Being a startup entrepreneur is both exciting and challenging. However, in a startup business journey, some obstacles are too hard to overcome and have the potential to kill the business.
The challenges that come with starting a startup business come in many forms – funding, marketing, intellectual property, human resources, legal matters, to name a few.
However, there have also been stories of successful startup entrepreneurs whom we now know as founders of Uber, Facebook, Airbnb, and Google. These entrepreneurs have been there and done that, and shown the world how!
Who doesn’t want to be successful? Whether you are just starting out or are a seasoned entrepreneur, you will always aim to be more successful than you already are.
We have listed down ways that can help you manage your startup business better and become a successful startup entrepreneur.
10 tips to become a successful startup entrepreneur
Tip 1: Know your challenges
Understandably, starting a business is exciting when you are convinced of a startup business idea, but we often forget that it is also a huge commitment.
Many a time, from the excitement of starting a business, we dive into things without having a complete business plan and knowledge about the market.
Many skip the competitor research part and remain unaware of the challenges involved, such as knowing whether there is actual demand for the product/business, sufficient operating cash flow and not just the initial capital, and managing employees.
When you know where you are headed, you will be better prepared to deal with it.
Tip 2: Don’t procrastinate your product launch
As a startup entrepreneur, your product is definitely dear to you, and you would not want to launch a half-baked product/service in the market.
However, trying to reach “the perfect product” is the most significant mistake a startup entrepreneur can make. This way, you may never be able to launch your product early enough to avoid competition.
Instead, focus on refining your product after getting market feedback after a soft launch. This would also enable you to market your services better.
Tip 3: Create a strong online presence
Whether your products or services are offered online or offline, not being online is not an option. You need to ensure that you develop a great website that is visible on search engines.
Also, ensure that you are present on at least a few social media networks and check what your competitors are doing in this area.
This can help you connect with customers faster, target the right customers, and improve your product depending on the customer feedback received through the channels.
Tip 4: Gets the legal aspects right
Often, startup entrepreneurs team up with their friends or family when they have a good idea that they all agree upon. However, disagreements can crop up pretty soon in startup companies owing to ambiguity in the division of responsibilities.
Many a time, the legal aspects are not very clear. You need to ensure that you clarify every single detail with your co-founders if any. You also need to do everything within the legal limits of the jurisdiction to which your business belongs. For example, you would have to get a tax ID from the IRS in the US if you are starting a business.
Additionally, you need to get your registrations, licenses, and permits in place before you start your business. You may also want to protect your intellectual property, and for that, you need to apply for a patent before you launch your product.
Tip 5: Think before hiring
Hiring may be the next big step in your entrepreneurship journey, however, it is also a cost. Before hiring employees and building your startup team, you need to think about how they will bring value to the table.
At the same time, you need to ensure that you do appropriate reference checks, even if you have to hire an expert from the outside for this.
Hiring consultants and freelancers can be a better option than outright making full-time hires, as this will cap your expenses and ensure that you do not hike your fixed costs.
Tip 6: Figure out startup funding
As a business owner, you may need to either finance your startup or get funding from external sources. Sources such as personal loans from friends and family, business loans, crowdfunding, bank loans are available as options.
Early-stage capital may be available via venture capitalists or angel investors. In this case, make sure that you follow the best practices for creating an elevator pitch.
Remember the USP of your product or service. Keep it short and always focus on convincing the potential investor of the problem you are trying to solve with your product or service.
Tip 7: Focus on sales and marketing
Maybe as an individual, you have always managed to avoid sales. However, as a business owner, you are your biggest brand ambassador.
As an entrepreneur, you must learn how to sell your business. Further, you must be open to criticism and take feedback positively.
Simultaneously, do not feel shy to make a few cold calls if that is what it takes for people to discover your business. Don’t forget to network in industry circles.
Tip 8: Maintain records
Maintain all records – whether it is accounting books, investments, expenses, or your revenues. Ensure that you have your financial statements in place as they will come in handy, particularly when you are going for funding.
Also, maintain your employee records, minutes of any meeting that you had with the co-founders, any invoices or contract records, as well as your bank account records.
Tip 9: Get insured
Insurance for startup companies may seem like an unnecessary expense when you’re starting up. However, startup insurance is just the thing you would need to cover some of your risks.
You may want to go for general liability insurance, product liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and many other types of insurance to limit your risks.
Tip 10: Believe in yourself
From the many aspects of becoming a successful entrepreneur, this one probably takes the top spot. Remember that a simple, strong belief in yourself can make a world of difference. Whether you think you can or can’t, will decide your future.
You need to ensure that you always believe in yourself, even if the world won’t believe in you. There will be failures and disappointments but, there will also be opportunities to rise and shine.
Remember, you are your most prominent critic, but you are also your biggest cheerleader. This is non-negotiable when it comes to running your own business.
Remember to challenge yourself regularly and also to be compassionate to yourself and others in challenging times. Do not hesitate to ask for help when you need it.
Startup entrepreneurship is a long but rewarding journey. There will be ups and downs and innumerable lessons along the way. Keep clear goals in mind, work with trustworthy partners, and at the same time.
Don’t forget to keep the fire alive in you, the one you had when you first started off!