Let’s not beat around the bush here – starting your own company is a process much easier said than done.
While it would be incredible if it did, growing a profitable business doesn’t just happen overnight – it takes time, hard work and a lot of man-hours to make it even close to successful.
Even the big boys of the corporate world will have started in the same position. Whether it be Steve Jobs at Apple, Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook or Jeff Bezos at Amazon, at one stage or another they would have sat where you are now – searching for tips on how to make your start-up a money-making machine.
Well, while we can’t guarantee you’ll be successful, we’re here to help throw our hat into the ring, highlighting some of the key things you should and shouldn’t do when starting out.
Do: Be adaptable
Just because you have an idea in mind of how your start-up business should look, as hard as it may be, it may not always work that way from a practical or logistical point of view.
If you set out to sell a specific product or service, for example, it’s important to be prepared to alter your approach in the event it fails to gain much interest or its popularity drops off after an initial boom.
Don’t fight a losing battle out of stubbornness – instead, try to learn and adapt as you go along.
Don’t: Under or over-estimate
While dreaming too big can be dangerous, aiming too small can be equally demoralising. Therefore, it’s important to find the right balance for you and your business.
While it’s easy to fear failing, starting your own business is all about having the confidence to stand on your own two feet, making difficult decisions when you need to.
By being confident, staying sensible and remaining logical, you’ll put yourself in a much stronger position moving forward into the post-COVID landscape.
Do: Invest in marketing
In essence, if you don’t market your business effectively, nobody will see it. To prevent this from happening, create a detailed marketing plan for your business and regularly update it as you go along.
Starting with the four P’s of marketing, move onto understanding the basics of search engine optimisation (SEO), email marketing, social media and paid search campaigns.
With so many avenues to explore within the marketing industry, it’s important to identify which ones are best suited to your company as early as possible.
Don’t: Rush the hiring process
The staff you hire at the starting-out stage have a major impact on your success. So, you want to make sure their good.
While it may be tempting to be all gung-ho about the hiring process early on, trust is vital. There’s no point working with someone underqualified for a position who won’t share the same level of passion for the business as you do.
Think about who you hire carefully and ensure they feel equally included with your company’s evolution.
Do: Listen to your customers
As the old saying goes, the customer is always right and – fundamentally – it’ll be them who make or break your business model.
Therefore, it’s important to identify who they are early on – especially while you’re trying to make a name for yourself.
Then, once you know who they are, target them, consider their customer experience, engage with them, listen to what they have to say, and adapt your company around that input.
Don’t: Lose hope
As I mentioned at the start of this article, starting a business can be hard graft but, conducted in the right way, can be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.
The key thing is to not lose hope. Yes, some days may be harder than others but, as with anything in life, it’s OK to fail. In fact, it’s the only way we can learn sometimes.
And, while it may be a cliché, it’s true – you never truly know whether something works until you try.