How to start a business

9 Do’s and Don’ts for Startup Founders

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Taking the brave leap and starting a business can be exciting and confusing, all in the same measure. But that is just the first step. No one wants to be part of the scary statistics of start-ups that have failed. To survive in the business world, you need strategies to execute the necessary guidelines that encourage growth and longevity in your industry. Here are some of the dos and don’ts that will encourage growth and ultimately success in your start-up:

Do Offer Products That the Market Needs

To achieve growth, you need to be selling products or services that the market needs. Interview some customers to understand how effective your offerings are in solving the customers’ needs. These in-depth interviews will help you understand the problem your products are trying to solve and frankly assess if the problem is worth solving. Conduct proper market research to understand the industry. The products and services that you are providing should solve a problem for the potential buyers. When you know your market, you will be best-equipped to deliver the best options for the customers.

Don’t Scale Too Soon

Business growth is undoubtedly a desirable thing. For most entrepreneurs, the next logical step after the business becomes profitable is usually growth. The growth stage is usually an exciting phase for most start-ups. But it comes with intense pressure. Growing too fast and too soon could end up stifling the business. Unreasonable scaling could bring forth issues, such as operational inefficiency, cash flow crunch, customer service issues, and overworked employees. Pace your business growth to avoid such problems. Try to scale at a reasonable rate. You should not be in a rush to reach an imaginary finish line that you have set for yourself. The focus should be more on building a robust foundation first, then steadily moving forward.

Do Create a Business Plan

A solid business plan is more than just a mere document. It is a blueprint that will help you outline and meet your business goals. Not only that. It serves more purposes. It is a management tool. You can use it to assess results, put together strategic goals and provide guidelines for how your business will operate and grow. If you have the intention to grow by bringing investors on board, you will need a business plan to pitch your business as a worthwhile investment. Create a solid business plan to help map out your business models and keep your start-up on track with its goals. That will eventually lead to organic growth.

Don’t Cut Corners with Your Team

A significant contributor to the success of any business is the team. You need to have a reliable team behind you if you are to achieve high profits and longevity. As a start-up, you can not afford bad hires. A bad hire will cost you a significant chunk of your resources. And that is no recipe for success and growth. Build a dependable team of individuals to help you push your business towards greatness. When hiring, do not compromise on loyalty, work ethic and skillset. The people working in your company need to be on the same page to bring your goals and visions to life.

Do Talk to Professionals

To start a successful start-up venture, you need a specific set of characteristics. You have to be ambitious, independent and optimistic. One other essential thing you need is the realization that you cannot do everything alone. You might try, but that may be at the cost of your business growth and success. Find individuals with the right skill set to help you. It is not a show of weakness to need help. Some of the highly technical matters in your business, such as law, accounting, marketing and management, may benefit from outside expertise. Find people with knowledge about niche areas that are not your forte. Try to leave it to the experts. You will find professionals at who will put you on a trajectory that will beget growth opportunities.

Don’t Ignore Marketing

Marketing is crucial for the survival of any business. You probably have the most groundbreaking and revolutionary offerings that meet your customers’ needs effectively. But without a reliable marketing strategy, your product or service may never reach your target audience. Your sales will suffer and hence ruin any chances you had at growth. You have to ensure that the quality of your marketing and advertising is of high standards. Have a reasonable budget to cater for that. Outsource reputable marketing agencies to help you achieve your results. The experts will ensure that your business gets the best representation to your audience.

Do Get the Pricing Right

Failure to get your pricing right could hurt the growth of your business. Understand that your pricing potential is dependent on how much value you give to the customers and their ability and willingness to pay. If your product has more features and benefits, you can get away with pricing it higher without losing customers. To know your customers’ willingness to pay, you may need to analyze the type of audience you are targeting. If your target is high-end customers, they may be more willing to pay more to receive the benefits they perceive to get from your product or service. You also need to evaluate your competitive strengths and weaknesses. Compare your products or service to that of the competition. Look at their pricing and understand what customers are okay with paying. Finally, you have to assess your costs to ensure that your break-even is low. Getting your price right will ensure that you do not lose customers and, therefore, increase your chances of growth.

Don’t Neglect Customer Service

A good reputation is gold for a start-up. You will stick around longer when people have nice things to say about your business. Treat your customers with respect. Go above and beyond to deal with the problems your offerings claim to solve. Customers will buy from companies that they feel value them and their patronage. Handle complaints and questions with utmost respect and courtesy. Excellent customer service increases sales, ensures retention of customers and generates positive recommendations. All these will help your start-up realize growth.

Do Have Performance Metrics

It is impossible to manage something that you cannot measure. For your start-up, you need to have the right metrics to assess your business model. Define what growth means to you. That means having growth metrics that you can measure constantly. Have a clear set of objectives that will lead to customer acquisition. Have a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that you can track. It is easier to be accountable when you have a way to measure your performance. You can confront the seemingly ugly truths and put the proper measures in place that will lead to growth.

Wrapping Up

Growth is essential for the long-term survival of any business. It allows for a better response to market demand and an increase in market share. It also boosts credibility, making it possible to increase stability and broaden the profit margins. However, for the growth to be sustainable, it has to happen strategically.

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