5 Top Start-up Tips for Success

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Today, it seems like everyone has the entrepreneur bug.

The digital world has opened the door to various new business formats that are easier to access and more budget-friendly than ever before. Combine that with the fact that you can hire and run your team over the web, without ever having to pay for a physical office, and it’s easy to see why launching a business is so appealing.

The youngest generation in the world, Generation Z, is set to become the biggest entrepreneurial group in history, but anyone, of any age, can make their mark on their chosen industry. All you need to get started is the right plan. Forbes believes that up to 90% of start-ups fail, often because of issues like poor cash flow, problems with communication, and inability to access the right talent.

The following tips will help you to overcome those roadblocks and bring your business dream to life.

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1.    Start by Identifying a Market Need

No matter how amazing your sales and marketing strategy might be, you’ll struggle to succeed in today’s business world if you’re not delivering something that your audience genuinely needs. The best products and services are those that respond to an existing problem in the marketplace. Look at how Netflix revolutionised the industry with cost-effective entertainment, or Uber made it easier to get a ride.

Start by thinking about the challenges that you and your peers face in everyday life. Once you’ve listed a few potential problems to solve, do your research. Speak to possible customers that match your target audience. Alpha and beta trial your product, and make sure that you’re prepared to act on constructive criticism. Don’t be afraid to pitch your idea to people outside of your business too, to make sure that people understand your purpose.

2.    Have a Plan

A lot of people assume that they can skip the business planning stage in the digital world. When it’s so easy to set up a business online and create your own website, why waste time writing out a strategy for the future? Ultimately, while planning may be time-consuming, it gives you a compass that you can use to ensure that you’re moving in the right direction.

Look ahead to the next year or five years to determine what your business is going to need to grow. You’ll need a few different kinds of plans to get you started, including:

  • A financial and investment plan
  • A marketing plan
  • A backup plan (what happens if things don’t go your way?)
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3.    Understand your Cash Flow

There are few things more dangerous to a budding business than problems with cash flow. From day one, think about how you’re going to survive and keep your business running at the same time. You’re going to need to figure out how much your essential tools and software are going to cost, how much you need to pay for supplies, and how much you need to charge for your products and services to make a profit.

Think about ways you can keep your costs to a minimum too. For instance, maybe you can run your company from home, to begin with, allowing workers to access tools remotely through the cloud, and video conferencing when you need to catch up with your team. If you need an office, just borrow one for the day with a co-working space.

4.    Invest in Consistent Communication

Make sure that everyone in your team is always on the same page. Communication is the lifeblood of any business. It ensures that you and your employees are working towards the same goals at any given time. It also means that you can more easily keep your employees connected and engaged when they’re working for your brand.

Share regular updates with your team members so that they know how your business is progressing. Make sure that you have an easy way to collaborate on projects through the cloud with instant messaging tools, file sharing, and video conferencing. The more collaborative your culture is, the better. Focus on investing in people and the technology that will make your people more efficient.

5.    Have the Right People on your Team

Speaking of investing in your people, it’s essential to ensure that you have the right talent on your team too. Think about the kind of skills you need to make your business thrive and start there. In today’s highly diverse work environment, you’re no longer limited to hiring the people that are closest to your front door.

Remote working practices and collaboration tools mean that you can find the right people for your role, wherever they are, then leverage tech to enable flexible and mobile working. The opportunities are endless.

Originally published Dec 24, 2019, updated Jan 17, 2023

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