How to Succeed as a Startup? Being a successful entrepreneur doesn’t just happen to someone. The most successful entrepreneurs have faced the same challenges that startups are grappling with today. You have the perfect home business idea. You can’t believe no one hasthought of it before. Or, if someone has, he or she doesn’t have yourvision, skills or passion.
You are convinced this new business is thekey to your successful future. Now what? The best way to improve your odds of success is to move slowlyand carefully in starting a business. Do so, and you can join the 70percent of businesses that succeed in their first two years, accordingto the SBA.
When you are contemplating making the entrepreneurial leap, remember this:It doesn’t take any more effort to dream big than it does to dreamsmall.
Perhaps you doubt your ability to make great thingshappen. Maybe you don’t want to appear greedy or materialistic. Or, youmay feel that you don’t deserve all that being an entrepreneur has tooffer. Regardless of the reason, you can’t listen to that voice in yourhead telling you to play it safe and not dream big.
Follow this advice to improve the odds of success when you start your business (it can be home business too)
Identify your priorities, but be flexible.
As you put your plan together, you’ll find it obvious what taskscontribute the most to your business’s success. These are the tasks that must be pursued relentlessly.
One reason entrepreneurs fail isthat they fail to properly prioritize their work. By separating the good from the best, you create the focus that would not exist if you pursued everything asking for your time and attention.
Pick the right startup name.
Picking the right name for your startup is also important. Gary Backaus andJustin Dobbs of Memphis-based ad agency Archer> Malmo gave apresentation earlier this year at the South By Southwest InteractiveConference. The presentation looked at how to pick the best name for your startup. Here are some best suggestions for picking abusiness name that will take you from startup to success.
Pay attention to your business plan.
Entrepreneurs may differ on the importance of a business plan or on what form itshould take. But a good business plan is key to startup success. Hereare five fundamental principals of good business planning from businessplanning expert and startup founder Tim Berry. Look at Berry’ssuggestions as a best practices list to aspire to when creating the business plan for your startup.
Find a mentor.
You may know someone who has successfully created a homebusiness and feel comfortable asking for advice. An incredible freeresource is SCORE, a national association dedicated to helpingsmall-business owners form and grow their businesses. SCORE offers local and online mentoring, and it helps 20,000 small-business owners a year. Seek help from other small businesses, vendors, professionals,government agencies, employees and trade associations. Be alert, askquestions, and learn everything you can.
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Fail fast and fail often.
Most entrepreneurs are not risk adverse. If they were, they would still beplaying it “safe” in their 9-to-5 jobs. However, in order to besuccessful, you need to experiment and take chances that may frightenyou at first.
If you are reading this in the hopes of not making any mistakes, then you’ve already made your first one. Do not look atmistakes as something to be avoided at all costs, but as unique learning opportunities custom-tailored to you, your circumstances and yourbusiness. The more lessons you can learn from in the quickest amount oftime, the more you can shorten your learning curve and place yourself in a position to grow your business.
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Money in the bank.
Don’t quit your day job just yet. For those of youconsidering the full-time freelance plunge–set up a savings accountwith enough funds to cover at least six months’ worth of bills. Thiswill give you a buffer to help with your budget. While hunger might be a good motivator, it’s easier to work when you have electricity and yourhouse isn’t being repossessed.
Also read: 20 Tips To Spend Less and Save More Money
Focus on getting several good clients
who pay on time and are easy to workwith. “I’ve seen many virtual assistants put all their efforts into oneclient only to find themselves stuck when their client closes its doorsor its needs change,” says Tracy Morris, a VA in Houston. “I was makingenough money to be relatively comfortable with just one or two clients,but I knew I had to diversify to feel safe.“ You can join the thousands of home business owners who have found their ideal work solution right in their own home.
Understand social media marketing & Mobile Marketing
Social media and social media marketing are not the same things, says socialmarketing director Steve Goldner. Just because you have a Facebook orTwitter account you update regularly, does not make you a social mediamarketer. Goldner outlines a list of considerations that go into realsocial media marketing. Have you developed a serious social mediamarketing campaign for your startup? You can learn about the importance of social media marketing here.
No matter what kind of startup you are launching, getting your message tomobile customers is more important than ever. A website is no longer enough unless it canbe viewed easily on mobile devices, for example. How might the mobilerevolution affect your startup?
“Mobile Web surfers are a demanding bunch. If they visit your website and it’s not optimized for both the device they’re using and the different ways [that] mobile users behave, they will get frustrated and leave,” says Ken Barber, vice president of marketing at mShopper.com.
All systems grow.
Word of mouth is the best way to grow your business. Askyour satisfied clients for referrals, offer free consultations to newreferrals, and consider a referral or finder’s fee. Get your name out to build your brand. Go to industry events–conferences, associationmeetings and seminars. Go to events in client industries; socialize, and always have your card ready. In addition, do some pro bono work for acharitable organization with industry links.
Even if you think your business is unique, you need toconduct a competitive analysis in your market, including products,prices, promotions, advertising, distribution, quality and service. Also be aware of the outside influences that affect your business. Know what makes the difference between you and your competitors. Is it service,price or expertise? Whatever it is, capitalize on it.
Now, with a big dream motivating you, it is easy to want to go all-in rightnow. However, before you quit your job, develop a detailed plan for your business. Most entrepreneurs are visionaries with the drive to getthings started. But they are easily bored and quick to move on to theirnext project. By creating a detailed plan for your dream, you learn tohold yourself accountable to yourself and that accountability bringsprogress. Without a plan, your big dream is just a day dream. With it,it becomes a reality.
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