Every great business has a startup point. A majority of these businesses started at the very bottom while others were lucky to have received a boost of some sort. Regardless of where they started, some of these businesses rose to become global corporations while others crashed and died before they could reach their full potential. Here are seven tips about starting a business that will ensure your business lives to become what you intend it to be.
1. Offer What People are Interested In
Probably the biggest secret behind any business is that it’s tailored to offer people what they desire from the products or services on your business offers, through to a variety of flexible payment options at the point-of-sale. It’s not advisable to focus only on what you want to sell without considering what your potential customers are interested in. As entrepreneur and blogger Brad Sugars states, it is better to have a small slice of the market around a huge product than to have no market at all.
2. Keep Your Costs Low
There are two types of cash flows in any business; positive cash flow and negative cash flow. Positive cash flow is the profit you get from your business while negative cash flow refers to the losses you incur. To maintain a constant positive cash flow, always ensure that you maintain low costs and even lower expenses. There are two ways you can achieve this:
- Buy used furniture for your office and used furnishings to fit into your work place. You can always replace these once your business has grown and you are registering more profits.
- Pay vendors upfront since it’s only at that point that you can negotiate for better prices.
3. Intensely Focus on Sales and Marketing
Your business is largely dependent on the sales you make. It’s for this reason that you should really focus on the progress of your sales. From the very beginning, you will have to find leads and also find ways of constantly getting new leads. These leads will then be converted to sales.
While starting their businesses, some entrepreneurs focus on the establishment of the brand they’re trying to create other than the sales they should be making. Keep in mind that your sales will also play a huge role in the establishment of your brand.
4. Test and Measure Everything
It has always been said that you can’t change what you don’t measure. Frequent testing of your strategies is required during startup. By doing so, you’ll know what strategies work and which don’t. You’ll therefore be able to change and improve each of them.
5. Find a Coach
It’s crucial that you find someone who has been in the business world and get advice from them. It would be best if you find someone who is outside your business and social circle. The person should be capable of holding you accountable for your results. You’ll be surprised by what this can do for both you and your business.
6. Recognize Your Weaknesses
It could be that you are poor in dealing with customers or you have no knowledge on how to balance books. Regardless of what your weakness is, Eric Basu, a contributor to Forbes says that you have to identify them and find out how you can compensate for them. You could compensate by learning how to do what you are incapable of doing or hiring someone who can do it for you. In some success stories, you’ll hear of people who were able to turn their weaknesses into major strengths.
7. Set Deadlines and Goals
As you start your business, you’ll be its major life force. At that point, it is up to you to either kill it or grow it. Therefore, it is very crucial that you not only set deadlines and goals but also strive to achieve them. There are two ways you can do this:
- Set daily deadlines and at the end of the day, review them on your own or with a friend.
- Set goals to be accomplished in six months or one year’s time. At the end of the said timeframe, review them with your friend or coach.
While setting these goals, write them down and keep them at a place where you’ll easily see them. Doing this will help you maintain focus in the chaos that accompanies a startup.
There are numerous ways that you can get business off the ground but not all will offer life long success. The biggest risk to your business is yourself. The choices you make and implement into the business might kill it regardless of where it is in its lifecycle.