No circumstances will be the same for any two businesses. The combination of your product or service offering, the area where you attract customers, your skills and experience and what else is happening/popular/available at the time are all contributing factors that help to determine the success of your business. The creative challenge is to launch and run a startup with potential for sustainable growth using what you have available. Regardless of what your business provides, here are a few key rules that apply to all.
1. Know your why
Have a mission and a purpose. Determine the goals for your business. What value are you going to deliver?
2. Know your who
Know your target market and listen to them.
3. Build a brand
Your brand lives in everyday interactions with your customers, the images you share, the messages you post on your website, the content of your marketing materials, and in your posts on social networks. Make sure your brand consistently and clearly communicates what your business does and how it does it.
4. Make your customers a high priority
Customer service should be at the top of your priorities. Your customers are what keep you in business so make sure you are serving them, not yourself.
5. Manage your risks
Be prepared for the unexpected. This includes backing up all business data, all the time. However, you can not plan for all the mistakes and huddles that will come from running a business so when this happens, learn fast and move on.
6. Do more with less
Keep overheads to a minimum. Don’t employ before you have to. Don’t take on premises before you need to. Be cautious with your spending. Money doesn’t grow on trees. But at the same time don’t be afraid to back yourself and invest when you think it’s important.
7. Know your numbers
Don’t wait until the end of the year, or even the end of the quarter to be aware of how your business is performing financially.
8. Watch your reputation
Be professional from the moment your start your business. Do nothing that compromises your integrity. Reputation matters.
9. Manage your time
Set a schedule for working time, family time and relaxation time and stick to it.
10. Set your pricing
Be clear on your rates and prices.
Measure everything, because everything that is measured and watched improves.
12. Be wise
Never stop learning. Learn from everything – from your mistakes, from other businesses, from your customers….read, get out and experience, network, attend workshops and events.
Being able to turn quickly and implement new strategies will help you survive.
14. Be brave
Be willing to step outside the box every now and then in an effort to move your business forward – take a project in a new direction, question the status quo or make a major strategic overhaul of the way you do business.
15. Don’t give up
In many cases, startups don’t fail—the people behind them give up.
Do you have any tips to pass on? Share them in our comments section below.