Any entrepreneur who has ever started a successful business will tell you that no phase is more stressful, grueling and full of risk than the startup phase. Before the growth phase kicks in, every business must undergo oodles of ups and down. And while the majority of businesses are unable to get past the first phase, with a good chunk of entrepreneurs throwing in the towel before they can get into the growth phase, there are some things you can do to improve your odds of success.
Come up with a great idea
A great idea stretches far beyond trailblazing services or a cutting edge product. If the idea you have has all the hallmarks of “great,” including a ready market, then it’s obvious your company will have an easy time growing, with different investors showing interest at early stages.
One way to tell whether the idea you have is great is to talk to investors about it. If they show interest, then your business has passed the first trial. But if they aren’t receptive to it, odds are the market potential doesn’t make the cut or your business idea isn’t as exactly great as thought.
In case it gets to this, tweak the idea by considering a different scope or focusing on particular features as the core concept. Keep on adjusting until you hit the wall or find that one idea that actually works for you before you consider jumping ship.
Surround yourself with the best team
Your team must be equally aggressive in making your business a success. In addition to being skillful in their particular roles, they must be well-rounded, flexible and innovative enough to see the big picture. As the company continues to expand, you’ll begin to incorporate more focused specialists.
That way, you’ll end up having a team composed of specific groups that focus on advancing the technology behind your product, an independent operation team, a sales force and a specialized management team, which is exactly what every business needs to secure a solid footing in their niche.
Define your purpose
Make your purpose clear from the beginning, even though you may have to pivot down the line.
That doesn’t deter you from soliciting opinions from your team members. What it means instead is that there should always be a core purpose guiding every step made towards your goal.
A good team is assessed based on the quality of work, not on the number of members you have on your team. The point is to define your purpose to your team members, then stay on the watch to ensure that none of their effort ever goes off-track.
As counterintuitive as this simple tip sounds, it’s equally important in determining how fast your business moves to the next phase. For starters, not everyone on your team will be needed in the next phase of your business and it may be necessary to replace or re-allocate personnel that were involved at inception.
This will be a simple step if you didn’t get yourself so attached during the initial stages of your business. Granting each member the autonomy to carry out assigned tasks in any manner they see fit can help improve creativity and innovation. However, when a team member isn’t carrying their own weight or is unable to keep the purpose of the business in mind, don’t be afraid to cut them loose if they aren’t responsive to direction.
Every offline business can do better with an online portal. Besides serving as a platform to generate buzz for your products and services, the online portal will help establish a channel for your online audience.
Start by creating social media profiles, particularly Twitter and Facebook. Then follow it up with a blog or website, as you try to match everything up–from the URL and brand to the interface used.