Starting a business can be difficult, especially if it’s your first. Did you know that as much as half of businesses fail within the first three years of starting?
This statistic looks scary, as there are a few things you can do to make it to that 40%. Today, we’ll share our top startup business tips on how to make sure that you’re prepared to meet the challenges that come with it.
Tip 1: Find a good mentor
Note: a good mentor, and not any, that doesn’t understand the value of your start-up. At this stage, solid and grounded advice is needed, with actionable steps. In the volatile world of business, a mentor is like a safe island in the middle of the stormy sea.
So how do you find that type of mentor?
Well, networking & honest communication is the answer, which leads to the next of our startup business tips.
Tip 2: Network
I’m sure most people and businesses understand the value of networking and making new connections, as well as strengthening existing ones. It can open so many doors if you know the right people, so get your business name out there and introduce yourself to others.
A good way to do this is through local business events, even the smallest towns have these, so it’s worth a go. Communicating with like-minded people who have their own business will expose you to new ideas & their own stories which can be extremely valuable.
In the end, don’t forget to swap your contact info & keep in touch.
Tip 3: Lease or buy a company car
Mobility is an important part of owning a business – whether it’s getting to those essential meetings or going to the conferences that take place nationwide. It’s a good idea to take a look at the deals most popular dealerships can offer. For example, Stoneacre has thousands of affordable cars that will get your start-up moving.
Tip 4: Raise funds
It’s you’re operating the business as one or two people with no overhead costs then this may not be needed. Despite this, the majority will need money to start and continue operating, and that’s where raising funds help.
You’ll need to do a TON of outreach & planning, but if receiving a wage is essential, it must be done.
Here are a few simple ways to do it:
- Start with friends & family – they’re the ones that already know what you stand for
- Raise money via crowdfunding websites, such as Kickstarter, GoFundMe & Seedrs
- Seek Angel Investors as they’re willing to take more risks towards small businesses
There are even more options, but these are the most popular and are beginner-friendly.
Tip 5: Market your business
One of the most common mistakes is thinking your product or service will sell itself. You’ve done all the research – about the market positioning, service or a product, target audience & customer. But it’s not enough, far from it – marketing is an essential element that brings everything together.
So, create relevant and popular social media accounts for your business and don’t forget to post engaging content frequently. Keep in touch with your customers, and practice social listening to hear what people are talking about your business online. At the early stage, managing company’s reputation is paramount.
There are, of course, marketing agencies but they usually charge more than a small business can afford. The best thing is to either DIY or hire a freelancer to get the most out of your budget.
Learn all the ropes about online marketing – you’ll need it. From SEO and social media to blogging and email marketing, there are plenty of ways to market your business.
Tip 6: Don’t underestimate the paperwork
First, you’ll need to decide what sort of business to register with the Companies House.
There are many types, but these are the most common ones:
- Sole trader – best if you’re a one-man business
- Partnership – self-explanatory
- Limited liability (LTD) limited by shares – best if you don’t want a company’s liability to become your own
Depending on what your company’s status is, you may also need to register for corporation tax and payroll. You’ll also be required to produce and send annual accounts and confirmation statement.
Tip 7: Prepare to work long hours
When you’re the boss and manage most of the things, it seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day to catch-up with everything. Especially in the beginning, you need to be willing to put the time in, because your efforts will be one of the factors in building a successful startup.
Despite this, it’s vital to find that work-life balance, particularly if you work from home where there are countless distractions. Minimize them as much as possible by having a dedicated and clean workspace.
Use these 7 startup business tips to get your business off the ground and growing!