Posted by Louisa Heath on December 11th, 2015.
We’ve all heard the statistic that only 10% of start-ups survive their first year of trading. True, it’s not a particularly encouraging thing to hear, but the fact is that it’s tough out there, no matter what market you’re trying to break into. More often than not it isn’t the strength of an idea that makes the difference between success and failure, although a strong idea is still an important place to start. All budding entrepreneurs should realise that there’s a whole bevy of other factors involved in the sink or swim of a business, some of which can well seem like they’re beyond your control.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom, as there’s still plenty of opportunity for start-ups to thrive and succeed. Staying-up is often simply a matter of making sure that you maximise your chances and keep a positive attitude. With that in mind, here are our six top tips to help you do just that:
Don’t Give Up
It can be hard to keep pouring energy into something that feels like it’s not paying off, however, the fact is that the more work you put into things in the early days the sooner your business is likely to start paying you back. De-motivation can be your biggest adversary when you’re trying to break through with your next big idea, not least because the start of the start-up is usually the least glamourous part.
Keep the Momentum Going
With Internet ventures especially, the faster you get to market the better your chances of sticking around, if only because you’ve got that early adopter advantage. Competitors and imitators are inevitable, and there’s always the chance that someone else is already working on the same basic idea as you. However, you still need to make sure you don’t cut corners. Give customers something good in the first place and then go on improving the product or service you offer to keep yourself ahead of the curve.
Don’t Try to Do Too Much Too Soon
This may seem like an obvious one, but it can be awfully tempting to start branching out from your initial idea or concept as soon as your business gets going. Ideas are great, but if you really want your start-up to get off the ground and grow sustainably then you need to know your core plan and stick to it. Development is an essential part of any business, just don’t try to do it before you’ve properly got out of the starting blocks.
Manage Your Capital
Sometimes it can feel like the only way to solve a problem is to plough more money into it, but this can run the very real risk of dragging both you and your company into unmanageable debt. All start-ups need investment, yes, but you need to step back and make sure that it stays within reason. Give yourself a budget to achieve your goals early on and stick to it as much as possible.
Find the Right People
Both in terms of those within the company and important external networking opportunities, getting the right people in place can make a vast difference to your business. Having someone else there to get enthusiastic about what you’re doing is a great way to avoid getting business-fatigue, and the more valuable contacts you get the further your ultimate reach becomes. It’s also worth noting that in terms of numbers a smaller team of well-suited individuals is often far more valuable to you than a larger group.
Listen and Learn
Feedback can be a real lifeline, if customers or others in the industry take the time to give you their opinion then you really have to at least listen to it. Of course, they may not always be right but sometimes the thing your idea needs the most is the eyes of an outsider. On that same thought, whatever mistakes you make be sure to take them on-board and learn from them, there is always room for improvement.
So those are our tips for turning your Start Up into a Stay Up, if you’ve got some business tips you’d like to share let us know on Facebook or Twitter!
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