The path to startup success is rife with challenges, hiccups, ups and downs, and general unpredictability. But as a budding entrepreneur, you probably already know about this instability that naturally comes with the journey you’re taking.
While it certainly isn’t easy, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible! Learning from your experiences and listening to the advice of those ahead will enable you to deal more effectively with the day-to-day of your business.
What you have to remember is that you’re not alone. In fact, we’re here to help you! We’ve listed a few business hacks you must know to keep going and growing your startup. Read on!
Do The Paperwork
Nobody likes doing the paperwork, especially while you’re still lifting your startup off the ground. It’s so tempting to ignore your filing system and put off thinking about not-so-minor administrative details so that you can focus on “more important” stuff.
Unfortunately, even if compliance is the least glamorous part of running a business, it’s still the most important. Ignorance of the law just isn’t a good look.
Don’t attempt to do this alone, as it will cost you more money. Instead, bring in the right professionals! Recruit a team made up of a reliable attorney, tax advisor, auditor, and accountant. As for owners like you, make sure you’re aware of the regulatory environment and that your startup complies with all guidelines.
Be Wise About Funding
Aside from the paperwork part, another thing that you’ve got to be wary of is your finances. Yes, you’re probably on a tight budget—most starting businesses are. But it’s a good thing there’s money out there!
Do your research! Learn the difference between a business loan versus a personal loan and what you should get for your business. You can also expand your search for funding beyond conventional bank loans.
Explore alternatives such as crowdfunding, venture capital, and angel investors. Maybe you can even ask friends and family interested in your business. You can even look into incubator and accelerator programs as an option if you’re at your very early stages.
Automate, Automate, Automate
Automate repetitive tasks to stay organized and save time and money. Personally managing every single activity of your company will not only drive you mad but will also stagnate your business growth.
Free up your valuable time by opting for the automation of basic tasks. You can even go as far as automating some sales and marketing processes.
When you automate everything that can be automated, you can effectively eliminate distractions and stick to achieving bigger business goals.
Build a Strong Team—and Value Them
In the early stages of building your startup, the team you’ve created will determine its failure or success. Find people that care about the success of your company. You also have to check if they have that unique spirit of working at a startup—one where they’re excited to make an impact and watch as the company grows.
Some questions you can also ask yourself while hiring are:
- Are they passionate about their field?
- Are they proud of their talent and skill set?
- Did they do any research about your startup before the interview?
- When discussing their previous employment, do they speak with passion?
Creating a solid team is just the beginning. It is crucial that you show your employees how much you value them to keep them motivated and productive. If possible, provide both required and elective benefits. Even the smallest and simplest ones matter, such as protecting their data and providing office ergonomics.
Give Your Customers Memorable Experiences
The difference between an unforgettable customer experience and a forgettable one is excellent customer service. It’s the secret to customer loyalty! In fact, 86% of customers say that a positive customer experience can turn them from occasional buyers to devoted ambassadors.
However, remember to manage people’s expectations. Right now, your startup has limited resources and scalability. A two-day turnaround on a custom item or 24/7 customer support is probably some things you can’t provide. What you can do, instead, is to swiftly resolve issues, constantly supply great products or services, and offer personalized assistance.
Know Your Competitors Inside & Out
There are things your competitors know that you don’t—and vice versa. Research the competition! This will help you define what your competitive advantage is as well as your vulnerabilities in comparison to them. Look at everything from their tagline and unique value proposition to the products or services they offer.
Keep your eyes out for the following:
- Target Audience: Who is their intended audience? Does your customer base overlap with theirs?
- Strengths and Weaknesses: What do they do best? What can they improve on? What can your business do better?
- Digital Marketing Strategy: Study your competitor’s social media profiles and websites to get an idea of their digital marketing strategy. What type of content do they often publish online? How do they produce leads and traffic?
Remember To Be Patient Yet Passionate
The idea that you should scale your business as quickly as possible is a myth. It’s a misconception to think that you can achieve success overnight. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with growing, rapid expansion too soon poses a risk if you won’t be able to maintain the pace. Be patient with yourself and with the empire you’re building.
While you should be patient, that doesn’t mean you should switch off your passion for your startup. As an entrepreneur, persuasion is one of the most crucial skills you must keep polishing. It’s the ability to convince people to work for you, invest in your business, and try your product or service.
Don’t ever forget the reason you started your business in the first place. It might have been a business idea that kept you up at night, an untapped market need that you’ve noticed, or simply a desire to share your expertise by helping other businesses or individuals who need it.
Whatever it is, keep that passion burning throughout your journey.
Startup Success is Possible!
But it will take a lot of your time, and you’ll need to put in the effort and commit to your goals. Of course, you will make a few missteps along the way, but what’s important is that you learn from your mistakes and rise again.
Take whatever you’ve learned here and turn it into action. Good luck on your startup journey! For more insightful articles about entrepreneurship, digital marketing, and tech, check out Newspeak.