Many of us dream of setting up our own business, turning our passions into ventures and only answering to ourselves. If you are thinking about, in the process of, or have recently started your own business, here are 7 Essential Startup Tips for New Entrepreneurs.
1. Business Development Is Essential
Whether you’re a B2B, or a B2C customer, never slack on business development. For example, if you’re a B2B start up and you land a lucrative deal with a new client – don’t stop looking for new business. Sure you might be stretched to the limits, all hands on deck, but if that client goes then you’re left with a big hole to fill. If you want to expand then you’re going to have to constantly seek new contracts and customers. Never think you’re big enough, things can change very quickly and the last thing you want is to be stuck with massive overheads and no revenue coming in.
2. Know What Your Competitors Are Up To, But Don’t Let Them Take Your Focus.
It’s essential for any business to know their main competition, their market share, USP’s and what they’re currently focussing on. However, don’t let it consume you. Too many people get way too caught up on what their rivals are doing, that they constantly shift to match them and end up completely losing focus on what they’re company is supposed to be doing and what they stand for. The key to your startup is to offer something different than what’s already available. Concentrate on doing your own thing and only ever keep one eye on the competition.
If you really want to make it in your sector, you have to know it inside out. This means conducting in-depth and continual analysis on the market, it’s target customers, current trends and anything else that might affect it. Remember this is an ongoing process and to make sure you stay ahead of the pack, you want to make sure you know about any big changes, as soon as they happen.
4. Remember Your USPs
You should know what your unique selling points are from the very start and stick closely to them as your startup begins to grow. Don’t deviate away from them to satisfy clients or make a few easy bucks. Stick with them, you identified them for a reason and if you stray to far from them you will lose your company identity and what differentiates you from everyone else.
5. Cash Flow Really Is King
Unsurprisingly, one of the main reasons a startup doesn’t succeed is because they don’t pay close enough attention to their cash flow. Keep a close eye and always over-estimate your overheads and expenses rather than under estimate. Keep on top of delivering invoices and following up with clients to make sure that they’re paid on time. Even if you have a meticulous budget, always keep additional cash flow, anything can crop up and you’ll be thankful for the reserves, particularly on slower months.
For more information on this, here are 6 common money mistakes that businesses make.
6. Acknowledge When You Make A Mistake
Everyone makes mistakes, it’s a part of life! However, the best thing to do is to hold your hands up and admit to it, particularly with clients or customers you have dealings with. this is essential for your reputation and if you admit responsibility and actively try to rectify the mistake, no one’s going to mind all that much. Always go above and beyond when dealing with anyone, it’ll make you stand out and you’re much more likely to get future business from recommendations.
7. Love What You Do
This is particularly important for a start up because the 8-5 work day goes out the window and you’ll be devoting endless hours to making your business grow. If you’re doing it just for the money, then you will never succeed. You have to be truly passionate about what you do. People will recognise your passion and you will put much more of yourself into making the venture a success.