Start-up has become a buzzword in business world nowadays and a large number of new entrepreneurs are floating their business ideas in the market. But half of these businesses never see their first anniversary. There is no end to the many financial, legal, staffing, marketing, and customer issues that a new entrepreneur has to tackle for making his business idea a success. Unfortunately, there is a lot of conflicting advice out there for the aspiring entrepreneur, even which comes only when it is already too late. Following core tips can prove to be helpful for new entrepreneurs for making their start-up successful:
1. Start a Business You Are Passionate and Knowledgeable About
Start-ups can be quite a grind, so pick something that enthuses and motivates you. As little knowledge is always a dangerous thing, so indulge in a business you have thorough knowledge. Though you can always sharpen your saw and learn tricks of trade but the steep learning curve may hamper your success at least in the beginning when you are grappling with a large number of teething problems of a business.
- Bigger the Market Size Better will be the Opportunity for Success
Make sure to carefully research if there’s a big market for your product or service. Investors will typically invest in your company if they see a large market opportunity and that the company has the potential to grow. Most of the successful start-ups are in the areas where market size is huge.
- More the Start-up Funding Better it is for Your Business
‘If you want to hunt a jackal, be prepared for the weapons to kill a group of lions.’ You must ensure you have a cushion for all the product development and marketing expenses you will incur. In an ideal world, you will have sufficient capital for your operations to break even. Don’t worry about diluting your percentage ownership in the company. It is always better to share an apple than a grape. Developing a great product takes time and money, in most of cases more than we can estimate.
- Keep Your Expenses under Control
A penny saved is a penny earned. Maintain a strict control over your expenses and avoid unnecessary costs. Learn to live on a shoestring budget until meaningful revenues start to flow in. Many start-ups have failed because the entrepreneur wasn’t able to adjust spending to avoid running out of cash.
- Know Thy Competition
Make sure you keep a thorough vigil over competitive products or services in the marketplace so as to maintain USP of your product or service intact by ensuring product developments and product enhancements. Most of the product fails when they are unable to adjust to the changes in the marketplace. Know thy competition as it is more within than without. Every day and every way try to make your product better and better to maintain its competitive edge.
- Seek Professional Advice where Required
Advice from other entrepreneurs and business professionals (such as lawyers and accountants) can prove to be invaluable. Consider putting together an advisory board, and don’t be afraid to motivate members by giving them stock options in your company. Find mentors who can give you advice on hiring, product development, marketing and fundraising as your success depends on the decisions you take. Also read industry newsletters and start-up publications for acquainting with the latest knowledge about the market.
- Develop a Great Elevator Pitch
You should have a crisp but compelling story about what your start-up does and what problem it solves. Have this ready for potential customers and investors before they ask you. Keep it sweet and simple. Articulate your mission and goals, and why your product or service is compelling and unique. And if an investor is interested, be prepared to follow up with a PowerPoint Presentation that dives into more detail about the company and the market opportunity. Try to take another time for showing detail presentation as it shows your respect for time.
- Hire the Right People
Human capital is the most active ingredient for the success of an enterprise; so it is very pertinent to hire right people. You need to bring in employees who have the relevant background and experience. They need to fit into the corporate culture you are trying to build upon. You must do thorough reference checks on them as they may be planted by your competition. They need to be hard-working and flexible, as employees in start-ups often have to function in multiple roles. Offer them ESOP to retain them till your venture become successful.
- Never Stop Networking
Networking can land you a new investor, a great employee, a new customer, or a great mentor. Attend industry and start-up events. Your net worth is determined by your network, so always keep increasing your connection with positive people.
- Good Public Speaking Enhances your Probability of Success
The ability to communicate effectively can be critical to landing customers, inspiring employees, and pitching to investors to raise capital. Most people are not very good at public speaking and many are even afraid of it. You must work to overcome this fear. Consider working with a public speaking or business coach to practice, get professional feedback and improve. Good public speaking always enhances your probability of success in business venture.
- Just Do It
There is never a perfect time to launch a start-up, so follow that famous advice and “just do it.” Take the first step to building your business, even if it’s only part time while you still have a paying job. Though it is always better to work full time if you are convinced about the success of your idea, yet it is always better to work on your idea than delaying it.
- Market Your Business as Much as You Can
You continually have to be attracting, building, and even educating your market. Make sure your marketing strategy includes the following:
- Build a professional-looking, up-to-date website as people normally have first impression about your business from its website.
- Learn the fundamentals of SEO (search engine optimization) so that people searching for your products and services might find you near the top of search results.
- Use social media to promote your business as most of your customer and potential investor spend a good amount of their time on social media nowadays.
- Engage in content marketing by writing guest articles for relevant websites.
- Issue press releases for any significant events and also use traditional marketing channel according to your budget.
Hope these tips will help you if you are planning a start-up of your own. Best of Luck!
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