Top 7 Tips For Startup Businesses
I’ve had my fair share of experience starting new businesses or re-vamping operations over the years. I’ve learned what key elements are necessary before attempting to make a splash in the deep end of the entrepreneurial pool.
Before you take a “good idea” and open shop you should know what you’re getting into and the right steps to ensure optimal success. Starting with the right goals in mind is important before you have to make drastic changes to get back on track in the early stages. Here are 7 essential tips to assist in a strong launch for your new business venture.
What do people want to buy?
Many entrepreneurs have a tendency to develop an idea and run with it without much research. When you are looking to invest your time and money into a business you are passionate about, make sure it is a product or service that consumers or other businesses will desire to purchase. Start with investigating the market, the competitors, and potential buyers.
Just because you’re excited about it doesn’t mean it will be successful in the marketplace.
Get your cash flow in gear.
Cash is king. Cliché… sure. But true. Remember, no cash means no business. The largest issue that faces startup businesses is lack of cash flow. When the invoices from sold goods or services aren’t paying for 30 to 60 days you may be scrambling to cover the costs of rent, payroll, and other ongoing operating costs.
You may want to prepare cash flow projections for the next year, next quarter, or even next week. This will help you find trouble areas before they strike.
The real questions is, “where does the money come from to maintain?” There are a couple key options at this point. You can wait to start your business when you have the proper working capital, you can attempt to achieve a bank business loan, or utilize the growing popularity of invoice factoring. Find an option that works best for your business.
Keep costs low.
The glamor of starting your own business can get you caught spending more than you should on a new fancy workspace. There are many office luxuries you think you must have that you can easily operate without in the beginning phase. Can you operate out of your home? Can you rent an incubator space that has access to a copier, scanner, office phone and fax service?
When outfitting the desk with your new computer you must consider the use. Are your needs basic or more extensive? If you require only the use of the internet and a word processing program, you can probably get away with a fairly inexpensive work station. If your needs involve higher-end programs you should plan according so you don’t find yourself needing to upgrade too quickly.
There are several ways to implement a marketing strategy without spending too much. Business owners today are finding unique ways to capitalize on social media to get the word out. Email marketing is also a cost effective way to stay in front of your core audience on a tight budget.
When starting up a new business, nearly everyone tends to underestimate their costs to get off the ground. Key advice to avoid this mistake is thorough planning. A business plan will help you establish a realistic budget. Don’t pretend you can get away with a ridiculously limited budget and create success out of the gate. There are many things that can easily get overlooked:
- Business licensing
- Office supplies
It’s easy to get carried away and dream about the exponential sales of your widgets. This is where it is smart to assemble two cash flow plans. One assumes business will be very positive and the other is focused on an outcome with sales on the lighter side. This conservative plan helps you prepare if prices need to be cut or other decisions need to be made.
Sales and marketing focus.
Creating a quality leads funnel that you can work, test, and measure is incredibly important for the ultimate goal of client conversion.
Determine how you will best be able to reach your potential clients. Establish a plan to analyze the effects of direct marketing, social media, advertising, etc for your market and industry.
Test and measure everything.
What gets measured gets done. This can apply to you and the staff you manage. Tracking your production and results will show you what (or who) is working to the benefit of the company and what methods need altering to achieve the results you desire.
Don’t throw money away at an ad campaign that hasn’t produced any leads for the past 12 months. Take the time to track and monitor in order to develop the numbers that will help you make the appropriate changes to your processes or staff.
The moment you think you think you’ve learned all you need to know about your business or industry, you’ve failed. Never stop educating yourself and your staff about the latest trends and market activity. This knowledge will assist to make business decisions that will increase sales.
This is a very general checklist when starting or contemplating the launch of a new business. Take the time to prepare yourself to avoid surprises along the way. Once you develop quality strategies you will find yourself moving forward equipped with a plan you can be confident in leading down the path to success.
Find Out More: