Stepping out into the business world as a start up is like sailing a giant ocean on a small rowboat. It seems you’ve set out on a massive journey in an environment that’s not friendly and can easily smash your small vessel before it gets out to sea. It is true that start ups can be felled by bad business decisions, but by understanding what to expect, you’ll have a better chance to navigate those business waters.
When you’re just starting out, keep your costs as low as possible. Don’t go for a permanent property for your enterprise off the bat. Rent a property instead. Likewise, instead of buying the most expensive equipment for your company, look for discounted ones or just rent them. Look for cheaper alternatives to products and services. When advertising, don’t spend lots of money upfront. Experiment with limited buys and target specific audiences to see which appeals work the best. It is better to learn from mistakes that don’t cost a lot of money than to be torpedoed by big, expensive blunders.
Preparing a business plan is important for any entrepreneur. With some trial and error from your initial operations, you should have a well informed idea of how much you can make and how to grow. However, you don’t want to be too rigid. The economy can take a sudden turn that may leave you in the lurch if you’re not careful. Flexibility is also an asset for start ups when it’s time to take advantage of sudden business opportunities. Make sure that any business commitments you make, such as leases or using computer tools, don’t hamstring you if you want to go in another direction.
Often, start ups don’t have the money to hire major league talent. Usually, you’re getting people who are beginning their careers. Make sure the people you bring on board have a passion for your industry. You need people that can take anything that you throw at them. Also, pay attention to personal qualities in possible employees. While you’ll want people that are versed in your operation, sometimes basic skills can be just as important. For example, look for people that are real problem solvers. Likewise, if innovation is especially important to your operation, seek employees that excel in that quality.
Start ups thrive on smarts, good planning and dedication. You are already ahead of your competition if you can avoid common pitfalls that ruin an enterprise just as the company is launching. This will give your company valuable time during its “novice stage” to gain experience and growth potential until it becomes the business you want it to be.