Setting up a business from scratch is the most exciting and adventurous journey you will embark on but it can quickly end if you’re not well prepared. Here are some tips that can guarantee that your startup journey is long and successful.
1. Ask yourself “What is my BIG idea?”
It is imperative that you answer this important question right at the start and not save it for later. What is your BIG idea? What important problem does your product/service solve? What specific need does your business fulfil? Your answer to this question will form the basis of WHAT you do. It will be the foundation of your business and vision.
2. Do something you LOVE to do.
Your big idea can be a fantastic one, but if isn’t something that is close to your heart or something that you are insanely passionate about, you won’t be able to sustain the effort required to see it realized. Your edge as an entrepreneur is hinged on whether you absolutely love what you do.
3. Write down your PURPOSE.
The PURPOSE of your business will birth your MISSION STATEMENT, VISION, and VALUES. It must describe your BIG idea and why you are doing what you are doing. Write down your purpose, read it aloud, memorize it, put it up somewhere prominent, or tattoo it on your forearm (for extreme entrepreneurs only). Point is, your PURPOSE should constantly remind you why you became an entrepreneur.
4. NAME your business right
Your business name can determine whether the market accepts your products/services. Ask yourself – Does the name sound good when said aloud? Is it meaningful and relevant? Is it backed by a story that customers can identify and relate to?
Make sure your business name is unique so that there are no trademark issues later. Check if there’s a web domain available for that specific name on a hosting site like GoDaddy.
5. Work on your BUSINESS PLAN.
Your BIG idea and PURPOSE statement are useless without a robust BUSINESS PLAN. Many startups overlook this part because they are too eager to get started. Your plan must be comprehensive and have detailed information about your company, product/service, market, ideal customer/consumer, competition, management team, marketing plan, operations plan, and financial plan.
6. Know your CUSTOMER or audience.
The success of your business is directly related to how well you know your customer. A good way to know your customer better is to create semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer, based on real data and some educated speculation about demographics, behaviour, motivations, challenges, and goals. This will help you better understand the pain points of your customers and ensure that your products/services are targeted to meeting those needs.
7. Get your PRICE right.
Pricing your product or service right is everything! Startups can tend to underprice products or services initially in an attempt to maximize incoming business, but this will exhaust your resources very quickly. On the flip side, overpricing your products or services without first building trust and reputation can scare away potential customers. A complete no-no is letting the customer’s budget dictate your price point. Price your offerings based on your effort and cost, adding in with a competitive market edge, and you are set to win!
8. Perfect your PRODUCT/SERVICE.
Don’t stop going back to the drawing board to rework, modify, and change your strategy as you grow and understand your industry and customers better. Change is an integral path to growth and success. Startups that are unable to change and adapt can fizzle out within a few months.
9. Get the RIGHT TEAM alongside you.
Partner with people who share your vision and add value to your team. Growing in number too quickly and unnecessarily can slow down or even end your progress. But, if you are unwilling to delegate responsibility and grow with the right people, critical issues can fall through the cracks and get neglected. Share your vision with people close to you who can be effective in scaling up your business. If your operating budget does not allow for hiring more full-time employees, you can consider working with contractual employees or freelancers.
10. Keep the CUSTOMER first.
The previous tips do not matter if you lose sight of your customer and their needs. Do not neglect client feedback. Financial growth and success should be the end result of a well-planned business strategy that is hinged on serving and building a long-lasting relationship with your customers.
These are just a few tips. Of course, never give up and never stop believing in yourself and your purpose. Take time off regularly to inspire yourself, spend time with family and friends, and get motivated. Work hard, but not at the expense of leaving no time for yourself. Remember that you are important to the cause that you carry. We can talk more about how to work on your entrepreneurial routine, but let’s leave that for another time.
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Author: Rebecca Pearson
Rebecca Pearson is the Founder & CEO of Five Stones Media House, a creative branding agency based in Mumbai. Five Stones provides bespoke branding solutions that help them achieve their business goals through creative visual branding, websites, SMM, SEO, event management and content solutions. We journey closely with brands in a dedicated and passionate way and help them fulfill their purpose.