When you start your own company, you would definitely receive tons of unsolicited advice. Some good, some awful, but majority of it will come from people who are completely clueless about what it takes to run a profitable business. The internet isn’t much help either, a simple Google search would release a barrage of articles on what to do and how to do it, just like the one you’re reading right now. My advice to new business owners is not to overthink or overanalyse everything, here are a few fundamental tips on how to start your business.
Start with a plan
Some say a fully detailed business plan is not necessary at the start of every business venture, however it is important that you write down how you intend to solve the challenges ahead. You should include your business goal or mission, define all opportunities you’ve recognised, describe your target market or audience, establish measurable targets, create timeframes to achieve milestones that would lead to your goals. The importance of having a properly articulated plan cannot be ignored, however your plan needs to make room for flexibility to change course when the need arises.
Until your business is fully established you’ll need to do all your marketing by word-of-mouth. The best way to do this is by networking. By being your own brand ambassador, publicising the advantages of working with your business or buying your products, people would get to see why they should give you a chance.
Be your own hype man. There are loads of events out there and networking opportunities that exist to connect with other entrepreneurs and professionals. These connections can lead to strategic partnership opportunities, new clients, mentors and new evangelists of your business that would help you grow. Remember to keep in touch with people you meet at events by exchanging contacts or following each other on social media. If you are a shy person, you can skip the events and do your networking by being visible and active on social media.
Build your dream team
Great mentors and strategic partners can only get you so far if you do not have a great team behind your business. Build your team with driven, smart and talented employees who share your vision, as they would transform your business and they will fast-track its growth. Ensure you create a culture that cultivates teamwork by hiring employees with a positive, can-do spirit. An environment in which everyone participates, would build a company where you can collectively celebrate your company’s victories.
Live in the present, think in the future
Focusing on the day-to-day would have you entrenched in the present when you need to constantly be ahead of the curve. The importance of bearing the future in mind cannot be overemphasised, stay informed and pay attention to innovations in your industry. You would fall behind if you are not accurately predicting the next big thing. Successful business owners study trends and foresee what’s coming next, this allows them adapt and evolve without breaking stride.
Reading industry relevant articles and websites would keep you aware of new developments in your field. Being aware of industry changes makes it easy to predict what customers will want in the near future and also know what your competitors next move might be.
Maintain a healthy work-life balance
Building a successful business demands a lot of time and energy which can be telling on your health. It is of utmost necessity that one finds a healthy work-life balance, although this maybe challenging, as it is easy to let work govern your life, don’t. Bear in mind those who are most important – family and friends. Take care of your physical and mental health, your new business cannot run without you. Every new business needs that constant hustle to break even and succeed, however, if you do not pace yourself, you will burn out, putting off how much you can achieve if you were 100% healthy.