Speak to any established business owner and you’ll find there are many things they wish they’d known as a start-up. If you’re in the start-up stage, thinking of launching a business or just want extra insight into a competitive market, these seven tips could boost your business.
Choose your timing wisely
You might have the brightest idea in the world, but unless the timing is right to launch it into the market, chances are it won’t stick. One of the bigger and most recent start-up success stories showing that timing is everything is Airbnb. Investors initially rejected the concept because they couldn’t see it working. But because Airbnb arrived at the peak of recession when households were craving the extra income, the market was more open-minded about opening up their houses to strangers than first thought. Airbnb is most certainly a lesson in start-up take-off!
While timing is everything, understanding your market inside out and knowing what your customers want is just as crucial. Research your market before you launch into it, and talk to consumers to see what they like and dislike about your start-up concept.
Plan to do well
Brilliant ideas are only as good as your execution, so it’s vital to have a sound business plan in place which should include goals and objectives, and develop practical strategies to achieve them. Ensure you keep your plan handy and treat it like a work in progress.
Constantly refer to it to keep you on track and make alternations where necessary.
Find your tribe
One person doesn’t have all the skills required to run a successful business, so you’ll need to build up complementary expertise. You might be the expert in creating a new product, but that doesn’t mean you have the expertise to market it or to stay on top of finances. Get other experts on board, either in-house or through outsourcing areas like marketing and accounting to specialists.
Always show up
You might already have a steady supply of clients you are reaching out to online, but nothing beats face-to-face, and it’s especially important to put yourself out there when you’re initially building a brand. Communicating in person is critical in building rapport and trust, and creating more meaningful conversations. So RSVP to events, ask to meet clients for a coffee instead of a teleconference and always show up!
Use technology to your advantage
Today a business without a digital presence is virtually non-existent. So harness the technology which will give you maximum reach in brand exposure, stretch your finances the furthest and make every day processes the most efficient at the lowest cost – it will certainly pay off in the early days when every dollar counts.
Every successful business today is jumping on cloud computing which can save time on tasks such as bookkeeping and push the cost of software and licenses down. The cloud allows you to work from anywhere you can access the internet and enables you to collaborate with others and keep critical business data secure. Many cloud applications also come with free trials, which means you can try a few suppliers to see what best suits your business needs.
Know where you stand financially
Having a realistic picture of your finances is critical to keeping track of your business, knowing where to invest and importantly, when to pack up. Failure is a big part of business and knowing when you’ve reached your financial threshold can help you make informed decisions, weather the storm and get out relatively unscathed.
Business owners can often get so caught up in running the show and growing their enterprise that they simply leave financial matters to others without oversight. A wise business owner will always understand their finances inside out.
Don’t forget about security!
It’s a dry topic, but being online isn’t without risk, and it’s important to take security into consideration. Losing all your precious data or failing to protect your customers’ privacy can have disastrous consequences.
Doing regular data backups and using firewalls, encryption and anti-virus software can help to keep your data safe and secure. Bartercard has a range of members who can keep your IT security covered without the cash cost.
If you’re looking for more tips on how to deal with change and other business-related matters, why not check out The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Small Business Owners – and work smarter, not harder on your business.