Many people have aspirations of starting their own business, and this can certainly be a rewarding way to make a living, but it is also extremely challenging as most startups fail in the early stages. There are many reasons as to why this might be, but often it comes down to the entrepreneur not being prepared and/or having the knowledge of how to run a successful business in the challenging early stages. Therefore, it is helpful to outline a few key tips which should help a first-time entrepreneur to hit the ground running with their startup and avoid common mistakes.
Become An Industry Expert
It is hard to succeed in an industry when you do not have a clear understanding of how it works, which is why the research stage is so essential. You need to spend a long time carrying out deep research into all areas of the industry, including:
- The past, current and future predicted state
- Trends and challenges
- Who the industry leaders and other competitors are (along with strengths and weaknesses)
- Who your target market and their preferences
Develop Short & Long-Term Plans
A business plan can help to guide the way in the early stages, but it is also important to think ahead both in the short and long-term. Developing one, five, and 10-year plans will keep you moving forward, give you motivation, and help you to establish the best way to achieve your short and long-term goals.
Speak To A Startup Consultant
New entrepreneurs tend to make the same mistakes, which is why using startup consulting services is an intelligent idea. A startup consultant will be able to advise on your specific situation and help you to lay the groundwork for future success, as well as help you to manage during the difficult early stages.
Keep Costs Low Initially
Another common reason that businesses go under before they have had a chance to succeed is poor cash flow management. There will not be much money coming in initially, which is why you need to keep your costs low to start with while still providing a high-quality product/service. A few ways in which you can do this include:
- Remote working
- Outsourcing instead of hiring
- Second-hand equipment and furniture
- Leasing equipment
Maintain A Source Of Income
Another important financial tip is to maintain a source of income during the early days of the startup when there will not be much money coming into the business. Continuing full or part-time employment is intelligent or you could look to earn money online in the early days which could help you to maintain a comfortable lifestyle allow the business to go on for longer if you are struggling. You could also use a rainy day fund but it can be stressful having to live off of savings while trying to get a company up and running.
Launching your very first startup can be a daunting experience, but the above tips should help you to survive and hit the ground running while avoiding the most common and costly startup mistakes.