Before embarking on your entrepreneurial journey, you must be prepared for the future. The first couple of months are the hardest as this is the stage where you need to establish yourself. You need determination, discipline and a bull-headedness to keep going, but there are some crucial factors that can make or break you if you’re not careful. Here are 6 things to watch out for in the early days:
Doing it alone: No man is an island and failing to surround yourself with experts who have the skill and expertise to help you succeed means you will burn out really quickly. Talk to people who work in your industry. Listen, learn and ask for help when you need it. If you have the budget, hire a few people to offer a fresh perspective and bounce ideas off when you’re feeling stuck.
Timing: New entrepreneurs like to think that execution beats everything but that’s’ just wishful thinking. A great product and with amazing design released at the wrong time could fail. Timing isn’t limited to launching but extends to the culture and condition of the industry at the time you’re planning to release your product. For example, had Facebook launched in 2015, it wouldn’t have the impact it sees today. Instead, it launched in 2004 and enjoyed unprecedented success thanks to predecessors like Friendster.
Stay Covered:No matter how small or large you intend to be, always make sure you are covered by business insurance. If something goes wrong and you find yourself facing a lawsuit, the likelihood of your business surviving without insurance is slim. Make sure you are covered and you will save yourself from facing huge fees should something unfortunately go wrong.
Marketing: The packaging and marketing of a product can make all the difference for a new business. It influences the customer’s buying decision so you need a strong marketing campaign to grow your business. Getting your message to your target audience gets you in the door and the right marketing team ensures they convert.
Growth strategy: The path you choose plays a major role in determining success for your startup. A business that is well-fed has the best chance of accelerated growth. Move too fast and you might strain yourself; too slow and you may never see success. Finding the balance and making the right decisions as you grow is important.
Money: Cash flow is the lifeblood of a new startup. You have to be careful with your expenses even when you make money. Many startups have difficulty marketing their offering due to the paucity of funds. However, an effective strategy for your business model generates better results than spending a large portion of your budget on marketing. All income made in the first six months should be reinvested in your business so it grows and reaches the planned first-year potential.
The excitement is high when you launch a new startup. Most startups fall and never hit the ground running because they failed to plan properly. Spend wisely in the early days, surround yourself with a great team, get in front of your audience and stick with your business model.