So, you have made up your mind that you want to start a company. You don’t want to stay in the nine to five job forever, and perhaps, you have a business idea in mind that you think the public is going to love. Millions of people around the world go through this same phase every year. They are all thinking of starting a company but not all of them succeed. The reason for failure for most of them is not paying attention to the fine details. When you want to do business casually, you better call it a hobby because business is a serious matter.
Starting a company requires you to be fully dedicated to a strict schedule. Furthermore, you have to bring a lot of changes in you because you are not a person anymore, but a leader. Not to mention, you will have to do a lot of things that are out of your comfort zone. To help you in your journey, here are the seven most valuable tips so you can stay on track and lay the foundation of a successful business.
Seven Valuable Tips for Starting a Company
Solve a Problem
It might sound very basic to you but you will be surprised to know how many people make this same mistake every day. People see a big business or some fancy product in the market and start thinking of unique products in their minds. Some have the resources to even build those things. However, you can’t just think of a product and create it. A product is not just an object. Instead, it is a solution to a genuine problem. If there is no problem, your product is nothing more than the waste of your money, time, and efforts. People will only buy it when they see value in your product.
The value comes from the fact that your product must solve a problem. For example, if you are selling jackets with holes for wires and pockets to store smartphones, power banks, laptops, extra batteries, etc. you want to target a market where people usually have those things in possession. In a region where having a smartphone is a luxury and only a few people have it, you can’t sell such a jacket.
Find a Differentiator
The point mentioned above is more suited for people who are thinking of starting a company with a completely new and innovative product. But what if you are thinking of starting a business with an idea that already exists? Perhaps, you want to start a restaurant or a spa or maybe a boutique. Of course, you are not going to be the only spa or restaurant in your area. In that case, you first have to find your differentiator. You can either build your business around a product that offers new benefits or enhance the already existing experience of the customers.
Think of a double patty burger for example. Even though it is just another burger, but the double patty part is an enhancement of an idea that already exists. There are many ways to for you to differentiate your product from the products that are already available in the market. While price can be a differentiator too, it is the last thing you want to think about. According to the big businesspersons, if your only differentiator is price, you don’t have a unique product at all.
Don’t Underestimate Marketing
Some people are under the impression that just because they are offering something unique customers will come automatically. In the real world, it does not happen that way. You have to tell people that you are offering something unique. You have to have a solid marketing strategy to convey your message to the target audience. Even the best of products and the most unique of ideas can fail completely without proper marketing. You can take the example from the smartphone industry today where many companies remain underrated despite their unique features just because they are not good with marketing.
On the other hand, many companies that adopt the same old trends tend to get more popularity because of their marketing. You have to work on factors like what type of marketing will best suit for your business, how much budget you should set for it, and what goals you must achieve within a given timeframe.
Avoid Perfectionist Attitude
When starting a company, many new business owners suffer from the issue of perfectionism. What they want to do is to bring a perfect product in the market. They don’t want customers to see any flaws in their product. In order to achieve a perfect product, they keep on delaying its launch. What they don’t realize is that they can’t come up with a perfect product unless they receive a feedback from the customers. If they are trying to perfect the product before even launching it, they are doing it based on their perception. They have no idea what the customer will or will not like.
Sometimes, a product is complete but not perfect. However, when you see that your product is complete, just go ahead and launch it. Do not try to perfect it because you will never achieve it. Even the biggest companies of the world are improving their products every year.
Avoid Unnecessary Costs
This is yet another frequent issue when starting a company. A lot of people want to start out and make an impression right on day one. They start spending money on things that are not needed or are just less important. On the contrary, you should always think of starting simple and small. You can then add things to your business that you think you will need. For example, many people want to have the most unique looking cutlery and crockery in their restaurants for their customers. The fact of the matter is that a customer would eat a tasty dinner from a mediocre plate but avoid a bad dinner in the most valuable piece of crockery.
When starting a business, you should be spending your money on only the things that can promise an increase in your revenues. In a similar manner, you don’t have to have the most expensive and fancy looking furniture in your workplace. Just look for furniture items that are comfortable for your employees.
Think Ten Times before Starting a Partnership
If the company you are thinking of starting is going to be partnership, you have to think ten times before you finalize this decision. Many people think of this aspect lightly when starting a company. However, it will be your biggest mistake if you don’t take this point seriously. Starting a company in the shape of a partnership will require a lot of compromises and very calm attitude. First, you want to get everything in writing even if the person you are partnering with is your brother. You might think of it as an unimportant thing right now but that’s the way everyone who has had a broken partnership thought.
In a partnership, things can go wrong in so many ways you can’t imagine them. The last thing you want is not getting paid for the amount of work and effort you put into the business.
Make Sure You Are a Company
This is yet another gem of an advice when starting a company. It might sound funny to question yourself whether you are a company or not, but it makes complete sense. The problem is, not every business is supposed to be a company. Sometimes, you have an innovative product and it is sure to become a hit. However, when you look closely, it is only a product but not a business. Sometimes, you can build a business around one product and sometimes you can’t. You have to know where you stand.
You can build a company around a software, but imagine if your product is a unique dishwashing bar that can run for six months. Of course, it is an amazing product, but it is only a product at the end of the day. For you to turn this business into a company, you have to keep coming up with new relevant products for the same market. You can branch out into other markets as well, but that’s only possible at a later time.
Anyone who thinks of starting a company is tremendously passionate about it. However, the passion and excitement in the beginning can often keep people from knowing the harsh realities on the ground. For those who think that starting a company means launching a product in the market and then just seeing the sales coming in, they are completely wrong with that perception. In fact, when you start a business, you will have to put in more time and effort than you currently do in your job. For you to sit and enjoy a steady source of income, you might even have to work for up to 16 hours a day in the initial phases of your company.