There’s no way around it: starting a business is a scary task. Even if you’ve done it a dozen times before, turning an idea into a living, breathing entity that real people rely on to put food on their own table is an exhilarating thrill ride of terror.
At TECKpert, we’ve taken part in launching a few start-ups. And, as we’ve helped them grow, we’ve learned a few tricks on how to minimize risks and give a start-up the highest chance of success.
The Start-Up Survival Guide
Start with your website as your storefront. First things first, in order to thrive you need to keep your initial costs as low as possible. Today, almost every industry can survive without prime office-space or the best retail location.
Instead, use your website as your storefront. It will be open for business twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week at a fraction of the cost it will take to operate a brick-and-mortar location. Once your site is doing steady business and handling your inventory, go ahead and open another location. Jumping the gun to appear more prestigious is one of the quickest ways to scuttle a great idea.
And for retail businesses—starting up with an online eCommerce storefront allows you to gauge which products will be your bestsellers and even which part of town will be the best spot for you to open an actual store.
Focus your marketing push online. It’s a tumultuous time for any business that relies on ad revenue. Newspapers, other periodicals and TV networks are in panic mode; their analog dollars are being replaced with digital pennies. While this may seem dire to them, it’s music in the ears of every entrepreneur building a start-up.
Integrating online marketing strategies like SEO, social media and content marketing has a proven track record to bring in a substantially higher ROI than traditional marketing. And, almost more importantly, you can get the data to track your progress practically in real time.
Mobilize your business. At the outset of starting a business, there are dozens of aspects that an entrepreneur needs to set in stone (like your brand’s name, your logo et cetera). With over 50% of Americans using smartphones to research and connect with businesses, it’s important to set up your brand’s mobile strategy early on.
For some businesses, this might be as simple as focusing their marketing push based on location based apps like Twitter, Foursquare, Google+ Local and Yelp. But for others it can be a whole lot more. If you could have a native app for iPhone and Android that can help acquire clients or function as a service to them, building it would be a sound investment.
As consumers live their lives on the go, engaging them on their schedule provides you with a quicker conversion from lead to sale. Keeping that in mind will help you take advantage of the flexibility and maneuverability that start-ups naturally have in abundance by utilizing the options available.
Manage your time with sound organizational strategies. A start-up is like a newborn: it relies on you for everything it needs to survive. That’s why, when you’re building a brand, the largest determining factor between success and failure is how efficiently you manage your time.
Leveraging programs like Freshbooks, Basecamp, Dropbox and Asana can help you better manage your files, keep in contact with team members manage to-do lists and tracking time spent on any given project. These software applications were built with start-ups in mind and yet they benefit the medium to large sized businesses that use them as well.
For a start-up to grow, you need to take your idea and fuel it with a driven work ethic. For more tips and tricks on how to grow your business, click here to sign up for our newsletter.