Are you a start-up and unsure on how to make it a success? Then you’ll definitely want to continue reading on… you won’t be disappointed!
So you have this amazing business idea and have decided to go that step further into making it a success, an empire. But you don’t know how to go about it? Not to worry, many start-ups are in that very same situation that you are in, but we can help!
If you think about it; no idea is a bad idea to be quite honest. As long as you are able to deliver exceptional commitment and passion in pursuing your business idea. As long as YOU truly believe in it. The rest of the world will follow in due course. As the saying goes; Rome wasn’t built in a day. However having said that; you could have a business idea that is creative and out of this world but the most important measure of success is meeting a real need for the market that you’re trying to serve. The best businesses are those that meet the needs and wants of consumers and are able to adapt as those needs change.
A solid business plan
So first and foremost; make that sure that business plan of yours is in tip top condition. Most importantly; your budget. It is extremely important to have a comprehensive budgeting plan before you spend a single penny on your business. Most of us may not be so good at budgeting or just with anything to do with numbers however if that is the case then be sure to get help from someone who is good at budgeting. This could be anyone, even a family member, but of course someone you can trust. Every area of your start up business should be accounted for, even the future should be forecasted for. Whilst we’re on the topic of money, there are many ways of obtaining the money you need for your startup. This could be from your own savings, investments or loans. Either way it mainly depends on exactly to much money you need. We at Yahya Consultants truly believe that businesses are better off setting aside an extra £10,000 or so just in case of any unexpected situations.
Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? You need to evaluate yourself to determine whether or not you could handle starting up your own business, not all of us have those entrepreneurial skills embedded in us. Starting up your own business and being the CEO of your own business is not like working under someone else in an already established company. It required 10 times more endurance and self-discipline. Especially with start ups which need that extra nurturing in the beginning stages. It’s easy to lose focus but don’t let that happen! Come on, you can do this! You need to know that your social life will be out of the window as a lot of time will need to go towards the business. Make sure your family and friends are aware of your current situation so that relationships do not get ruined. Those closest to you are bound to understand. It may get lonely; however it will all be worth it in the end.
Organisation is key
We recommend setting yourself a timetable for 6 months down the line. By then you should have gotten in the swing of discipling yourself and exercising self control. So make sure you have a plan. A very detailed timetable is essential. We’re not just talking about creating a timetable based on how many hours you need to make sure you work, we are talking about also setting yourself goals, SMART goals.
- Specific and straight to the point. These goals need to be clear and concise. No waffling. That will only confuse you in the long run.
- Measurable. You need to be able to track your progress. This is an important part in order for you to keep your momentum up.
- Achievable. Do not set your set yourself ridiculous goals. Make sure to set yourself goals that you believe you have the ability to achieve. Be realistic. I know it’s very easy to get ahead of ourselves and envision ourselves to be superheros that can achieve anything and everything. However the reality check is that is not the case. Snap back into the real world guys!
- Relevant. It’s very easy to get carried away with our list of goals. However make sure that they will be beneficial to your overall plan. You need to be achieving relevant goals in order to see any progress.
- Timely. Make sure you set yourself a deadline/target time. Each goal should have a deadline attached to it. That way you will be more driven to achieve your goal to hit that time target. None of us like to miss a deadline, especially one set by ourselves!
All in all; goals are crucial, you have to set yourself goals and follow the above framework. “Those who do not have goals are doomed forever to work for those who do” – Brian Tracy.
Build on your networking skills
This is so important. I mean if you already know the right people with the right connections then that’s great! However if you do not then you need to brush up on those social skills! The reason being is because it is crucial to try and get in touch and network with the big shots in your particular industry. These connections may well just land you with a healthy looking investment. And /or it could provide you with crazy amounts of knowledge and must-knows in your particular industry which may well be a key factor in the growth of your start-up business.
A good team
All of the above mainly concerned you as the CEO/owner, however let’s now talk about your team. In order to fulfill your goals; you will need to surround yourself with a team of people who believe in you and share the same vision as yourself. Surround yourself with great talent! Ensure they fit the criteria, personality and culture of your business. However it may be a good idea to hire people who are the opposite to you, they’ll bring different skills and talents to the business that you may not be able to deliver. Opposites attract right? However do not forget that you are the one that sets the example for the rest of your team. So if you want your employees to project passion and drive into your business, your leadership better be screaming out passion and drive! You don’t want to be a pestering nuisance towards your employees; treat them as your employees but also your friends. You’re less likely to get stabbed in the back that way.
Protect your start-up with a business entity.
Without a business entity; your personal assets such as your home could be at risk. We understand that paperwork may seem boring and tedious at this point in time since you are just starting up right? But you will be surprised at how much paperwork such as for a business entity and signed contracts can be of vital importance to your start-up. Signed contracts formalise every agreement that you may have with people. In this day and age unfortunately you just can’t take people for their word anymore. Some potential customers may feel that way towards your business too, it’s good to be cautious you know. So to avoid any costly court battles, make sure to draw up contracts for your start-up business. A non-disclosure agreement is another contract that you should have to hand just in case you wish to discuss some sensitive topics and/or ideas that involve your start-up. Also; make sure to register your business name and secure a domain name before someone else beats you to it.
Content is king in this era of the internet. You want to create as much content as possible. Great content that is. If you are a niche and there is a gap in the market then this can make your content even juicier. People are always attracted to niches. In with the new and out with the old! Try to also broadcast your expertise at the same time. Write blogs about your particular area of expertise in the field that you are in. No one wants to buy anything from someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Videos are really popular right now. Make sure to capitalise on this. Get your name out there as much as you can. Create shareable content, use hashtags etc. all of that good stuff! Do not become enraged if your product/service is not received in the way you thought it would be. Communicate with your audience and find out what they didn’t like and make it your mission to improve it. Do not be hesitant to changes and adaptations. This is going to be a common factor in your startup product/service; it may have to be augmented/adapted in some ways that you didn’t encounter for, however that is okay. Room for improvement is always a good thing. But try to differentiate between constructive criticism and haters.
Invest in a website
Potential customers will want to know as much information about your business as possible, and the first place they are most likely to visit is your website. We have a whole blog dedicated to why you should invest in a website, go and check it out!
Now last but not least; have fun! No one wants to be doing something that they do not love. Especially when it comes to something as big as starting up your own business. There is nothing wrong with having fun whilst on the job; as long as the work is getting done of course. It’s your business; love it, nurture it and protect it. Now go ahead and build that empire!