Chances are, if you’re starting up your own business, you’ll be looking for some expert advice that will help you make the best of it. Because, unfortunately, the stats can be quite daunting.
In 2019, the failure rate of startups was an eye-popping 90%, with 21.5% failing within their first year. For those who want to keep their budding business on track and steer it clear of a fate worse than voluntary administration, it will be necessary to work smart and think outside the box a little. These tips will help you do just that.
1. Be functional rather than fashionable
We’re all susceptible to an exciting new craze. And, for those of us who have an entrepreneurial head, let’s be honest: when the next big thing rolls around, thoughts of riding the new wave to achieve immense success can be really tempting. However, we all know that the majority of trends die out almost as soon as they get started.
So, while cashing in on trends can be a smart idea, they have to be the right ones. For example, if we look at the recent trajectory of digital marketing, it’s clear to see that its explosive growth has to do with an enduring need for a specific set of services. This, then, is a trend that is functional and, therefore, likely to serve you well.
2. Stay specific
You’ve probably been told to be as adaptable as possible in your early days as an entrepreneur. And, while adaptability does have its place when you’re faced with challenges, it is specificity and sticking to your guns that will get you far.
You see, when it comes to attracting an enthusiastic audience, it’s important that they know exactly what they can expect from you. As such, it’s important that you nail down exactly what your offers are, who you want to attract, what your brand voice should be, the way you express your voice, and other, similar considerations.
Don’t try to branch out too much, either, particularly not when you’re just starting out. If you do, you run the risk of stretching yourself too thin, which will lead to you doing more work to a poorer standard. Instead, you’d do better to stick to what you know, and do it well.
3. Test drive the industry
Any entrepreneur is going to be passionate about their products, services, or general business idea. However, even if you really care about what you want to do, it can be helpful to dip your toe into the industry before you register your business.
One way to do that is to get a part time job in a relevant area. For example, if you want to work in the restaurant industry, try and get some work in a restaurant near you. However, it can be difficult to get a job at the best of times, particularly when you don’t have any prior experience.
If you’re struggling, you could try offering your services for free, and use any internship or volunteer position you get to improve your understanding of your chosen industry.
4. Ask for feedback
Talk about your business to anyone who will listen and ask them for feedback. And, yes, that does include people who know next to nothing about business. You see, everyone’s opinion counts to an extent.
If someone says they don’t really understand your business idea, then don’t discount their insights. It might just be an indication that you need to clear up your messaging, which could be a massive help when you’re trying to attract your first leads. Or, if they say they love what you’re doing but don’t need your product, then it could be time to think more about targeting.
5. Do everything with intention
It’s important not to put the wheels of your new business in motion before you’ve set yourself clear targets and objectives. If you want to assure your long-term success, it will be necessary for you to define exactly what success looks like to you.
It could be related to turnover, lead generation, or something else entirely. Just remember that, whatever you want your goals to be, they should be realistic. It’s good to be ambitious, but if you get out of your depth, you’re inevitably going to struggle to keep your head above water.