May 11th, 2017
Your business idea could sound like a solution to world hunger, but without a well-planned strategy, it would fail.
It isn't easy to build a business from scratch up to the point where it is a multi-billion entity. Big companies like Microsoft, did not stop at the ideation phase; it went beyond and built a conglomerate after years of adding value to the market.
As expected, startups are overwhelming at the beginning, but it is part of the initial challenges. The difference between a successful and failed business is planning. Humans are bound to make mistakes, but what happens after you have made the wrong decision for your business? Relapse or learn from your mistakes?
This article shares some success tips for startups and intending startups. If these tips are followed to the latter, it increases your chances of success. Are you ready? Let's get to those tips.
This may sound like cliché because you have heard it several times and think it is overrated. Writing a business plan is the first success tip for any startup.
It is easy to claim that all the ideas are in your head, but how about your team members? Would they get into your head to read those ideas when they need clarification? No, they won't.
Your business plan is a document that states in detail your long and short-term plans for the startup. Without this, outsiders would not take you and your business seriously.
Who would offer a grant or loan to a business without a plan? That does not happen anywhere in the world. Business plans are, however, flexible as you can tweak it to your current reality.
If your service or product does not offer a quick fix to a real problem, it is as good as non-existent.
The profit you would make from your startup is in exchange for solving a problem. No one would give you money because they have an excess of it but because they got satisfaction from your service or product.
To help with this, understand your consumers and their problems to see how your offer proffers a solution. The most successful startups are the ones that meet consumer's needs and leave no room for complaints.
Remember that your competitors are out there jostling for your customers, and so, you need to offer something different from them. The difference could be in branding, price, or taste as the case may be.
A successful enterprise has the right team working together to actualize the business mission and vision. If your vision is different from your squad's, it would be two parallel lines that never meet. To achieve your business goals, you need people who understand your vision and are willing to work with you without pressure.
Running a business is demanding, but working with the right partners increases your growth rate better than if you did things alone or with the wrong people.
As you gather the right people, create an enabling environment where everyone can contribute their expertise.
The market is filled with other experts who have been in the same line of business for many years. No aspect of marketing is novel; in other words, competition is inevitable.
I know how scary it is to penetrate the market as a newcomer, but it is something many have succeeded in, and you can do the same. If there were no competition, you would feel relaxed and see no need to improve on your services. Competition keeps you on your toes and coerces you to improve on your competitor's product.
Develop an area of expertise and grow in it. If you must sell, your consumers must be convinced that they are getting the best.
An expert provides the best product/service, and you should prove it if you think you are one. One way to establish your expertise is by enrolling in developmental courses and attending training and seminars in your field.
You should also create content in your area through blogs, podcasts, videos, etc. to gain the trust of your prospective consumers. Not only would your expertise help you personally, but it would also rub off on your startup.
One major challenge your small business would face is raising funds for your project. Established conglomerates were once in your shoes – some borrowed from banks with humongous interest rates. Do not be in a hurry to raise millions that you borrow from the wrong source.
Many businesses that started well went down the drains in the blink of an eye because they desperately accepted any offer that came their way without consideration. Before taking any loan/donation, ensure that the purpose of the lender is not to rip you of profit but to help your business grow.
It is easier for people to patronize a registered company than an unregistered one. Your business gains credibility when it is registered, and there are tax benefits associated with registration. Many unregistered businesses grapple with double taxation; thus, their profit is cut down, and they don't grow as much as they want. Your assets are preserved in the event of any lawsuit against your business, and this is enough reason to get your startup registered. The law is friendly to startups and is ready to provide the necessary support. If you have an unregistered business, you're losing out.
Your day at work should not always be serious and demanding. A mix of fun would help your team come out of their shells. Your strategies may not be yielding the result you want, but it doesn't mean you should bury your head with work all day long. A friendly environment leaves room for creativity, which is a better way to get over business challenges.
If your startup must succeed, you should move with the tides, create a balance between work and life, and surround yourself with team builders. If there is any shortcut to success, I don't know of any, but with these tips I have shared, it is sure to succeed.