander in packs and that zebra startup are said to be mutualistic, banding together to safeguard and assist one another, is another play on words.
Businesses in the zebra ecosystem work together so that their separate contributions can be combined to create a more powerful synergistic product.
Also read, The Impact of Gazelle Companies in Africa
In contrast, zebra businesses combine the opposing goals of profit and social good. Instead of achieving rapid expansion, they want to attain sustainable profitability.
Zebras prioritize quality and work to establish profitable partnerships with other businesses in the same industry. Their performance is determined by the success of their clients rather than by acquisition.
How to launch zebra startups
Building a profitable and long-lasting corporation is a far more common goal for company owners than obtaining a $1 billion capitalization.
The drawback of this strategy is that zebras won’t draw venture capitalists’ interest, who have their eyes fixed on far higher revenues. Nevertheless, lots of investors are looking for safer and longer-lasting investment options.
Understand your why
Knowing why a founder wants to launch a business is the first step in creating a zebra. Your goals should guide how you set up your business.
It makes perfect sense to use the zebra approach if you want to be free, happy, fulfilled, and able to give back to society. Nevertheless, it’s not the best option for you if you’re looking for money, success, or notoriety.
Prepare your team
An excellent startup will have three founders, each with complementary skills so that you can all work together to carry out essential business operations.
Three people considerably boost your odds of accomplishment; starting a business alone is a very difficult road. When assembling your team, be sure that at least one member has at least three years of expertise in the market you wish to enter and is aware of the problem you’re attempting to address.
Lastly, it is crucial that you all share the same “why,” since this will direct strategic decisions as you start and expand.
Your startup’s objective should be determined by the contribution you want it to make, and your marketing plan should be based on a world that you envision in 20 years.
Once you’ve identified your concept, think about putting it into practice using a B2B approach. Be aware that B2B companies can run on much lesser budgets and spend much less on marketing, for instance by using LinkedIn to target consumers instead of pricey SEO and social media marketing campaigns. Less money spent will allow you to bootstrap and improve your prospects of long-term success.
Put your plan into practice
The execution of your concept, not the concept itself, is what counts. Your startup’s success will be directly impacted by the way you decide to implement your idea.
Many great concepts have never been implemented. Using this strategy, you can create a profitable, lean zebra startups. Innovation should focus on a feedback loop rather than developing the ideal product before entering the market.
Make an MVP, or minimum viable product, first. This ought to be fast and inexpensive. The solution might not be readily evident, but that’s where your imagination comes into play.
The zebra model forces us to respond to the crucial inquiry: Is a business’s primary concern its bottom line? The zebra model appears more likely to achieve long-term, sustainable success in 2022 and beyond in the modern day, with better knowledgeable consumers, the demand for openness, and a higher level of awareness over the influence of companies on their environment.
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