Starting a business is exciting, but it’s also very hard. It’s not as simple as having a great product idea and getting the word out. Plus, you want to not just start strong out of the gate, but you want sustainable revenue and growth to make a living and keep working for yourself. It takes drive and motivation, but the payoff down the road will be more than worth it.
That said, building a strong startup isn’t just about you or just about the product or service you will sell. It’s about putting things in place to create the foundation of a company that will last. You don’t want to be one of the many businesses that crumble in the early going. So here is a guide to show you how to build a strong startup that stands the test of time.
Have a Plan
Don’t go into your venture blind. Too many entrepreneurs think that if they have a good product and market it well out of the gate, everything will take care of itself going forward. However, even if you have some initial success, that is not a sustainable way to operate your business. Instead, you need a plan that will outline the early phase of your business as you develop it and past the launch. This plan will include cost projects for at least your first year, realistic revenue projections, marketing strategies, operational details, and everything else about your business.
This will give you a clear guide to where you are headed. It will also help you avoid cash flow issues in that tough first year and prevent you from overextending your costs or scaling up too soon. A strong business plan will also help you get investors and grant programs. With a plan, you can set yourself for strength at the outset and going forward.
Networking is one of the most important things you can do for your business, but it can also be challenging for some people. You should make an effort to build a diverse network and colleagues and business associates to whom you can turn at any time. For one, you can use these trusted individuals as mentors, sounding boards, or understanding shoulders to cry on. Besides that, the more people you are connected to, the more possibilities you have to be connected to others. If you need a service or product on short notice, someone in your network might know where to get one. If you are running a promotion and need a partner, that partner might be found in your network. If you’ve hit a downturn, it’s good to know that you have a support system that can help you out of it.
You might have some success with your startup right out of the gate, but is it really strong if it could collapse at any time? If you get sued or your property gets destroyed, will you still be able to absorb those costs and keep going? Chances are you won’t, which is why insurance is so important. Getting sued, for example, can be disastrous, even if you win the case. You will have to pay attorney fees and other legal costs while also needing to keep paying your bills and employees. Liability insurance for your small business will provide compensation for those costs so that you can weather the storm without depleting your savings, assuming you have any.
If your building gets damaged or destroyed, you may be unable to operate. If you aren’t able to bring in revenue for an extended period of time, then you could be in trouble. However, with commercial property insurance, you can get business interruption coverage and repair or replace your property. That way, when your building is back to normal, you can be up and running again in no time.
Keep Up Your Passion
One of the things that separate promising entrepreneurs from great ones is motivation. They can find the drive that keeps them going, no matter what happens with their business. They constantly work to get better and to grow and evolve. This can be hard after the initial excitement of starting a business. But, once your product or idea has become a hit and you bring in money, you can’t rest on your laurels.
Always remember the reasons that you went into business for yourself in the first place. Was it making more money than your 9-5 job? Was it to be your boss? Or perhaps it was just because you enjoyed the type of work you were doing. Whatever the reason, keep it in mind to keep yourself motivated to avoid returning to your old job or try another business that doesn’t provide you with the same excitement.
A Great Team
A strong startup will have a strong team. You need committed and driven employees who want to make your company a success just as much as you do. For many businesses, not every task can be done by one person, so you will need to hire some help. Take your time with hiring, and choose the candidate that doesn’t just have the best experience and education. Choose candidates that also fit with everyone else on a personal level.
Your team doesn’t just mean those who are on your direct payroll. It can also be people who you outsource or your investors. Make good decisions regarding everyone who works for and with you, and your startup will be as strong as it can be. You can’t put a price on having great people invested in your success.
A strong startup means your business is built to last beyond a splashy startup or your initial sales run. If you want to make a long-term living from your company or eventually sell it for a profit, then you need it to be resilient and withstand anything coming. With these tips, you can develop a solid business that will stand the test of time.