Starting a business can be a strenuous activity. Most startups fail in under five years, so you must strategize and research before establishing a business. No entrepreneur plans to start a business that will ultimately fail; it just happens that sometimes the details we overlook end up being our downfall. A study of some of the most successful companies reveals that the tips below are part of the contributing factors to their success and are helpful for whatever industry you are venturing into.
All leading businesses start with just a great idea that someone has. A business idea could be born out of a hobby, something you are passionate about, or a need that you have identified in the market. Just think of something that can solve the consumer’s problem.
You can identify a product that you can improve and create something better by suggesting a new use for a product that is already popular with consumers or improving the packaging of an existing product. Or sometimes it’s a new idea in the market altogether.
A perfect example of improving on an existing product is Apple. Computers were already in existence, but Steve Jobs’s idea was to create enhanced versions that he thought would suit his target market.
Have a business plan that entails detailed information regarding your services and products, market entry and penetration strategy into the industry you’re interested in, your mode of operations, market analysis, and financial projections.
The business plan will act as your guide and help you get finances. Most financial institutions are more likely to advance a loan to someone with a business plan than someone just borrowing blindly without a clear plan.
The capital needed to start a business will vary from one niche to the other. Consider the difference between LLC and sole proprietorship running costs. Calculate all the money that you will need before going out to look for financing. Include any loans in your books and assess your cash flows.
With your good credit score and appropriate collateral, you can approach financial organizations for business loans. Another approach would be applying for a business credit card. Take advantage of the companies giving 0% APR promotions. This promotion means you can use the card to make purchases without being charged any interest as long as you repay following the terms and agreements set by the credit card company.
If you cannot get funding from a financial institution, you can always look for investors and venture capitalists or talk to family and friends to help you with a loan or grant.
As you begin, you must have a strong team that clearly understands and shares your vision. Clearly define your expectations to your investors, contractors, co-owners, or employees.
Startups come with their fair share of risks, so build your network around professionals relevant to your type of business. Examples include bankers, attorneys, certified public accountants, and financial advisors.
You may have identified your niche, come up with a perfect product design, or even set up your workplace, but without complying with the law, your business cannot run. You do not want any legal implications, so ensure you do the following:
Some startups will require you to have a physical location, as in the case of manufacturing. Establish a suitable place for your office or storefront. You should consider whether you are better off leasing the space or buying the building. Owning your commercial space exempts you from a certain percentage of your tax obligations, while leasing does not. If there’s available or unoccupied space in your building, you can put it out on lease and earn extra income.
Some startup business owners prefer to lease the space and invest the rest of the money in other areas of the startup instead of buying the space. It is a cheaper option for getting space in a prime location, but you must remember that sometimes the rental rates are hiked upwards, so that means you will have to pay more. In that case, always set aside extra cash for such contingencies.
Put into consideration the fact that to survive in today’s digital era, creating an e-commerce platform and online presence is essential. Most consumers prefer the convenience of online shopping, so ensure you create an active blog or website because it builds your brand’s credibility. It also gives you the platform to reach out to consumers globally and find areas of improvement based on your consumers’ reviews online. Other ways to increase your startup visibility is through the use of search engine optimization (SEO) through the following:
If your objective is long-term success, your biggest focus should be customer retention. Loyal customers will always refer new customers to you and boost your sales because they are repeat buyers. It is also easy to cross-sell to loyal clients. Some of the ways you can retain your customers include:
You may have started small or not, but your business model will have to change along the way. The business industry is constantly evolving, so keep studying the business trends and review your company’s progress if it requires adapting to these trends. It is best to consult business experts or your business partners on how to plan and implement any changes in your business strategy. Listen to your customers’ feedback and study potential opportunities that may arise from what your customers say.
If you want to run a successful business without having to go through the startup stage we would recommend buying a franchise. Franchises allow you to trade under an already established brand name and system allowing you to get customers through the door as soon as you open your franchise business.
Startup success is not easy to achieve, but it is possible. Make customer retention and excellent customer service the core pillars of your startup. With the tips above and your passion for what you do, it is only a matter of time before you attain success. Soon, you will see yourself at the top.