Building a start up business can be exciting but it also comes with its own unique challenges. The reward of running your own business can make it well worth the work and learning curve that a new entrepreneur goes through, but it definitely makes the process easier when you educate yourself about what to do and what not to do when striking out with your own venture.
Here are 11 tips to help keep you on the right track:
1. Build your business around something that you like to do
If you want to be successful, and if you want to remain happy if you are successful, you need to choose an industry that you are passionate about and happy spending time learning about and working in.
2. Carefully consider your business partners
Who you start a business with can make the difference between success and failure, and you should not join forces with someone because they are the easiest choice. Seek out partners who bring something strong to the table, and who you enjoy working with. Many people say partnerships are like a marriage. Can you envision yourself with this person for the rest of your life?
3. Commit to your projects and work through to the end
You can have dozens of great ideas, but none can be considered a success until you have put in the work and follow-through to end up with the finished product. Investing time, money and energy in projects that only get half-baked is a recipe for failure.
4. Read plenty of books, blogs and news
Read books, blogs and news about your industry, but also about other general interests as well. You never know where you’ll find inspiration from, but constant learning keeps the mind sharp and thinking. Read inspirational material, biographies of other entrepreneurs and thought leaders.
5. Enjoy your quality time
Set aside time to enjoy with your family, your friends and yourself. It can be tempting to spend all of your time in your business, especially during the exciting initial stages, but you don’t want to neglect, your health, other relationships, burning out your enthusiasm for your business. Balancing your life is the key to bringing energy back to your work, day after day.
6. Don’t let money worries stifle your work
While it’s important to manage your money and not let things get desperate, it’s also vital to remember that you are focused on building the business right now. Money will come later if you keep working on building a remarkable product or service that people will want to buy, use, tell their friends about and come back for.
7. Avoid the penny-pinching clients
When you are building your client list, it can be tempting to pick up any client that is interested. However, some can be far more trouble than they’re worth. Whether it’s haggling for a better deal or complaining about the product or asking more and more of you, these clients are an energy and resource drain on your business. Remember that what you’re building may not be for everybody. You can’t make everybody happy, but you can build a product or service that truly delights a niche.
8. Let paid up front
Whether it’s simply a partial deposit or a full payment up front, this minimizes your risk. You avoid not only the worry of whether a customer will pay, but also the time wasted in attempting to contact a customer about their late payment.
9. Wake up early and keep regular hours when possible
When you set your own schedule, it can be easy to have days where you work for 18 hours straight, but then fall into a slump that lasts for several days where you simply procrastinate on tasks. In order to be your own boss, you must keep yourself in the habit of showing up and working each day. Slow, but steady wins the race.
10. Ensure you get a competitive rate for your payment processing
Because you’re a startup, you’ll probably be labeled a high risk merchant account but locking in a competitive rate ensures you keep more of your monthly receivables.
11. Learn the statistics and trends
Study the statistics in your industry, be aware of the current trends and knowledgeable on the latest news, but don’t be over influenced by them. Statistics and trends change, but if you have a good product or service, that will influence your success more than anything.
Starting your own business can be frustrating and work-intensive, but for some people, there can be nothing more rewarding than working for yourself. Use these tips and keep educating yourself to help keep your plans on track!