Your robust entrepreneurial spirit may have you running as fast as you can into the marketplace, ready to conquer your industry and exceed everyone’s expectations, even your own. But to truly get started “on the right foot” and set yourself up for rapid growth instead of disappointment, you need to learn some key start-up tips.
After all, there are floods of new business start-ups every year in the US, and most of them fail. To be “the exception,” you need to do something different than what “the rule” was. Here are 4 ways you can distinguish your start-up and put it on the path to success from day one:
1. Focus on Market Differentiation
As to your products and services, you may have great ideas, years of experience, high skill levels, and a high-demand market sector all in your favor. But many others will have all that going for them as well.
The key is to make your products or services stand out from the crowd. You can achieve market differentiation based on higher quality, unique functions/features, creative advertising, or even based on easy availability (fast, free shipping, store location, or hours of service).
2. Give Your IT Department an Edge
If your business is going to have an IT department and/or develop its own proprietary software, you can save money, time, and headaches long-term by starting with the most cutting-edge coding software from day one.
Stay on the cutting edge of coding innovation with C# 7.1 and beyond. The new C# 8 features look to be even more impressive (and are coming soon). If you’re not a “techie,” you might be tempted to skimp in this area, but take a heads-up: better code equals better coding which equals better programming and performance. Give your IT staff the edge on the competition, and it will pay off big in the long run.
3. Don’t Under-finance Your Endeavor
Starting up a new business, in most instances, is not cheap. You have realized this and carefully calculated the costs and prepared accordingly. But unforeseen expenses will most likely push actuals significantly past your estimates.
However much you think you need, secure twice the amount in combined financing and capital. Then, make sure you also have a full year’s worth of basic operating expenses in a savings account, plus access to future financing should it become necessary, including via business credit cards.
Getting through the first year is normally the hardest, due to start-up costs and the process of building a customer base and a trusted local reputation. You need plenty of back-up financing to get you through this “incubation” period.
4. Attract and Hire Only “Good” Employees
In today’s economy, competition for top talent is as stiff. There are two pitfalls to avoid: filling up your staff with poor, unreliable workers just because they can be hired for cheaper, and on the other end of the spectrum, paying so much out in salaries and employee benefits that you sink your own ship.
Think of your workforce like it was a baseball team roster: you need some stars but also some “non-stars” who are solid and trainable players. Pay for a few already highly trained and experienced “stars,” then fill up the rest of your “roster” with less experienced but highly motivated “players.” Your stars can then assist in training the rest of the team, and their compensation can rise with their skill sets, and with your business’ soaring bottom line.
Make no mistake, having the right workers on your employee staff is just as important as having great products/services.