It’s no secret that setting up your own business is hard work. While an apparently alarming 90% of startup businesses fail, it’s no reason to not even try! That statistic itself should be questioned anyway, and also you need to keep the mindset of: “I could be in the 10% that succeed”.
However, when considering creating your own startup, there are important things to remember if you want to make sure you’re headed on a path for success.
Invest In Your Market Research
Before you do anything about starting a business, research, research, research! Making sure you know your competition inside and out, your potential pitfalls, your market variations, and how former competitors failed will save you a lot of financial, and emotional, investment.
Find Your Funding First
It’s tempting to just hit the ground running and get your business going as soon as possible – but can you really afford to do that?
Whether you’re setting up a side hustle or jumping into full-time entrepreneurship, you need to take into account all startup costs. It’s not just about the first few months, either: many startups fail because their short-term vision didn’t include ongoing financing for the long-term goals. For example, a product may need several development and testing stages, or additional research. Or perhaps the first product did really well, but the new product still requires more resources that you need to pay for.
Identifying early on how you’re going to fund your first year – if not your first two years – including all of your living costs, marketing expenses, travel, overheads, and contingency funds, is vital to ensuring you don’t have to quit after only a few months.
There are many ways to fund your startup: from crowdfunding to savings, bank loans to peer-to-peer lending, you can find the capital you need. Just remember to have a good business plan in place and it’ll be much easier to secure long-term investments for true startup growth potential.
Be Prepared For The Un-prepareable
It sounds strange, but when creating your business plan remember to take into account risks that you may think of as either uncontrollable or just very unlikely to happen.
For example, it sounds extreme but if there were a natural disaster in the area of a main supplier, how would that affect your production chain? Would it delay orders? How would you address these problems? What contingency plan do you have?
“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”, said… somebody famous at some point. It’s true! Try to consider all of the possible – and all of the unlikely – scenarios (except zombies, that’s just ridiculous), and come up with a Plan B for each one.
Identify Your Opportunities
You have a huge advantage as a brand new startup: you’re adaptable. There are no set rules or processes yet, no hard and fast logics that simply must be followed in order to deliver your services. That’s a great thing!
However, many startups fail because they don’t make use of this advantage. They’re so set on their original idea that they don’t continue to assess the market and find new potential opportunities all the time, and yet it’s this broad-vision, deep-dive research that’ll set you ahead of your competitors. Your adaptable work environment and processes work strongly in your favour – you’ll be able to bring a new product or service to market much faster than more established companies.
Spending Money Makes Money
It’s old, but it’s true: you need to invest your budget wisely as a startup, but it’s also essential to spend money in order to generate leads.
Your marketing is, at least at first, the only way people will find your new business. There are lots of free marketing options, such as social media channels, but these only work to an extent. It pays off to invest a large proportion of your startup capital into marketing your products and services. Once you have customers who can provide testimonials, you’re well on the road to success.
Consider how to spend your money for startup marketing: business cards, website development, flyers for a launch event – there are so many things you could choose!