It’s a new year and with it comes new resolutions. For some it may be losing weight, exercising more, or finding a new job. No matter what the resolution is there is one theme that stands true amongst them all, self-betterment. For the past few years, there has been a growing trend to start businesses. The life of an entrepreneur can be challenging and at times downright demoralizing, but that’s not always the case. Decades ago starting a business was reserved for the affluent, but the internet has made it accessible to everyone. Nowadays most shopping is done through some sort of online service. The word shopping has become synonymous with online sales and with it a great opportunity. If you are looking to better yourself this year and have an interest in business than a start-up may be the answer. Here are 6 ways to achieve success when creating a start-up.
Find a Niche
If you think that you have a great idea for a business the odds are someone else has had the same thought. The only thing that will separate you from the competition is how you execute your thoughts. This means that you have to be innovative, clever when thinking of what type of business you want to start. Finding a niche requires time, research, and a little creativity. It is easy for someone to say that they want to open an auto body shop. When choosing a niche it is important to get as specific as possible. An auto body shop is a dime a dozen, but an auto body shop for hail damage is far from common. The more unique your start-up is the better results it will get.
Solve a Problem
There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of great start-up ideas that fail. It’s not because of the idea, or the execution of the idea, but the service itself. When you find a niche worth exploring make sure that it fills a need. Your customers shouldn’t have to question if they need your product or service. It should be apparent from the start that what you’re selling is more than a want, it is a need. Sometimes when finding a need to fill it will require a lot of research. When it comes to business there is no such thing as to much research. Knowing your clientele is imperative for success. It doesn’t matter if you’ve executed every other step properly if the product doesn’t solve a problem it will never sell. So make sure that you find a need and show the world how you plan to fill it.
Think Long Term
Starting a business can be challenging but it is important to keep the future in mind. Understanding your customers is essential when looking for sustainable growth. The goal is to have customers return and invite their friends and family to do the same. Fostering this type of loyalty with your customers will help you to grow while others are shrinking. Every decision you make for the business should consider future implications as well. This means that your business plan must project well into the future. Keeping a close eye on your goals can also help you to make sure that the foundation it is built on is strong and stable. Without a stable foundation, any success in the future is liable to fall.
When a business claims to have made over a million dollars in a year you must question if it’s true. Did they actually bring home a million dollars? The odds are they didn’t. Don’t make the same mistake that millions of others have made and focus only on the revenue. Keep in mind the bottom line and the profits generated by the business. Dwelling on profits can help create realistic expectations about growth. You can quickly assess how much growth is possible before your bank account suffers. In other words, don’t sign a lease on a new store-front before thinking about how it will affect your bottom line. There is nothing worse than a company that goes bankrupt when sales are just fine. Beware of the revenue chasers because success can be measured differently, and not all ways are created equal.
As technology grows so does the way consumers shop. Every year there is a new way to do an old task, but the person that embraces it will have the advantage. If you want your start-up to be successful it is best to take advantage of new technology. Be the first to incorporate it into your marketing, service, and business model. When the iPad was first released the world sat mystified by it. An airport restaurant leveraged the mass hysteria by using them for marketing. They loaded their menu on it and had hostesses walking the corridor, arms outstretched, to gain interest in their food. Almost a decade ago it was a groundbreaking idea. The moral of the story is not to be discouraged or fear technology.
Invest in Yourself
The life of an entrepreneur is grueling work and requires mental flexibility. One of the most precious commodities for any business owner, besides time, is their mind. Never stop learning and do not fall into the trap of believing that you don’t have the time to pick up a new skill. Most successful CEOs carve out dedicated time during their day to read and learn. Investing in yourself is not only about learning new skills but about believing that you are worth the effort. You are more likely to succeed if you believe that you can succeed. If you have doubts about something than educate yourself on it and develop a plan that accounts for all contingencies.
No-one will say that creating a start-up is easy, but it is possible to be successful. In the world of business success is a simple equation. It is measured by effort over time, but these 6 tips can help make sure that your time is well spent.