Startups 101: How To Make Sure Your Business Thrives

By David S. Chang

It’s easy to have a business idea; it’s much more difficult to turn it into reality. Going into business for yourself can be risky. It doesn’t however mean that taking risks also mean to be reckless.

Most entrepreneurs have to learn to be a jack-of-all-trades, taking care of hiring, bookkeeping, marketing, operations, and other aspects of the business. While you get to be your own boss, there is the uncertainty of where your next paycheck will come from.

As a result, making your startup a success is vital. Growing your business is crucial for your economic well-being and survival. However you don’t want to just survive, but you want to thrive! Picking the right strategy will depend on the resources you have available and how much time and resources you are willing to invest. This simple guide will help you get your business started on the right foot!

Funding

Over 50% of businesses will fail within the first 5 years. One of the top reasons is due to lack of capital. Funding is for more entrepreneurs the biggest limitation. When creating your business plan, pay extra attention to your funding sources and your budget.

Many entrepreneurs fail to be detailed in their income and expenses, and understanding the differences between turnover, revenue and profit. Make sure you have a general understanding of how much you need to bring in every month to break even.

If you are seeking funding, make sure that your business plan is realistic, well thought-out and detailed. Any bank manager or business angel that you pitch to will be scrutinizing your figures. Be prepared and do your research. Don’t over-exaggerate your abilities or be too optimistic. You want your potential funding sources to have confidence in your ability to succeed.

Angel investors can be an alternate source of funding compared to your run of the mill bank. Business angels invest their own cash into ventures that they think will give them a solid return. Angels don’t just invest in a business idea, they primarily invest in you and your ability to get the job done.

Ensure that your pitch is polished and be ready to answer any questions that they may have. A business angel is an exceptional asset to have. Not only do they have access to cash, but they also have the relationships and industry specific expertise to help you succeed.

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Marketing

You might have the best business idea known to humankind, but you need people to know about it for it to be a success. Digital marketing has leveled the playing field between large and small companies, utilizing one of the most powerful marketing tools – social media platforms. Best of all, these online platforms are free and you can use it to reach anyone in the world.

A good marketing plan will help you create a brand that targets a niche audience. Agencies that specialize in driving traffic to websites through SEO and keywords can help you create and implement your plan. Given that most businesses are found through search, you want to invest in making sure you can get on the first page of Google.

With social media platforms surging in popularity, it’s important to create a Facebook page, Twitter feed and Instagram account. These online media will enable you to show your products and services and engage with your target audience.

Feedback and testimonials are also effective tools to help you generate brand-awareness. Keep the branding and color scheme simple, consistent and sharp across all platforms. This includes your website and blog. It is this visibility that will set you apart from the competition.

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Hiring the Right People

In order to create a great company, you need great people. Make sure you focus on having the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seat.

When it comes to recruiting your staff team, don’t solely rely on resumes. Take time to know them personally. Invite any potential candidates in to the office and see how they interact with your established staff team. When interviewing, don’t ask random questions just to look achingly cool, and instead ask about the skills needed to do the job.

You need to look more for personality, sense of humor, and working values to ensure you create a team that works well together. A person that doesn’t fit can set the company back. If you have any employees that will also work with a potential hire, ask input from them. They will appreciate that they have a say and can give valuable feedback.

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SMART Spending

It’s all too easy to say to an entrepreneur to limit their spending. By spending too little and cutting corners, you run the risk of failure. Instead, try to spend smart and well. Make a list of your business priorities and spend only on things that will directly help your company.

Once you are able to generate a profit, start an emergency savings account for a rainy day. Once you have more money, than you can look at diversifying your spending. Don’t get into debt by spending on frivolous things that won’t help your business grow.

Time is one of the most important resources. Outsource tasks that others can handle so you can focus more on the high priority tasks that only you can do. SMART outsourcing isn’t spending, but actually an investment.

Becoming an entrepreneur isn’t easy but it is exciting. You can be your own boss and get to call the shots. Following your dream does come with risk. Avoid being by following this guide!

David S. Chang

Award-Winning Entrepreneur, Wealth Manager and CEO | Chief Editor, Author, Keynote Speaker, Consultant ArtofThinkingSmart.com | Political Consultant | Army Officer National Guard | Living To Fulfill Needs, Solve Problems, and Live Passionately!

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