Your dream has finally come true and you are starting a new business. Although it can seem like a formidable task, and there are dozens of unexpected issues you may encounter, you can make your dream a reality if you know how to handle the minor problems that come up, how to call in experts for the major issues, and remember to take a few breaths so you can enjoy the fruition of your dream at the end of some very tiring days. Here are 11 tips for starting a successful business.
1. Financing Can Be a Hurdle
Unless you have an angel in your pocket, or you are independently wealthy, financing your startup may prove more difficult that you imagined it would be. No matter how amazing your products or services are, there are dozens of people that want the same money you do from the same people. If you can set up meetings with investors, use the time wisely talking about your product and don’t get sidetracked – make your product what the investor remembers about the meeting.
2. A Name is More Than a Name
The name you choose for your brand can have a significant influence on how people perceive your product or service. Find eight to ten names you like then make sure you find out if the ‘.com’ is available, do a trademark search, and make sure your family and friends can easily pronounce the word. You may be surprised how many names you have to go through to locate one you are satisfied with.
3. Be Your Own Best Salesperson
Practice learning to sell if it doesn’t come naturally to you. Learning to sell will be one of your biggest and best assets over time. Not only must you sell your idea to investors, you must sell products to consumers and employees. Talk to yourself in the mirror and be critical of your approach but stay positive. Can you look yourself in the eye while you talk? Do you wave your hands around too much? Do you tell too many jokes to ease your emotional stress? Practice until your sales pitch is perfect and you are comfortable.
4. Create a Great Product – Quickly
Creating and marketing a great product does take time, but in the modern world of serious competitors it does not have to be perfect, so don’t spend too much time perfecting the item. During the first few months after your product launches, use customer feedback to change or improve your product or service.
5. Spend Time Constructing an Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch is a 60 second introduction to your company. Although it may sound easy, most people find it difficult to be precise and concise enough to keep what they have to say about their service or product to a minute or less. Introduce the problem your product solves and how it can make the consumer’s life better or easier. If people interrupt your pitch, it is a sign they are interested.
6. Use Available Resources on Your Website
More than ever before businesses are becoming dependent on the internet to help create a successful business. Find a professional team and invest in your company’s website because it will be a representation of who you are and how you handle your business products and services. Make it clean, easy to use, and make sure your products are easy to locate and purchase.
7. Understand Your Business Budget
If you want your business to succeed, you must learn to understand business budgeting and financial statements. Set up a monthly budget and review where your money is going several times a month. If you find problem areas, work to alleviate the issue right away, and if you see an area of profitability, familiarize yourself with the source.
8. Ask for Help With Your Taxes
When it comes to business taxes, no matter how skilled you are, ask for help from a company like the UCPAA. Tax codes are constantly changing, so find a business accountant and have him or her help you save money. It may also benefit you to listen to his or her advice on areas that can help you save costs during the tax season.
9. Market Like a Crazy Person
In order to succeed today, you can’t simply open a storefront door and hope people walk in. Instead, you should use social media, websites, and news releases to market your products or services. Find an SEO team to help keep your product near the top of the search engines, and market your product to everyone that will listen.
10. Locate a Business Lawyer
Find a business attorney early in your startup creation. He or she can help you with any legal problems you may encounter, negotiate a lease, draft a license agreement for software, file a trademark or patent, and numerous other things.
11. Look Forward to Challenges
Challenges are part of every business, no matter how prepared you are. It may be a cash flow issue that pops up or a scathing review of your product or service. No matter what the challenge is, turn it around and see it as a positive aspect because it allows you to refine your product and your business.
If you understand the 11 steps listed above, you can enjoy the process of creating a successful startup. All you have to do is have a vision, a plan, and sell yourself like crazy.