It’s not easy starting your own business. There are uphill battles that every entrepreneur faces when embarking on this highly arduous, extremely rewarding journey. We know that – and are here to help with a few tips to hopefully make that journey a little easier.
Know Your Bread-and-Butter
This is an absolute. You MUST understand your bread-n-butter (i.e. your clientele, customer, end-user, partner, etc.) and know their needs like you know your own. And even more so, try to put yourself in their shoes and anticipate their needs before it’s even a want in their head. Try and be two steps ahead of their needs at all times if you can – it’ll pay off big.
Have a Business Plan
Drafting a business plan is not just a start-up tip- it’s an essential. Having a clearly defined description, mission, objectives and a plan to meet those objectives will help keep your business on track. Set goals. Maybe how much revenue you want to acquire at a certain time or how many locations you want to have? Whatever it is a business plan will help you guide you, and give you a concrete pitch to present to potential partners, investors, etc.
Keep Your Operations Lean
This is a tip that if not adhered to diligently your business could fail before it has even taken off. Yes, expenses are a necessary evil to the running of any business, but it’s a slippery slope if you build them up to a level that you’re losing money before you’re making it – or enough of it. Until you’ve established a steady revenue stream and a healthy income/balance sheet – avoid leasing that 5,000 square foot office space and purchasing that new Mac computer.
Talking about how great your business is yourself can only get you so far – and it’s not very far. It’s important to establish credibility for your business and yourself. Consider creating a blog and guest blogging for sites such as The Huffington Post or Mashable, adding testimonials to your website and/or marketing brochures, attending industry and networking events to grow visibility for your brand, and webinars to expand your knowledge. Of course, be sure to share what you can via social media to spread your credibility even farther.
Whether it’s a team, business partner, an agency, investor, friends and/or family, it’s virtually impossible (or highly difficult) to start and grow a business on your own. Unless you want to work 100 hours or more a week, and lose your sanity in the process, be sure to find support that you can trust. Try bringing on freelance help, outsourcing your social media and web presence (hint hint – Windmill), aligning yourself with strategic partners and/or investors to lighten the load.
These are just a few to get your startup – well, started. Have more to contribute? Leave us a comment! We love hearing from you – almost as much as we love businesses.