The 5 Commandments of a Successful Business Startup
It takes guts and gumption to leave a comfortable salaried job and plunge into entrepreneurship. Startups are a product of dedication and passion. But, profitability is the primary goal. This dynamic nature of startups makes them extremely challenging and satiating in equal parts. How do you strike that balance between the heart and the mind? How do you balance creativity, innovation and economics? In this post, we talk about the five crucial startup tips that every entrepreneur should know to have a successful brand and business.
- Find and Master Your Niche Market
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This is probably going to be the greatest determinant in the success of your startup. Identify and analyze your potential market. Take market research very seriously. Know your audience and their tastes. Cater to your audience. The rule of thumb when starting a business is to provide what the consumers want. Let the demand determine your supply. If you are starting with a line of exotic perfumes, you need to promote and push your venture in the circles that opt for couture and luxury goods. You cannot keep the prices extremely low to widen and expand your market because that will take away the exclusivity and interfere with your primary potential consumer base.
On the other hand, if your startup is meant for the masses, you need to chart out your business plan keeping the mass’ tastes and preferences in mind. Ensure to make your audience the king if you want to be emperor someday.
- Outsource and Hire
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Jumping on to the entrepreneurship bandwagon is exciting and enthralling. When making a passionate transition from an employee to an entrepreneur, you will want to be involved in every part and process of your startup. But, intelligence, profit and foresight lies in being aware of your limitations. Outsource and hire. Work and concentrate your efforts on what you are best at. While one must be emotionally attached to one’s venture, think things through practically.
You cannot be the accountant, social media manager, recruiter, business developer, digital marketer, and the entrepreneur all at once. You will have to hire talented individuals or outsource tasks to well-established agencies to complete the work. Always strive to provide high-quality work and adhere to timelines. To do so, you will need to delegate work effectively. Also, make it a point to not take up everything that comes your way. Be unambiguous about the services you are offering. Don’t try to accommodate and adjust demands beyond those to bring new clients on board. This is not recommended for two reasons:
- If you are not able to deliver a good job, you run the risk of tarnishing your reputation right at the beginning.
- You come across as too flexible and accommodating, and that should not be the brand image you want to project.
- Use Content to Connect and Build Trust
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Relationships are built on trust and loyalty. As a startup, you will need to build a connection with your consumers. How can you do that? How do you reach out to your consumers and tell them that you can lend value and credibility to their business? Create a website and consistently churn out high-quality, engaging content. To be on the right track, you need to have visibility and recollection value. Fresh and relevant content ensures both.
So how do you define good content? Tick these three criteria off your list:
You will be assigning a face, an identity to your company through your content. So make sure to be clear and transparent with your audience. Express your opinions and insights honestly. Do not play to the gallery. Don’t be misleading or adopt the click-and-bait approach for your client. Remember, you are putting up content to create a bond with your prospective consumers and the basis of that should be trust and transparency.
Why should anyone waste their precious time reading what you have put up? To make people read your content, you must provide them with some information that will add value to their lives. Do proper research and identify the information gaps in your domain. Address these with intensive research and hard work. Once you start providing rare and valuable content on your website, you will grow to be an authority in your domain, and traffic to your website will increase organically, which in turn, will boost your business.
Tangible and Humanized
In today’s day and age, strong interpersonal relationships are key to business success and growth. Improve relationships with your customers by humanizing your brand. Publish content under your name. That way your audience will relate to it better, and find you real and accessible. When your content starts to get engagement and interaction, make sure to respond. When people connect with the face with a company, it becomes humanized and tangible, and they are more likely to trust and want to associate with such companies.
- Brush Up Your Marketing and Promotional Strategies
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We are not talking about blatant self-promotion, but when you delve into the startup territory, you need to sharpen your marketing and promotional strategies.
How do you market your brand? How do you sell your brand to people who know nothing about it? What do you have to offer? Why should they opt for you? How are you enhancing value and providing something to the consumers that they don’t already have access to? How can you promote your brand better?
From talking about your firm’s drive for excellence to developing products and services with the help of extensive data collection, you will need to market your startup, build a brand and highlight the multiple benefits it can offer to consumers. Be your brand’s biggest ambassador and tell people the difference it can make in their lives.
Once this is taken care of, you can opt for promotional activities such as hosting events, taking part in exhibitions and seminars, giving away freebies and so on. This goes a long way in establishing your brand’s connect with your target audience and clients along with enhancing it’s visibility.
- Straighten Out Your Finances
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If the business plan is the backbone of your startup vehicle, your finances are going to be the wheels that set it in motion. Keep track of all your business expenses. Save receipts and be sure where the money is going. Figure out and sort your tax obligations, payroll processes, and customer payment mechanisms. Take advice from a tax consultant regarding your accounting systems, state and federal taxes, bookkeeping and any other questions related to your finances. If needed, engage the services of a financial firm to aid your startup so that your finances are in place and you can concentrate on expanding your business.
At the same time, invest in developing a place where you will love to work at. Do thorough price checks and comparisons and always find new ways to keep costs low, but have a well-equipped workplace.
These are the key rules and the cornerstones that every startup should know and follow. The journey from being an employee to becoming an entrepreneur is going to be full of ups and downs. You will face numerous obstacles in the way. Never give up, stay grounded, focus on realistic goals and work consistently on improving delivery of products and services. Make sure to cover everything under legal parameters, don’t hesitate to seek help, be consistent, define your long and short term goals clearly, and most importantly, believe in yourself and work towards success.
Korie Cantor moonlights as a freelance web designer. A tech-enthusiast and a fitness freak, she is always eager to share her expertise through her blogs. She is a travel enthusiast. Follow her @koriecantor