Starting your own business is an incredible experience, but it is also tough. All of your emotions will be put through the ringer, you will never have worked so hard, and your mettle will be tested to its absolute limits. With everything going on, there is a very good chance you can take your eye off the ball by forgetting some essential ingredients that will ensure your idea is a success.
If you aren’t doing anything, research
Say goodbye to novels, your TV, and your hobbies for a little while. Whenever you start a business, any spare time you have should be spent researching ways of making better opportunities. At a most basic level, this means you should be looking at your competitors and making notes of what they do well and what they do badly. You should also be thinking about how to make your product or service unique – how are you going to stand out from the crowd? The more work you put in, the better your chance of success.
Stay on top of the market
Don’t get too sucked into making your product or defining your service without referencing who you are doing it for. You should have a laser-targeted idea of who your audience is, and always keep them in mind with whatever you do. The startup period isn’t the time for taking wild punts and guesses about what the market wants; it’s about fulfilling current needs. Keep your eyes on current events and always plan with your audience in mind.
Don’t stray from the path
Make sure you have a full business plan to get you started, and try and stick to it. It’s OK to make minor adjustments as you go along, but you have to keep to the main thrust of your business plan alongside you as you progress. Otherwise, you will make changes here, there, and everywhere, and never get anything finished. Constant pivoting is one of the major reasons many startups don’t make it out of the starting blocks – don’t be one of those statistics.
It might be a dull subject, but your finances need to be controlled well from the off. The obvious one is your primary accounts: do you have the right accountant in place that is doing the best for your money? But there are other things to think of, too, such as insurance. Got vehicles you rely on for your business? Find some cheap fleet insurance to cover you for any damages or accidents that could see you lose out on business. Hiring staff? Make sure you have the right liability insurance in place for the number of employees you have. There is a lot to think about here, and it is essential that you keep your policies updated to cover you for any eventuality.
While following those tips won’t guarantee you success, they will give you a great shot at breaking your startup through the barrier. Have you got any ideas that have worked for you? I would love to hear about them, so please get in touch!