By: Chris LaFay on July 12, 2018
With an average of 75% of startups failing, you want to know how the 25% succeed. Everyone starting a business is driven to it for some reason, but it is not the easy career path. Let’s examine some common problems and how you can beat the odds, stay afloat, and turn a profit over time.
You are going to be taking time and energy away from many things that you care about: family, hobbies, watching baseball. Having a passion for your new company is what is going to make those sacrifices worth it. Be honest with yourself about what starting and succeeding as an entrepreneur entails. Having your own company will never be easy, but it should always give you a reason to get up in the morning and something to be excited about.
A team will take you further than you can go alone. Hire people that compliment your leadership style and share your passion. Since these people will be helping you build the company, they need to be able to take initiative and own their work. It’s hard sometimes to step back from your business and let someone else take the reigns, but you are never going to know everything! You do what makes you great and let an attorney, accountant, marketing professional, or web designer help you out. In the beginning, you may not all be in the same office. Learning how to effectively manage a distributed team will help you to go a long way in the early stages.
Have a well thought out business model. In the early days, you are going to have a lot of ideas. Write them all down since they could be important one day. But the day they are all important is not day one. Identify your starting point, then branch out and pivot accordingly. Your business should seamlessly flow from one element to the next. If you try to do too much at once, you won’t get anything done. If your business is a canoe, then the business model acts as your oars. It will guide you when the water gets rough and keep you from swaying too much in any direction.
Being able to state in a few words what makes your business beneficial is essential to success. What is your unfair advantage? You can’t properly tell someone why they should work with you until you know yourself. Really define why there is a need in the market for your business and what you do differently from your competitors.
Your focus and your business model will help you to create your marketing plan. Do some basic market research to identify who you should be targeting and what will catch their attention. Establish your budget and be diligent about staying within the boundary you have created. It’s easy to just go a little over here and there, so identify when you are making those changes and adjust in other departments accordingly. One of the top reasons that a startup fails is because they ran out of money!
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