Start-ups have become more and more common in recent years, thanks to the ability for businesses to be formed via online utilities. Now, unlike any other time in history, two people who may not have even met in person can come together, show a partnership, develop a small brand of worth, and develop that as necessary. Furthermore, as work from home measures became standardized during the international pandemic that remains ongoing, more and more people have started to see that not all small businesses need the deep in-person infrastructure they’ve been using thus far.
For this reason, learning how to grant your small start-up every chance of success is less an effort of just trying to cheat-sheet our way to relevance as a small firm, but a realization that with proper effort, the tools we leverage can help us compete with even larger businesses than we may expect. It’s this approach that can help us remain ambitious.
However, so that we don’t run before we can walk, it’s important to consider some of the best foundational principles and habits we could use in order to chase this outcome. Without further ado, let’s consider that below:
Understand Your Scope
It’s important to understand the scope of your business and its intent before you launch and begin promoting whatever service or product you have to offer. For instance, how will your delivery schedule work? What principles and policies do you have in place for the safe storage of user data?
Who do you hope to service, and what kind of volume can you do a week? A small graphic design start-up studio may need to work on no more than two projects at a time, and you may need to outsource some services in order to provide that full scope. That’s another question – what kind of studio would you ned to develop in order to create an acceptable standard of industry practice?
Understanding the scope of your firm is important, and while it takes ambition to structure a startup in the first place, it’s essential to make sure you retain your humility going forward.
Retain Honesty & Transparency In Your Messaging
It’s important to make sure that your company nails its messaging from day one. Being up front and transparent about what you have to offer, the size of your business, and the fact that you’re trying to start with confidence is important.
But you don’t have to denigrate yourself for that effort. It might be that both you and your partner have stringent industry experience and truly believe in the new vision you have for your company, aiming to solve issues you found irritating while working as part of that space. When you’re transparent, honest, and direct, clients tend to respond well to it.
Delegate Authority & Be Careful Who You Enlist
When you run a small team, it’s easy for some of the foundational staff to try and do absolutely every single role themselves, micromanaging anything and everything. But this doesn’t work in large businesses and it most likely won’t work now, for the main reason that a team needs to know exactly what their roles are in order to contribute.
So – make sure these roles are adequately divided, even if you have to double up on a few. Perhaps your partner is responsible for the small tasks like keeping the office stocked with stationary, the coffee beans placed appropriately, and to manage client support. Perhaps your responsibilities could include the bookkeeping, as well as the main product delivery logistics. However you structure your startup, make sure roles are defined and teamwork is systemized.
Learn To Outsource Effectively
Outsourcing is not just a nice luxury for startups, but often an essential element of allowing them to provide their value. For some, this may involve the need to make sure illustrations and graphic designs are properly printed, that merchandise is developed appropriately, or that the first marketing launch is taken care of by an effective firm.
Perhaps you just wish for your SEO to be properly handled, or you wish to buy targeted organic traffic to get the ball rolling. When we outsource properly, no matter how thoroughly, we can allow ourselves to patchwork the gaps in our capability while also ensuring high standards are a cornerstone of our development.
Put Together A Great Pitch
It’s important not only to develop your business, but to learn how to talk about your business from top to bottom. For some, this can seem easy. For others, less so. A good rule of thumb is to structure your talk, with graphs and a timeline, to showcase your progress, your value-added proposition, your intent, and your results so far. Develop this as if you were to pitch this on live television, such as in a format like Shark Tank or Dragon’s Den.
This can help you more readily talk to investors should they arrive, but it may also help you understand the core components to hit in your market strategy, as well as developing a coherent about page for your website. If you can’t talk with trust and confidence in your brand, why should you expect others to regard it positively?
Structure Your Website Intelligently
It’s important to make sure your website reflects on your brand in a professional manner. It’s okay not to have the most refined web design or the most unique platform right now, but using template web builders like those offered by WordPress or Squarespace can be a fantastic first place to start.
Make sure you hold an about page, a contact page, and pages listing your products and services. Show your tier-based subscriptions, and make sure a ‘meet the team page’ is also available. Avoid slow loading times that can be caused by too many photos or too much data on the page, and stick with a minimalistic design so that your audience can focus on your products, services, and news rather than your aesthetic. A good website is an essential feature of a successful business in today’s modern world. At the very least, this can be a worthwhile space you use as a referral and a hub regarding news from your firm as well as serving as a solidifying platform alongside your social media pages.
Care For Your Reputation
It’s important to make sure you care for your reputation now. This means ensuring you don’t bite off more than you can chew when accepting volume from orders. It also means conducting yourself in a professional manner, with interpersonal standards that shine whenever you meet others as an ambassador for your firm. This needs to be apparent for all members of your startups team, as you can’t run the risk of one of your employees doing something unprofessional like getting into a car accident when they’re in a branded car boasting your new company logo – a good car accident lawyer isn’t cheap and such a situation could have a severe impact on your reputation. Placing high standards on your staff should always be rewarded if you want your startup to run smoothly.
Making sure that despite the pressure of elusive success, you provide a good working space with cleanliness and proper daily routines competently measured is key. This also translates to the small things, such as your conduct online and what that means in the long term. A healthy dose of keeping our standards high is essential towards developing the character of our firms – something that is more important than you may realize.
Structure A Worthwhile Support Process
It’s important to make sure that despite your size, when clients need to speak to you, they are able to find you in a reasonable timeframe. Of course, offering a contact form via email is enough, but a dedicated phone line, a virtual address, a website FAQ and live chat functionalities (perhaps aided by an AI chatbot) can help you more readily filter through and answer support requests as necessary.
Sure, you might not have a plethora of people contacting you at one time, but having the systems in place to properly handle queries can help you avoid long delays in response that may have otherwise taken place.
Get Used To Taking Risks
It’s important to note that startups are defined by their very exposure to risk. You don’t have the same kind of buoyancy that even smaller firms do, be that in terms of goodwill, emergency funding, or the ability to make mistakes.
For this reason, sooner or later we have to make decisions without falling back on common excuses or avoiding making assertive decisions. If you can achieve this, even if that means opening up with one investor meeting over another, or switching a supplier, this will encourage you to be proactive and not entitled . Many startups fail because they believe that someone they’re owed the right to a living despite their structure – some have to get out there and generate the business themselves.
Consider Your Vital Aims, Ideals & Vision
It’s important to keep in mind that without a strong vision, a startup is just a fun project without much in the way of substance. You don’t have to desire the revolution of an industry in its current form, but you may be surprised with how effective it is to design a consistent message you believe in and rally behind that cause. Maybe you’re hoping to remove all of the plastics involved in the creation and storage of cafe-made, pre-wrapped sandwiches – offering a better alternative. As you can see, the vision and the willingness to make substantiative novelty possible is what will turn people to your cause and be willing to help you achieve it.
With this advice, we believe you’ll be in the best place to grant your small startup every chance of success. Just don’t be afraid to get started!