You’ve probably read all of the statistics about startups, and how the majority of them tend to fail. You don’t want to become one of those numbers – of course, you want to succeed as much as possible! So how can you do it? Here are seven tips that you can’t ignore.
1. Have a strategy
Make sure that you have a clear and realistic strategy going into this process. You should have a solid business plan as well as an idea of what you need to do within your first month, six months, and year to stay afloat. Plan for the worst possible scenario – because the best scenario probably won’t happen.
2. Prepare to work hard
The entrepreneurs that succeed don’t do it overnight, and they don’t do it while taking a relaxing holiday. Those who do make it are the ones who are prepared to work evenings, weekends, birthdays, and holidays to get the work done. You will have to work harder than you have ever worked before to get your company off the ground – and you might have to stay that way for several years before things calm down. If you aren’t prepared to do that, you will fail.
3. Have a good team
In the beginning, you might operate as a sole trader. But sooner or later you will need to have a team around you, even if it’s just a good accountant and a PA or receptionist. Make sure that you hire good people, who are reliable, experienced, and eager to work. Hiring the wrong people can be a very costly mistake, especially if they end up harming the reputation of your company.
4. Get a good office or business space
Whether you’re a retail store, an office-based company, or even a production site, you will need a office space to work from. This is essential for meeting clients, working without distractions, and providing a workplace for your team. Make sure that you get the golden combination of a good location with a fair and affordable lease. You don’t want to overstretch yourself too soon – or end up failing because no one can reach you.
5. Be present online
You need a web presence, even if the services you provide are only available in person. The vast majority of consumers are using the internet, and more importantly, using their mobile phones, to make decisions. This means that you need to be there in order to get their attention. At the very least you need a responsive website with your contact details and information about your products or services so consider hiring a digital marketing agency to improve your visibility.
6. Build a following
You also need to be present on social media, ideally before you even launch your business. Claim your profile names early and register your domain name, then focus on serving content that will be interesting to your future customers and building up excitement. Put up a simple landing page on your domain to collect email addresses. When you are ready, list a launch date. On launch you can involve everyone who has already followed and subscribed, guaranteeing far more sales.
It’s important that you listen to customer feedback right from the beginning. They will always tell you where you are going wrong, especially if you ask for it. But you should also listen to what your potential future customers are saying. Read reviews on rival companies and search for relevant terms on social media to find out what they are saying, and react accordingly.