Ideas come and go. Oftentimes these ideas are unique and marketable that they do not see the light of day due to lack of funding and support. In other cases, these ideas are bought by major businesses that have the wherewithal to risk for venture purposes.
While ideas can be as trailblazing as making a portable battery for laptops akin to power banks or compacting solar or tidal energy, running a business is quite another. A great combination of luck, experience and money is needed. Most of the time, it is the latter that matters most.
Regardless of which has more weight, this article has will explore some proven methodologies which can help you avoid common pitfalls of running a startup.
Tip #1: Formulate a business plan
Many startup businesses fail within 10 years. In fact, the mortality rate is 71%. This is higher mainly because the funds have been depleted as a result of excessive expenditure and the lack of foresight to use the money effectively. This has been the major pitfall of many new businesses. They have the impression that as long as they have a brilliant idea, things will go smoothly for them.
It’s important to factor in that the market behaves spontaneously. What can be trending now might be obsolete in a matter of months.
Also, many new entrepreneurs think that investors will come to support and fund their project. While this is true, but it is equally important to take note that they can be very demanding and impatient. This is much so when it comes to their return of investment.
The proper and best way in addressing this is by creating a business plan. This is your lifesaver and the blueprint of your business. In fact, business plans help you redirect and align the current status of your business to how you initially envisioned it to be.
To add to this, business plans remind you of your threshold to lose money. More often than not, business plans are excruciatingly detailed. This includes the finances of your business and to which extent you consider it to be faring well or not.
Short of saying, you need a business plan to help you assess your current situation and tweak what it needs to be changed through the course of time.
Tip #2: Clearly delineate responsibilities
More often than not, startups take the services of those they know. It can be close friends, former officemates, or even a relative. While this is important as the degree of trust and confidence is there, this can also be inimical if not checked and monitored properly. Chances are people are very much comfortable with each other. Certain boundaries could be infringed and violated.
Short of saying, the familiarity factor can both be beneficial and/or detrimental to your company. Hence, it is necessary to be strict and detailed in providing the expectations that you have for each of your employees.
An organizational chart will do the trick. Well, you do not have to nit-pick everything in doing this. You just have to streamline and underscore how departments and positions will work together smoothly.
Job descriptions can come right after. You will need specialists to this for you. But if you have the time and the knowledge, you can do this on your own. You just need to know and understand what you need and what works well for your business.
Tip #3: Invest in digital marketing
Currently, businesses are turning to online marketing and advertising. Apart from it being the cheapest method of promoting a product, its reach and scope covers many countries and places. Many startup companies have thrived online. They have brilliantly exhausted all social media platforms and digital marketing best practices to entice consumers.
You can even say that social media has become the great equalizer for many businesses. In fact, many consumers are more present on social media than malls and department stores. The convenience of door to door delivery and cashless payments has pushed them to patronize these platforms.
Creating a website and social media account is free and easy. You can instantly create a page with just a few clicks. It all boils down to how creative you are in customizing your page. Uploading pictures would be a good idea. Millennials and many consumers have become very visual. They buy which they perceive to be attractive and appealing.
Aside from this, you should also work on your customer service. Consumers right now are all after convenience. They demand more than what they can pay for. While this can be excessive on your end, satisfying customers will pay for itself in the long run. Good feedback will provide you with positive reviews. This will create a good credibility to your brand name. For startups, this is essential. Creating a brand is difficult. You will need all the help that you can get.
The good thing about social media is that if there is a hype, it will literally turn into a wildfire. Depending on how eccentric and outlandish an idea or product is, if people like it they will continually talk about it. But be also wary; popularity in social media is fleeting. Nothing is permanent on it – just a series of fad one after the other.
In setting up small business company structure, there is no cookie cutter framework for it. You can formulate your own based on your experience and the advice of people around you. Whatever it is you have in mind in arranging a small business structure, you have to listen to your guts and surround yourself with supportive friends and people that will be with you through thick and thin.