Here is the best startup tips I wished I would know before I started my own business, broken down into 14 points.
1. Start with a mission
The very first rule you need to know before jumping into your new business is that – you need to know that you are on a mission – whatever the business is, it has to be your mission to do it until the very end, with every little detail as your target point.
2. Do what you love to do
In order to start a business you have to be passionate about it – and you will always be if you don’t enjoy what you are doing you won’t be able to take your business to the point where it should be.
In other words, do something you love.
3. Do your homework
Once you have figured out what you want/plan to do as a business owner, you have to get down and do your homework.
Every startup business needs a lot of research, and when I say a lot – I mean it…
First of all, you have to start researching the line you are starting you business in – exactly how big the demand for your product/service is, how big the existing market is, how successful other people in this line are – and how they succeeded, who your potential customer is, and why he should go to you instead of the guy across the street, and the last but the most important – the dollars and cents – exactly how much you will have to invest, everything from simple papers to paying employees and rent.
4. Have a ready blueprint
Once you have your basic business idea, budget, and you have done the best research possible, it’s time to start writing the business blueprint, with each and every detail written down.
Pick up that old and lovely pen/pencil and start writing, write down everything to the very small detail, if you are starting the business yourself without any partner/investor and employee, start writing every detail how the business will work.
From where you will get the stuff you need for your business, how much it will cost (including hidden fees…), how often you will need to restock, who are the best sellers for the product you need etc. then start writing down how you will sell your product/service, to whom you will sell it, how much will you be able to sell, and so on and so forth.
And of course, if you are starting out with other people, you MUST make sure that each and every detail is written down before starting to anything serious, in order not to get into trouble.
Make sure to have everything on paper, who does what, who gets what, who is charge, and who isn’t, how much the investor is investing, what and when he is getting for his investment.
5. Know your audience
Now it’s time to get to know your audience.
In order to figure out how to get customers to your startup, you have to know who your potential customer is, what he wants and how to reach out to him, consider your location, community, friends and family, while you are at the startup business point, and then later on when you enough power at you locals, it’s time to stretch out to the outer world.
6. Build your brand
Your next and very important step is building a brand – or better said – brand development.
If you too think so you are in great company – but with the wrong people… whichever business you start, no matter in which line should it be design, clothing, tiles, consulting, roofing, painting, – you name it, you have to make sure that when people think about your product, they think about you – when someone want’s to repaint his/her home, the first name to come up on his/her/ mind should be your business, your brand.
Just like Google has it’s own search engine, and when people to get to your website, you want to make sure that your website is on Google’s first page, the same is with humans, they all have their own search engine, and most of the times, they will end up going to the known, trusted brand they have in their mind, and in order to have your business in their mind you have to stamp it into their mind.
7. Get yourself a website
As spoken, people are searching today on Google more then they are searching in the local business directory, so why should you loose all that potentials??
Having a website is like being the king, showing trust, showing that you are the company you are talking about- not just another bored guy who opened a business.
You can show off with your website everything you do, you can get there ton’s of customers, you can connect with your customers online and much more, I’ve already written a whole blog post Why Do I (I Mean YOU) Need A Website check it out, it has a lot of great information why a website is needed in today’s market.
8. Build your network
Building a network is one of the most important ingredient’s for a startup business.
Starting a business without a network is like starting the stove without gas
Even before you have your business fully set up, start to build your network, tell people what you do, let them know that you are in that particular line, and you are opening such a type of business.
Get out on social media – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, do it yourself, or take a good social media marketing firm, and start building a network around your business.
Let people know what you do.
9. Ask for help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
there are many good people out there, who are in the line you are starting out, and they too have started their own business a time ago, and they have the best information in your field that they would wish they would know when they started.
So just pick up a phone and place a few phone calls…
10. Become a salesperson
In most of the cases, you won’t get people running to your store front themselves, on the day you opened your business.
This is for both regular consumer business’s and B2B’s don’t be afraid to pick up the phone we just spoke about and start making a new round of phone calls….
11. Critic is best feedback
You will get some critic – if not a lot.
Don’t worry, there is nothing wrong with it – it’s a key ingredient in success, take it and work with it, so you shouldn’t get such feedback again…
12. Be confident with your rates
A very important thing for startup business owners is to know their rates and to be confident with it.
You have to be able to tell a customer this is my rate, and you have to stick to it.
A lot of startup business owners are afraid to do so, but there is nothing to afraid of, it is the right way to it, and its the only way to succeed, and to make sure not to get stuck with your customers.
13. Get paid up-front
If you are starting any sort of service company, make sure to get paid up front.
If you won’t do so you will find yourself in great trouble, with customers who don’t want to pay, after you have worked for them many hours.
Don’t want to ask the full amount up front? ask a 40% – 50% deposit, so once you start on the project you know that the customer will stay by you not just say good bye when you worked already for him a while.
14. Be positive!
And the last but least – BE POSITIVE!!
The only way to succeed – everywhere is positivity.
Even when the forecast is not the best – if you will stay positive you will get far!!