Starting a business? 8 tips for you!
Starting a business sounds hard. Of course, it is not easy. You will face a lot of hardships and challenges. There might be continuous failures as well. But only you can turn the table and succeed. There may be dozens of people to get advice from, but it doesn’t do much help. You can learn from people who already have been there. But, their problems and your problems are different. So, no one can fully prepare you for the game. Few things are necessary to know when starting a business.
- Entrepreneurship is not a sprint but a marathon.
- Whether there is a demand for your product or service
- You will not succeed overnight
- Take your time and ensure that there is enough fund
- Prioritise customer needs rather than yours.
- Might need to pivot.
- Look at the problems in customers’ perspective
- Understand the purpose of selling something.
How to plan starting a business?
Life is about ‘suddenly’. Nothing works out like you plan. So, instead of planning to quit doing business after a while, focus on running it for the long term.
Doing business is not a sprint, but a marathon. Why? We can plan a sprint. How you start, what you are going to do after running a specific distance and what will you do if this happened. But, a marathon is always unpredictable. You can be prepared beforehand, but the possibility of winning is low. You do not know what’s going to happen in the next moment in a marathon. Only the people who do not waver in any situation can keep a steady pace and succeed in the end. Unlike in a sprint, you can not win only with body strength and practice but it is necessary to have a strong mindset.
Starting a business and keep going steadily also needs a strong will and ability to cope up with any unexpected challenge.
‘Sales are not the solution to your problems, but you can’t solve them without sales.’
As an entrepreneur, you need to work hard than you imagine. To withstand unforeseen situations, you must have a strong financial state. So, to gain a profit consistently, you should do your homework right. Research on the market to ensure that there is a demand for your products. You need to gain at least 50% of the profit. If you run out of cash, you might want to quit. Bit it doesn’t solve any problem. So, remember to study profitable businesses before starting a business and determine whether your product or service is going to be profitable or not.
Your first attempt can be a failure
Just like mentioned at the beginning, doing business is a marathon. You cannot prepare beforehand. That’s why you need to step on the game and take action instead of gathering information and planning everything. Only that way can you have the time and space to analyse results and do any necessary changes.
But, you need to keep in mind that it’s not going to work out from the first step. It takes a little while and you need to be patient. Failure is a given in this industry and you must be able to withstand all the hardships. In the long run, you will have an idea about what has to be done. So, do not give up on the middle way and keep trying. But, there may be a time you really need to give up and do not hesitate if that time comes. It does not mean that you should stop doing business but needs a change of plan. In other words, continuing a plan that proved to be unsuccessful and knowing you are going to fail even after a few years of starting the business, you need to go for a plan B.
Stay alert on your timeline and financial state
Success takes time and you need to be patient. Now, it does not mean you just have to wait for a miracle to happen and sit doing nothing. If you do that, you will run out of cash. It’s important to reach a certain level of revenue at the startup phase. You need to fully understand the timeline and your finances.
The majority of failed small businesses have failed because of inadequate funding. Even though it takes some time to make a profit, if it takes a longer time than it needs to be, you will fail. So, take your time, but not too much. It will be better if you have a backup funding resource. A fine economical state will minimise the chances of failure.
Give priority to customer needs
What’s more important for an entrepreneur? Marketing! Sales! Of course, they are important. But what if there are no customers? This is where most entrepreneurs misunderstand and focus on less important things. If you want more sales and make a profit, you need customers. Customers will come only when you have what they need. So, do not forget to study their needs. Successful businesses understand their customers and provide the value, impact and result they need.
Do not assume things on your own and talk with customers. Understand what customers desire and demand. Prioritise their needs, not yours. When you do that, you do not need to stay overnight thinking ways to sell products because they are bought not sold.
One should expect a need for a pivot when starting a business. It’s normal for things to go wrong when doing something new right? That’s when you need to pivot.
Before all of these things, you need to fully understand what pivot means. Pivot is when you need to revise your strategies and change it if necessary. In simple words, go for a plan B. You might think changing the plan is impossible and hard. Yes, it is. But you do not have to change the whole thing but just the important and essential parts.
Things you learn at school about starting a business is nothing compared to the real thing. The best place to learn them is actually doing it. How to deal with people, marketing, business ideas, etc are taught in school but none of them is applicable in reality.
The first thing you need to do is vet your partners. Ensure their financial stability. Do not go for over-complicated plans and make it simple and well-executed. Know your customers and be ready to make any change in case something goes wrong.
Listen to your consumers
Always remember that the customer has the upper hand in business. You might think the business plan and products are more important. But no matter how hard you work on them, customers have to accept it. If their feedback is not good, your business will go down. So first, listen to the customers and offer what they need. Whatever the plan you had before can execute after that. Once the product makes it into the market and starts getting good reviews from consumers, you can go further adding extra details and shaping the plan and product line.
Why do people buy things? To ease their troubles. And make their work more convenient, efficient and comfortable. That must be the thing you need to focus on when starting a business. Whether your product or service would be able to solve problems, how can they help and what can they do is what you need to consider. If there is no demand or interest for the product, it doesn’t matter how much work you put into manufacture or purchase them or the quality of them.
Research to understand what people need and what problems they have. Determine the product that can help them with. Usually, entrepreneurs decide on the product targeting a group of people and make them think they want the product. That needs a complicated marketing plan and many things have to be done. But if you offer something people have always felt necessary, no need to nudge people and ask them to buy your product.
Be confident and have faith in yourself. Because failing is when you give up. Learn from failures and reach your goal.