Starting a business is a risky and daunting venture. There’s no foolproof formula for starting and growing a business, but there are some things that you can do to help guide you toward success. Here are five tips for those startups that are still in the early stages.
Scope out the competition
Identify what companies you’re competing against and get an idea of how your company differentiates from theirs. Know your industry and do enough research so that you’ll know how you stack up. See what makes your company unique and capitalize on that. While you may have fierce competition, it’s also about your execution. Understand your market share so that you can effectively compete.
Build your strategy
Whatever the goal is for your company, it’s essential to map out how you’re going to accomplish it. Establishing a strategy will keep you focused on the end goal. While creating a business plan and strategizing helps you develop and grow your business, it’s also necessary when it comes to seeking funding. Investors want to know what your goals are, but they also want to understand the details of how you plan to achieve them.
We’ve discussed building your strategy, but we know things won’t always go as planned. Life as an entrepreneur has its fair share of twists and turns. It’s important to remain flexible and be prepared to go back to the drawing board. While your goals may stay the same, how you get there may not. Learn how to adapt both your attitude and strategy when faced with unexpected challenges. Many companies pivot multiple times before achieving success, sometimes changing their goal or how they planned to attain it.
Set up an accounting system
As an early-stage startup, it’s likely that your main focus is on running your business and how to tackle any obstacles you may be encountering. When it comes to your bookkeeping, it’s often put on the backburner, but this can lead to costly issues. You should establish a simple accounting system, so you’ll know where your company stands financially. You may not be ready to hire help in the beginning, but with accounting platforms like Xero and QuickBooks, you can manage things on your own until it’s time to hire help. Get things in order early to set your business up for longterm success (and fewer accounting headaches).
Assemble the right team
While the company may be yours, becoming a successful one is a team effort. Assembling a good team is essential to your startup’s future. Surround yourself with people who have the same work ethic and goal in mind. They should understand your mission, core values, and be willing to work just as hard as you to reach the company’s goals. They should also be prepared to contribute new and innovative ideas to help move the company forward. Be sure to have a general idea of what you want your company’s culture and atmosphere to be. The people around you can make or break your business, keep that in mind when making hiring decisions.
Do what you can to guide your startup down the road to success. If you find yourself unsure of what your next move should be, enlist the help and advice of a mentor. It’s a long and arduous road, but stay passionate and resilient. Want more tips on how to build a flourishing business? Check out the five habits of successful business owners.