Starting your own business is pretty much always an uphill struggle. To succeed, budding entrepreneurs need to remain healthy, pro-active, smart and enthusiastic, which is easier said than done. Here are some tips to avoid your start-up from failing.
Establishing a business plan is an absolute must for all new companies. Your business plan will keep your ideas concise and in a format that will be easily navigable. The process of creating business plan will refine, focus and crystalize your big idea and how to make it happen. It will also control your ambition and push you to stick to a roadmap. Your company needs to grow methodically, and without precious resource being wasted on uncontrollable ideas. Complete that business plan, although a chore, and you are setting yourself up for success.
Meeting others like you or contacts within your industry is one of the most valuable things you can do. Contacts provide opportunity and a solution to hidden problems, especially if they have been there before themselves. The more people you know the better chance you have at succeeding with your company. You could receive free help, favours and more, all of which are highly valuable for an emerging business. Knowledge and insight is key to succeeding within any industry and understanding the different routes within it will enable you to succeed.
Gain a Mentor
Simply wading into an industry without out any form of guidance or previous experience will only open you to making mistakes. Gaining some insight, either through someone with extensive experience or with a seasoned mentor will ensure you don’t fall into easily avoidable setbacks. All the great CEO’s, from Steve Jobs to Richard Branson have had mentors that offered highly valuable experience and insights into their industries. Find an individual who is at the point you wish to be, or someone close and gain their help.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take Risks
The world of business is defined by risk management. You have to take calculated risks in order to move your company forward. The very idea of establishing a new company, especially with your own finances is a risk in itself. Reducing risk is achievable through insider knowledge and proper guidance, but never allow the fear of failure to prevent you from taking that investment, expansion or development decision. This is why mentors are useful.
Don’t be Reactive
If you find that you need to constantly be reactive as a company, then you are setting yourself up for potential failure. A new company cannot afford early rebranding, a change in product base or mass overhauls – it needs to remain consistent and grow steadily, especially at the start. If you have started a company to offer a short-term solution to a gap in the market then your company will struggle to compete with the rival that has developed a long-term solution. Always play the long game, not the quick win.
Choose Your Clients Wisely
Who you associate your brand with is essential, especially in an age where the consumer has access to treasure troves of retail information. This is particularly important with online sales as studies have proven that consumers show very little brand loyalty with online purchases. They will be quickly turned off from your organisation if it is associated with anything questionable. The same applies if you are offering a direct service. Meet the client in person, if they seem troublesome, unreliable or high maintenance make sure you are prepared to deal with them. Clients who pay late can be a burden to chase and can rupture your cash flow projections.
Know Your Own Company
As CEO, it is your responsibility to know every aspect of your company better than anyone else. This doesn’t mean you need to be an expert, but understanding any element of your business’ necessity and value to your brand will equip you in prioritising hiring, budgets and more. A designer for may be crucial for the development of your user engagement and creating a platform that will entice people to buy. But the marketer drives customers. Both are as important as each other, but which do you go for first?
Personal health is absolutely critical. It is easy to remain plugged into your business with the easy accessibility of smartphones, tablets and applications. Knowing when to switch off and relax will keep you fresh, efficient and in charge. This is particularly important if you have a family or personal relationship to maintain – business is only one aspect of life, don’t forget everything else.
Give it Your All
before you reach your business holy grail, there will be bumps and bruises along the way. You will be let down, you will be stressed and you will struggle, but like anything worthwhile in this world, it’s just not quite worth it unless it’s been an ordeal. Creating anything from scratch will test any character, it will take an endless supply of passion and enthusiasm. But remaining enthusiastic, passionate and affirmative will give you every possible chance at succeeding. If you are struggling or under-committing or dip in enthusiasm, what does that do to your team?
Nick Buglione is a writer, editor and content manager responsible for copywriting, content management, social & outreach content for all brands in the ParcelHero family. This includes website copy, blogs and social media platforms. He joined ParcelHero as Head of Content in May 2014.