Are you tired of working for someone else? Do you feel under-appreciated? Maybe you have the thought in your head that you would like to start and run your own business one day. As great as it is to have goals, starting a business is hard. Let me clarify that. Starting a business is easy. Starting a thriving business takes a lot of work. So much work that most new businesses fail.
But this shouldn’t stop you if starting a business is what you want to do. But you need to go in knowing just how much work you are going to have to put into it in order to succeed. This is where this post comes in. I’ll highlight 4 areas that you need to focus on if you want to increase your chances of starting a thriving business. While these aren’t the only 4 factors that go into a new startup, they are very important nonetheless.
4 Tips For Starting A Thriving Business
#1. You Have To Be Invested
While it is important to have a strong interest in the niche your new business will be in, you also have to have some skin in the game. This means you need to pony up some of your own money to fund the startup.
It’s great to have financial help, either through family, investors or a combination of both, but you need to put some of your own money down. Otherwise some potential investors may balk on giving you funding.
This is because they see you have nothing at stake if the business fails. When you have your own money at stake, you might work harder in order to make the business a success.
And even when you do start turning a profit, you need to be smart about what you do with that money. If you want to be successful, you need to reinvest a good amount of your income back into the business. This will ensure you have the cash on hand for new purchases and to grow over time.
If you need to pay yourself a salary, try to pay yourself as little as possible. In time, when the business is larger and more stable, you can pay yourself a bigger salary.
#2. Give It Your All
In addition to putting up some money to start your business, you also need to be ready to work. You will be working long hours ñ nights and weekends ñ as you start and grow your business. Your social life will take a hit. Your personal life may suffer too. But if you want to start a thriving business, you have to make some sacrifices.
There will be days when you don’t feel like working, but you have to push through. The more effort you put in now, the greater the odds of actually making it.
Always remember, there is someone else out there trying to start their own business too. If you slack off, they will move in on your target customer or location and steal some customers from you. Once this starts to happen, it will be even harder to find long term success.
#3. Put The Customer First
When I worked my first job out of college, I learned a very valuable lesson. It is cheaper to keep a current customer than it is to find a new one. Think about it. In order to keep someone who already buys from you happy, all you have to do is exceed their expectations. Maybe offer them 5% off or take a return from them even if they don’t have a receipt.
In order to find a new customer, you have to do research to see where you need to market in order to find your target audience. Then you need to create an ad campaign and advertise. Then you need to wait to see the results. From there you need to analyze the results and possibly start over if you didn’t get the results you were expecting.
Not only does this take money, but it takes a lot of time too. In the time you did all of this, you could have offered a 5% discount to your current customer and simply asked them to let their friends know about your business. Much faster, less expensive and most likely, higher conversions.
#4. Always Stay On Top
I mentioned earlier about someone else hungrier than you trying to steal your customers. You can avoid this by always staying on top. How do you do this? First, you keep up on industry news. Stay informed about new technology that might help you grow your business or even make it easier or faster for customers to do business with you.
The more you learn and stay informed, the less likely you will be left behind. This only increases the odds of long term success.
You might even want to consider looking at what more successful competitors are doing. While all of the things they do won’t apply to you, seeing how they run their business might spark some ideas for you to try new ways of doing things.
Overall, starting a thriving business takes a lot of hard work, but it can be done. You just have to be willing to go through the process. You won’t become Walmart overnight. But if you build a solid foundation for your business, you can be a long term success and run your own business.