It’s no secret that growing a successful startup is tough. The majority of new entrepreneurs fail to keep their businesses going over the long term. However, with the right attitude and good planning, you can succeed. In this article, we’ll take a look at the secrets to starting and running a profitable startup.
Choose a reliable small business website builder to Create a Site
Establish a professional-looking online presence. Even if you haven’t yet released a product, you can use your website and social media accounts to generate interest. Encourage site visitors and social media followers to sign up for your newsletter. The earlier you begin building your fan base, the better.
Always put your Customers First
There is no point in creating a great product or service if no-one wants to use it. Don’t risk wasting precious time and effort – get to know your target demographic, and learn about their problems. Who is your ideal customer, and what do they want?
Running online surveys, focus groups, and interviews, plus reading popular websites in your niche, will give you an idea of what your customers want and need. Seek feedback from your target audience as you develop your product. That way, when it comes to your first launch, you can be confident that you have something valuable to offer.
Pick the right people to work with
Hiring your best friends might sound appealing, but it isn’t always a wise move. When you start a business, you have to put your commercial interests first. Ask yourself these questions: What are my company values? What kind of atmosphere do I want to create at work? You’re more likely to succeed if you hire people who understand and support your vision.
If you’ve never worked in an HR role, learn the basic principles of hiring and job selection. Read up on interview techniques and selection processes; there are lots of reputable books that will help you pick the right people for the job. Write detailed job descriptions to help you filter out unqualified candidates. Never cut corners when it comes to recruitment.
Stay flexible and let your Business Model evolve
We live in a rapidly-changing world. Technology is evolving all the time. To succeed, your startup needs to accommodate, rather than resist, new trends, and industry norms. For example, Instagram is now the social media network with the most engaged followers. In response, successful companies have had to adapt their marketing strategy to fit the Instagram format.
Learn from your mistakes
As a new business owner, you should expect to make mistakes. Fortunately, every failure is a great learning opportunity. Entrepreneur Neil Patel believes that keeping your ego in check is key to success. You have to acknowledge that you will never know everything.
When you make a mistake, put aside a couple of hours to carry out a post-mortem. What did you originally hope to achieve? How did you plan to achieve your goal, and why didn’t it work out? What can you do next time around? Do you need to ask someone for help, or outsource some of your tasks to people with more experience than you?
You can also learn a lot by reading about businesses that went under, or entrepreneurs who lost their way. If you browse autobiographies of famous businessmen and women, you’ll find stories of setbacks along with successes.
What gets measured, gets managed
Although you need to stay flexible, you also need to set objectives that let you keep track of your progress. What are your key performance indicators (KPIs), and how will you measure them? For instance, do you want to sell a specific number of product units by a particular date, or earn a particular amount of revenue through downloads within the coming quarter?
Setting sensible goals means you can work backward and figure out how you can achieve them. Break each goal down into manageable steps.
Choose your investors wisely
When you start a business, it’s tempting to pick the first investor who shows an interest in your idea. But be warned – just because someone has money doesn’t mean they are the right fit. You need to find someone who understands your vision, shares your morals, and wants to build a transparent, respectful working relationship. It may be painful to walk away from a funding opportunity, but if you have a sound idea for a business, you’ll be able to find other potential investors.
Pay yourself a fair salary
You need to take your personal living costs into account, but you also need to strike a balance between giving yourself a fair salary while keeping as much money as possible in your business. When it comes to hiring other people, be realistic about what you can offer them. Don’t offer them a salary you can’t afford in a bid to lure them in. Be honest about your budget.
Establishing your own startup is a risk, but it’s an exciting journey. Even if you don’t succeed the first time, you can pick yourself up and try again. It’s a great way to learn about how business works – and to discover strengths you never knew you had. If you have an idea for a startup, make a careful plan – then take the plunge!