Starting a business is a bold step which requires tremendous effort, loads of time, and a formidable investment. Allowing it to fail is out of the question. Isn’t it?
Unfortunately, 9 out of every 10 startups don’t succeed.
Is it possible to place your startup among the winners? Of course. All you have to do is practice the right planning and avoid mistakes made by others.
We’ve gathered several factors that could keep your startup from failing today — taking advantage of them will help keep your company afloat.
1. Understand Your Customer & Their Needs
Many business owners make the mistake of doing everything possible to earn more money instead of trying to solve a client’s problem. Only by getting into the clients’ shoes and understanding what they need, can you avoid failing.
If you seem to be doing everything possible to keep the business afloat, but it is still failing, you aren’t communicating with your clients enough. Make sure to get sufficient feedback from your customers.
Visit your competitor’s websites and locations to find out what their clients say about them. The more you cater to the client, the more chances you have to succeed.
2. Beef Up Your Marketing Campaign
If clients aren’t coming to your doorstep, you aren’t making your company visible enough. Invest more time and effort into marketing (this doesn’t necessarily mean having to invest more money, though!)
These days, the variety of marketing approaches is so huge, it may seem overwhelming. However, a startup can limit itself to the basic methods and still find success. Make sure to take advantage of email marketing, word-of-mouth marketing, and definitely social media marketing.
All of the above can be done without making a huge monetary investment. All you have to do is study the subject and use the resources available to you wisely.
Once your budget allows, you can expand and create a marketing team. In the beginning, one specialist is often enough. With different marketing automation tools available today, you often do your own marketing for your startup for without losing quality — and without the need for a marketing team.
3. Find Your Unique Selling Point
What makes you different from other businesses in your niche?
Without something special to offer and a way to make your business stand out, you’re less likely to get attention, stay ahead of the competition, draft a proper marketing campaign, and attract a sufficient number of consumers.
You probably already have your USP (unique selling point) — you just might not have realized it. It might be great customer services, a funny and distinct brand voice, a cheap version of an existing product or something new entirely. Whatever it is, use this as a focal point.
When deciding on your most prominent, unique feature to boost your brand awareness, consider the needs of your clients. From freebies to discounts to absolutely new approaches to problem-solving, there must be something other companies haven’t employed before.
4. Work on Your Leadership Skills
Many businesses fail due to the leader’s inability to keep the team working together properly. If you feel as if the organization within your company suffers, you need to start at the source. That source is you.
Learn how to be a better leader; encourage, stimulate, reward, and inspire your employees. Without the right person at the helm, the company may not stay afloat for long.
If you don’t see a way to become a better leader without assistance, consider taking courses or hiring an experienced manager.
5. Invest in Managed IT Services
No matter what type of business you are running, you probably have dozens of IT-related matters to take care of. Starting with installing new software and ending with disaster recovery plans, your IT team has plenty of work cut out for it.
How big is your IT team anyway? Startups usually have one or two people dealing with IT-related affairs. As a result, they end up working 24/7 without achieving half of what the company needs.
A smart way out is to invest in managed IT services. Managed IT companies create payment plans suitable for startups in order not to make a hole in their budgets.
By outsourcing your IT matters to a team of experts, you can save money on hiring an IT team and keep your company ahead of the competition. According to experts at PreciseIT, many of their clients opt for managed services after realizing how much having an in-house IT team may cost.
6. Buy the Right Software
Before you get your business up and running, you have to figure out which software it needs. Starting from website-building software and marketing programs and ending with security and collaboration software, your company needs AI to help it function properly.
These days, many programs come with free versions and free trials to take a load off your finances. It’s possible to run a company for several months without having to pay large amounts of software.
Without the right programs, you may face numerous problems, from improperly calculated wages and lack of collaboration between team members to compromised data security and poor marketing efforts.
7. Manage Your Finances
The toughest part of running a startup is managing finances. Before you launch your company, make sure you know how to deal with the financial part. Ideally, you should hire an expert to do it for you — but if not, there are plenty of online guides and easy-to-use financial and accounting tools that can help you.
Managing finances doesn’t just involve keeping tabs on your spending. A financial advisor should be analyzing the financial state of your business and offering advice on what can be done to keep it afloat.
Hiring an expert at business finance can have a huge ROI. Consider doing it before you start your business rather than grasping at straws when it starts failing.
8. Ask for Advice
The reason why the majority of startups fail is a lack of experience. New business owners usually don’t have any experience running a business. They dive into the unknown realm, trying to swim blindly. Even if you’ve done your homework and read numerous books and articles about starting a business, you can’t replace experience.
The only way to get valuable information comparable to experience is to ask for advice. Find business owners, who are willing to share their stories. They don’t have to be stories of success. Failures often teach business owners much more than success does.
Keeping your startup afloat is possible; all you have to do is figure out the right approach before you launch your business. The key to success is finding the right people and software to work with. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice.