Starting a small business makes most of us nail-gnawingly nervous. From finances to personal health and reputation — there’s a lot more at stake when the buck stops with you.
But there are modest moves you can make to mitigate risks and rise to the challenge of realising your business ambitions.
Here are four hacks for a streamlined startup that should survive and thrive in a competitive marketplace.
Cutting costs on overheads is crucial for SMEs — but many fledgling entrepreneurs still splash out on expensive offices that swallow potential profits before cash registers even start ringing.
But remote working can slash overheads on rent and rates without risking service delivery standards.
Offsite working still seems radical to some — but it suits many businesses down to a tee.
A recent Gallup report showed that 31 per cent of American workers operate remotely 80 to 100 per cent of the time — and the associated autonomy and flexibility even creates a more engaged workforce.
HR services are important — their remit ranges from management-employee relations to recruitment and payroll.
But a bulging HR budget can severely constrain startup success.
Outsourced payroll providers in the UK like SD Worx take care of crucial responsibilities without the expense of in-house staff. And this service is particularly suited to firms with remote workers.
If you opt for this option you might still choose to hire an HR partner — but when outsourcing frees them from time-consuming administrative tasks they can concentrate on maintaining a company culture that safeguards success.
If you’re a small firm with no digital presence you might be missing out on the lion’s share of your market.
Tools like Google Analytics help you create customised sales goals and set up ecommerce tracking for online purchases.
So you can regularly review your most profitable income streams and tweak your website to achieve a prime position in search engine rankings.
Buzzsumo is another brilliant tool that allows you to analyse what online content works best for your brand when compared to competitors.
With a little effort you can build a brilliant online community eager to spread the word about your unique offering.
Learning the digital ropes yourself can be beneficial — but hiring an experienced agency might be a worthwhile investment that generates tangible results quicker.
Garnering community support through supporting worthy local causes can be wise.
If you manage to convince locals that you’re on their side from the start, your enterprise will have a firm foundation for future success.
You can target anything from a local choir to a sports centre — the kudos you gain will convert to commercial success.
And start on a small scale then build to bigger projects.
Since its launch in 2007, OneHope Wine has encouraged customers to ‘drink for charity’ and raised $2 million for clinical trials for cancer patients and nutritional meals for disadvantaged children.
These four hacks should keep your startup streamlined and flexible — and ensure it’s built to last.