Starting up a new business can seem daunting at the initial stage. However, with the right approach and dedication, running a successful business is not impossible. We have outlined a few tips for startups to help alleviate some of the key concerns that are usually thrown up.
Know your market
Researching your market is key. You should make use of free materials available online to monitor trends and study the market. Although it is important to study the trends, it is unwise to follow these sheepishly. You need to find a problem and proffer a solution. Being innovative doesn’t necessarily mean doing something entirely new, you can find more effective ways of doing old things. Find your niche and own it!!!
Satisfy your customers
Customers are the bedrock of any business. The key aim of any business should be to satisfy its customer. As they say, the “CUSTOMER IS KING”. Thus, an unsatisfied customer is unlikely to repeat purchase which will affect your sales. Understanding your customers and their buying habits provides insights on your product offerings. One way to achieve this is to engage customers. Social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook etc, have made it made accessible to do so. Customers also like test runs, free sample, loyalty and reward systems. You should take advantage of these, as it is a good avenue to test the acceptability of your products and receive feedback.
Get it documented early!
From oral agreements to meetings, the importance of documenting everything cannot be overemphasized. You should make copies of all important documents including email correspondence. It is usually more difficult to prove things that have not been reduced to writing. It should also be pointed out that having a good lawyer from the onset significantly reduces loss to your business down the road. There’s nothing worse than trying to cut cost at the start of the business only to end up paying for your “cheapness” when the storms come waging.
It is important to understand that physical appearance, composure, interactions, all play important roles in business relationships. Always endeavor to be punctual for meetings and client engagements. Do not answer your phone during meetings, except in emergency situations, as this may give the impression of unseriousness. When attending meetings with clients and potential investors, make sure you dress the part. Investors are unlikely to give money to people who are not well put together.
Never give up
Lastly, never give up. Whilst this may seem self-evident, it is important to note that there will be ups and downs in every business venture. Staying focused on your objectives will help you hang on even through those hard times. However, you must never be afraid to do things differently. If an approach does not appear to be working out, try something different. You should be willingly to take calculated risks occasionally. It is common knowledge that most businesses tend to fail within the first four years, so learn to preserve.
About the Author: Yuli Eyesan is an Associate in the firms practice dedicated to new growth areas of the economy including start-up advisory and e-commerce.