30 percent of startups will shut down within the first two years of business. 50 percent will shut down within the first five years. Those odds make your chances of success unstable.
But, with the right business advice, you can avoid becoming a statistic.
As a new entrepreneur, everything about your business is fun and exciting. It’s also probably the scariest thing you’ve ever done. You need to think rationally and have a clear plan of where you want to go.
Luckily, many startups are successful when they take expert advice. To get yourself on the right path, keep reading for seven crucial business tips.
1. Make Mistakes
There’s no time for perfectionism when you’re running a business. If you strive for perfection, nothing will ever get completed. Sometimes, it’s better done than perfect.
With that in mind, know that you will make mistakes as an entrepreneur.
Mistakes are a sign of growth, resilience, and learning. Every mistake teaches you something new about your business. The next time it happens, you’ll know exactly how to avoid it.
When your employees make mistakes, give them the same grace. No startup succeeds without taking risks and failing.
2. Outsource ASAP
As your startup grows, it needs more and more effort. You are only one person and can’t wear all the hats. Your business won’t be as successful if you’re the only one wearing the hats.
Outsource some of your tasks as soon as you can afford it.
To decide what you should outsource, look at a typical day of work. What are the different tasks you do? Which ones feel tedious and less important than others?
For many business owners, these tasks include:
- social media graphics creation
- customer service emails
- appointment scheduling
- digital ad creation
These are the perfect tasks to outsource to experts. You can find freelancers who specialize in each of these tasks and charge by the hour. Not only will you save money, but you’ll have someone with more expertise handling each task.
3. Network Everywhere
Every person you encounter can be a customer, client, mentor, business peer, and vendor. It’s crucial you wear your networking cap everywhere you go.
Learn to treat each interaction as a meaningful connection.
You should also make networking events part of your weekly schedule. Go to industry conferences and events. Buy admission tickets to industry trade shows.
Go to entrepreneur networking events in your city. These are awesome places to find people whose services meet your needs. You could stumble upon an awesome partnership for exchanging services to save money.
4. Be an Obsessive Student
The learning never stops when you’re a business owner. Even if you think you’re an expert on your niche, there’s someone who knows more.
For your startup to flourish and continue growing, you can’t be a know-it-all.
Start seeing yourself as an eternal student. Seek out new opportunities to learn about your industry. Take classes, attend workshops, and find a mentor.
Be open to learning from your employees, too. Even though they’re below you in rank, they have a unique perspective from yours. Their individual skill sets can teach you new ways of doing things in your business.
The more open you are to learn, the more you will know. And, the more you know, the more your business will benefit.
5. Listen to the Market
Never assume your market is stable and always wants the same thing. Even industries that seemed predictable change, just watch an episode of Shark’s Tank. When innovations get created, the market responds to them.
You need to have a strong pulse on your specific market. Listen to what they tell you.
If you have a launch and nothing sells, analyze why. Why don’t your customers want this product or service? What could you change to better suit their needs?
A/B testing can be super helpful when making changes to your products or services. Try two different options and see which is more successful.
Stay up to date on market news and trends in your industry. Read current publications and watch recent lectures. Look for trends on social media that your consumers have an interest in.
6. Launch Sooner Than Later
Don’t wait until every aspect of your business is perfect to have a launch. As mentioned above, perfectionism is the opposite of getting things done.
As a startup, you need feedback fast. The sooner you know what’s wrong and right with your product, the sooner you can update it.
Don’t worry about only having a small inventory, or even only having a prototype. Launch it and see what the guests say. Not only do you get feedback, but you get your brand and logo out there.
If you’re really hesitant, start with a soft launch of close peers. You want people you can trust and who will tell you the truth.
Hire a video team to record the event so you can use it for promotional videos later. Plan to record an interview with yourself talking about the launch. For tips on preparing for an on-camera interview, learn more here.
7. Focus on Small Wins
Your goal may be to get on the Fortune 500 list. But, this week, month, and year, that might not be attainable.
Although it’s good to have long-term goals, short-term ones keep your momentum going.
Focus on small wins and small goals achieved. Each week set a list of goals that you want to get done this week. Dream big, but also be realistic with your time commitment.
When you achieve those smaller dreams, look at them like big wins. Each success is a step towards your long-term goals.
Interested in Getting More Business Advice?
Even though so many startups fail, you can make yours a success by learning from the experts. Take business advice when it comes and apply it to your company.
As an entrepreneur, you need to be open to challenges and new ways of doing things. Being adaptable is key to success as a startup.
Another critical key to success is adequate funding. Read here for tips on securing funding as a startup.