The rise of startups is at its peak and the credit simply goes to the ease with which anyone across the globe can find answers to their questions online, the benefits of living in the ‘digital age’. Industries are experiencing a massive influx of companies (of which most of them are startups) in recent years, the ease of the digital age brings with it market saturation and strict competition, this makes the survival of startups tougher than ever.
Starting up has become easier due to the ease with which information is available online, however, this also means that without an exceptional business model you are one of the millions starting a business. This means that while the initial launching stage is not so difficult, the real challenge arises once your operations begin. You have to work according to a defined and effective strategy in order to supervise your firm’s operations, look attractive to potential investors, market your product, tackle the incoming problems and manage your firm successfully.
In this article, we intend to enlighten you by providing 12 valuable tips that can successfully help you transform your startup into a success story.
Tip 1: Learn more about yourself, your passion and motivation, the risks you are willing to take and the extra effort you are willing to put in your search for success.
It is advised that you personally assess yourself and your personal goals before beginning your venture to see if you will be able to stay in line with your business goals and objectives in the long run. It can be very frustrating to lose motivation at a stage where you have already dedicated a considerable number of years to your firm.
Such assessments may give you an idea about the nature of the business you’ll be most comfortable working with as well. For instance, some businesses are riskier than others, so you might want to conduct an assessment on your risk associated behaviour to determine whether you are a risk-loving or a risk-averse individual. Learn about mitigating your risks and how to control them.
Tip 2: You don’t need a perfect business plan to start, a simple but well-defined plan is enough in the beginning.
You should have a business plan no matter how simple it is, a simple defined business plan will help you stay focused, lay a rough pathway to your destination and help you stay in line with your business goals. Successful businessmen do not just go out and work without any line of action or direction.
You need an organized plan to follow, plus it is undesirable to miss or forget targets that you had previously planned. A business plan will help you keep track of your tasks, stay organized and be responsive in your daily business activities.
It is advisable that you begin your operations with the resources you have, without fixating on a perfect plan because that will force you to gather all the irrelevant financial details before you even start and raise doubts about whether your business will succeed or not, thus only leading you to procrastinate in taking the final step.
Tip 3: Introduce your product after identifying gaps in the market.
The typical approach of identifying gaps or needs in the market and addressing those needs by introducing innovative products and solutions is still considered as a very useful approach that new venturers can adopt. It is advisable you introduce a product that is high in demand and promises you great profits in the future.
Tip 4: Ensure people are willing to pay for your product.
Finalizing your product, just because you personally like it or some of your close friends or family like it, is not a very wise decision. Instead, you should first assume that there is no market for your product and then mitigate your risks by researching about the uniqueness of your idea and check whether there is someone else who offers similar services in the market. Only offer your services when you are sure about the potential profits and prospects in the market.
It is equally important that you investigate people’s willingness to pay for the product by talking with potential buyers (other than someone you know) in the market and then approve your product’s finality according to their evaluation.
Tip 5: Mitigate your risks by Investing a few of your resources initially.
As quoted by Warren Buffett “Never test the depth of the river with both feet”.
Make sure that you get a better picture of your potential future profits and losses, by testing your idea on a small scale initially. You can do this by investing a few of your resources with controlled risks. This approach may help you in identifying your potential customer base whilst also giving an idea about the strength and weakness of your product.
Tip 6: Let your mistakes refine you and not define you.
Never get demotivated by your mistakes, every mistake is an opportunity to learn something new. What makes a successful entrepreneur stand out from the rest is their ability to never give up, they will always find a way to reach their goals and destination even if its a very long and arduous journey.
Successful entrepreneurs never obsess over their failures or place the blame on others, rather they overcome these barriers with persistence and consistency, and by changing their perspective about errors and mistakes, and seeing them as opportunities. In the end, your mistakes should make you a better person.
Tip 7: Learn from professionals in the industry.
Your company’s progression slows down if you lack sufficient knowledge and expertise about the industry you are working in. You can enhance your industry knowledge and expertise by socializing with like-minded business people, attending conferences, taking professional courses and most importantly learning from the mistakes of others.
Broaden your business perspective by reading newspapers and articles written by leading businessmen in the industry on a daily basis, get a deep understanding of the message they try to convey.
Tip 8: You are building a startup, so be an effective leader.
As a leader, it is your duty to plan, strategize and grow your business. You might be doing a great job as a startup owner already by taking all the responsibilities upon yourself and completing every task of your firm on your own but you are not being an effective leader if you tend to clamp down over little issues which your employees can resolve as well. Read how effective teams can make or break a startup.
The opportunity cost of spending time on work which can be delegated to others is high because that time could have been spent on prime tasks like planning and working on the growth strategy of your company.
Your effectiveness as a leader should increase the overall productivity of the team. Be effective by setting examples, highlighting weak areas of your employees, evaluating your employees and allowing them to work freely. Just remember that only you can see the bigger picture, your words will motivate your employees and it is your direction, that is going to guide your employees to push your business to new heights.
Tip 9: Adopt digital marketing as the primary method of marketing.
There is no quicker way to spread your word about the brand as it is through digital marketing, even the old conventional methods of marketing are now being modified with digital characteristics. We highly recommend you to adopt digital marketing as the primary method of marketing for your product because it is cheaper than conventional marketing, leaves a greater impact on the targeted audience, increases the interactions with the targeted audience, increases the customer conversion rate and thus increases revenues.
Many startups like Uber, Airbnb, etc transformed into hugely successful businesses just because they were able to attract a massive chunk of the population to their firms through digital marketing.
Tip 10: You have to attract investors.
You may need funds to begin your operations and to market your product. As a startup owner, it is advisable that you search for investors, you can either do that by contacting other small business owners and requesting them to refer someone, by attending public meetings which are held by investors, or by searching online websites such as Angel capital association, Equity, Funded, etc. You can read more about the different sources of funding here.
Once you get through to the interested investors, it’s very important you present a well structured and backed-up business plan, a plan that clearly states your business intentions and offers, promises high returns to the investor in a specified timeframe and demonstrates your seriousness towards the work.
Tip 11: Work hard to expand your social and business network.
Many successful entrepreneurs claim that they owe a major part of their business success to their vast business and personal networks. Your social and business network will help you build the foundations of your startup by building a reputation of your firm, linking you to different industries and professionals, and by making your company more competitive. Networking will always serve your business and will be one of the decisive factors in the growth of your company.
You can expand your business network by strengthening your existing business relationships and reaching out to new people. Meet people from different industries, ask about their opinions and let them share their experience with you. Even if it’s irrelevant to your area of expertise, it’s important that you still listen because most of the people share the same goals and ambitions.
Learn about their turning points, successful decisions and the mistakes that pulled them back, this might increase your motivation and may assist in reducing the number of trials and errors, whilst you carry your routine business activities.
In the end, it’s the reputation of your firm in the market that is going to define your product and attract investors to your company and what better way to improve your firm’s reputation than by networking.
Tip 12: Always lookout for ways to innovate your services and make yourself adaptable to changes:
You are the leader of your business and you are responsible for its survival, thus it’s necessary that you keep your mind open to new ideas and opinions. Keeping yourself open to new ideas can allow you to find new methods to innovate your products and services, and increase your existing customer base. We suggest that you should try targeting a different audience every time and introduce products and services according to their demand. Listen to what your customers have to say and consider their suggestions respectfully.
Keep in mind that the demands in the market change with time. Expecting the same product to yield the same amount of profits after some years as they are now, is not a very wise and recommendable approach. As an entrepreneur, you are expected to keep your business up with the changes and innovations in the market. Being able to adapt is what is going to help your business grow and expand.