Starting a new online business is a large and difficult undertaking, especially if you’re doing it alone or in a small group of people. Getting the right start can be crucial to your new startups success.
Many startups fail because they don’t get the right advice at the right time. They make common mistakes that could have been avoided.
To help get your business off to the best possible start, we’ve put together a list of the 10 best tips for successful new startups, below:
1.Define The ‘Why’
Startups that don’t know their ‘why’ are destined to struggle along without any real purpose. All of history’s greatest companies knew what drove them. Defining your companies ‘why’ helps to secure your brand as something worthwhile. Customers will readily support something with a clear vision and purpose, and are more likely to trust in a company that has these ambitious, clearly defined qualities.
Having a clear purpose helps to garner support for your company. Without this, you are just another business looking to make money, without a true passion or cause.
2.Stay Focused And On Track
It’s easy to get off track with everything that needs to be done on a new business venture, but it’s important to keep that end purpose and goal in mind during the process.
It can be overwhelming trying to do everything yourself, or with a small team, especially at the start, so try to stay focused on the main goal by defining daily, weekly and monthly milestones.
It is easy for startups to end up in a completely different place from where they started and get distracted by new ideas. Try to stay focused on the main feature of your product and do it well. Keep it simple, keep disciplined and don’t feel pressured into changing things if it doesn’t feel right to you.
3.Don’t Forget About Design
All too often new startups leave design on the back-burner, assuming it is not an important aspect of their business strategy. They assume that they can save money by skipping on design and concentrating on other elements. However, this is a vital mistake and can really affect the future of your business.
Design can be incredibly powerful tool in helping you to secure your brand as a high quality, valuable, trustable asset among competition. With a well-executed design, you will give your company a massive head start among the often-amateur looking competition.
A beautiful site with a great user experience can be the difference between a customer recommending your service to a friend or not. Never underestimate the power of a seamless, easy user experience.
4.Focus On What People Want
A common mistake by new startups is to assume what the audience wants, rather than actively research and find out. There is no value in building something that ultimately nobody wants. Instead, take the time to do valuable and thorough research on your target market before setting out to build your product. If your product helps to solve real problems, users will come.
Building something off of your own assumptions about people is risky and you could ultimately be wasting a lot of time and money when nobody wants to your product in the end.
Building something that is genuinely wanted within your target market gives you a great head start for your company’s lifespan.
5.Focus On Customers, Not The Investors
A lot of startups tend to endlessly chase investors’ money, instead on focusing on what will really make your company grow; customers. Chasing investors can only go so far and selling them the idea of investing in your company will not be very effective without any customers.
Customers will keep your company afloat when things get tough. Once you gain customers, your startup will naturally attract the attention of investors and perhaps even secure some VC funding.
Customers provide a more reliable source of income than investors and they are a self-sustainable mode of funding.
6.Listen To Feedback
Listening to your customers is an extremely important step in growing your business. Taking the time to listen to what your customers and target market are saying can save you valuable time and money.
Hold customer interviews, conduct surveys and questionnaires; determine what your customers want before showing them the solution. This way you get to experience solutions you may not have even considered before.
By listening to your customers, you can be sure you are not just forcing an assumed solution on them, but you are providing them with something they really want.
7.Launch At The Right Time
Knowing when to launch your product can be one of the most difficult parts of a new startup. So many company’s fail because they launch too soon or too late. By launching too soon you run the risk of unveiling a poor-quality product without much functionality, while launching too late means you may ‘miss the boat’.
Determine what is the minimum viable product that you would be happy and confident to release to the world. Listen to your gut; you will know in your heart whether it is too early or too late.
Don’t forget that your first launch is not the end. You can continue to grow and improve your product after the launch. Focus on doing a great job on the main feature of the product and customers will forgive any shortcomings of an early release.
8.Ask For Help And Advice
Don’t ignore the people who’ve been there and done that. Advice and guidance can play a crucial role in directing your startup towards success.
It’s easy for entrepreneurs to think they know it all, especially when they have been going it alone, but don’t forget the value of a second option and the experience of others who’ve been there before.
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness; it can be a great way of avoiding common mistakes. Join local business groups, online forums and make friends with people who can provide you with valuable knowledge and have an authentic interest in your success.
9.Have A Plan For The Future
Things can get tough for new startups. You need to be prepared and have a plan for the future of your company. The keys to the success of any startup are customers. Make sure you concentrate on acquiring as many customers as possible. It will be these sales that stand to you when things get tough later down the line.
Growing your company for the future is a must. Do whatever you can to acquire customers, gain momentum and continually access a bigger market.
10.Focus On Getting Great Employees
With everything else to take care of, it can be easy to forget about the employees; your company’s most valuable asset.
Employees should be brought on at just the right stage and hiring the right people is crucial. It is just as important to make your employees happy, as it is that they make you happy. Creating a great working environment is becoming more and more important to a brands image nowadays and can help propel your company to success.
Anyone you employ at the start of your venture needs to be passionate about your company’s ‘why’. The early days of a startup require blood, sweat and tears, so early employees need to be driven by passion more than anything else, to ensure they stick around and drive your company to success.