Startup firms have a number of advantages in the marketplace, including the ability to move fast, lower overhead costs and the absence of an entrenched bureaucracy. At the same time, the entrepreneurs who run startup firms face a number of challenges their larger counterparts do not, including the difficulty of raising funds, the absence of an established brand identity and the inability to find qualified employees and grow the business.
If you want your own startup venture to succeed, you need to work smart and learn from the experiences of others. You may not have a huge marketing budget or a big IT team, but there are things you can do to build your brand, protect your networks and make the most of the resources you do have. Here are some smart tips startup owners can use to guide their firms through the initial stages of development.
Focus on Building Your Brand
Brand building is an essential part of startup success, and it is not something you can afford to put off. The world of marketing has changed, and no business can rely on paid spots and traditional ads to get the word out.
Successful brand building in the 21 st century requires a concerted effort and encompasses a number of different strategies and platforms. The good news is that many of these 21st century branding efforts, from social media to blogs and online engagement, are low cost or even free. That can put even the smallest startups on even ground with their larger and better capitalized competitors.
In the initial startup phase, it is not unusual for the entrepreneur to do everything on their own – from answering the phones and fielding customer complaints to emptying the trash and cleaning the windows. That is fine – to a point, but eventually those startup owners will need to do some hiring.
Hiring strategically is an essential part of running a successful startup. Instead of hiring people do to specific tasks, bring new team members on based on their specific skills. Building a team of skilled individuals means you can deploy your new workers wherever they are needed and give them a chance to grow with the company.
Fire Fast When Necessary
Hiring strategically is important, but knowing when to let a worker go is perhaps even more essential. Many startups make the mistake of allowing unsuitable employees to remain onboard, wasting time and resources on individuals who simply do not fit into the organization. Firing employees may not be a fun thing to do, but knowing when to cut someone loose is an essential part of life as an entrepreneur.
Build Small and Targeted Teams
Teamwork and a sense of community are vital to the success of any startup, and maintaining that positive culture is essential for startups entering their growth phase. As you grow and start to bring on new workers, keep your individuals teams small and tightly targeted.
Targeting the teams and keeping them small makes it easier for busy entrepreneurs and business owners to keep a handle on their firms as they grow. At the same time, fostering communication between those teams is a great way to foster and nurture cooperation and maintain the startup culture.
Outsource Where it Makes Sense
Knowing what to do in-house and what to outsource is another critical part of running a startup. Most startups do not have huge budgets for things like IT services and marketing, but they still need to get those things done.
Outsourcing network services, IT support, cleaning and marketing can give busy entrepreneurs some breathing room and allow them to focus on what they do best – growing their businesses and realizing their visions.
Running a successful startup is no easy task, and it is important to learn from the success, and the failures, of others. The more you know about others who have gone before the easier it will be to avoid their mistakes and make the most of your own strategic vision.