So you have a million dollar idea and want to jump into the startup world. Let’s assume you already know how to develop a product or produce a service at the highest level of quality and you have your financial backup for a year. However, to start a new business, you’ll also need to know 7 highly important things.
- For most startups to survive, the owner will have to sell. : One of the most overlooked fact is that you will have to be your own sales guy. You must possess the skill and the ability to sell. It is very unusual for a startup business to succeed if the owner(s) lacks the ability to do the primary work of selling. No one else can have the passion that you have for your own business.
- If you love cooking, get a job as a chef. Don’t open a restaurant: That means you’ll have to do a lot more than just the primary work of the enterprise. If you own a restaurant, you’ll do a lot more than just cook. You’ll have to order supplies, hire and manage employees, front end with customers and take care of the marketing. You might also have to perform administrative functions such as accounts receivable, accounts payable and bookkeeping. The list goes on. Getting these ancillary functions right is critical to the survival of the business. Yes, you can outsource most of these, but you’ll need a plan to do so for each one of them.
- The marketplace and your business plan are living entities: They will keep changing with time. Every other day,you will see new challenges. It’ll always be in flux. There will be a time when you’ll have to stop dwelling on previous competitors, customer needs and service expectations and write a brand new playbook.
- Put feelings aside and let employees go if they don’t fit: Making friends with people quickly is a positive trait, but it might lead to difficult situations if you run a startup. If things aren’t working out between an employee and startup, it’s time to put feelings aside and trust that the person will find a better situation elsewhere. You might find it inhuman, but it is a rule of thumb to think of your business first.
- Bring value to customers rather than slashing your prices: While customer acquisition is important, attracting customers at unsustainable price levels will just result in a race to the bottom. Think long term and focus on adding more value to your customers at a justified price. At times, it becomes more important for startups to win a deal than focus on the price but you’re better off in the long run focusing on how to bring more value to customers.
- Get ready for the criticism. A lot of it is coming your way: From customers, from family, from friends and even employees. You need to be able to figure out what’s worth processing and what isn’t . Learn to grow with all the new information you gather from your critics.
- Independence is awesome! But remember that it takes time to get to enjoy it.