Starting a business is not easy to do. Even if you have an incredible idea, the odds are stacked against you. Most business ideas never convert into a business, even if they do, most new businesses do not last past two years.
Don’t let this worry you, most of the business that did not start or failed were destined to fail because they didn’t possess some of the prerequisites of an of a successful business.
Let’s start with the seven most common mistakes and reasons why startups fail and will go through 8 business startup hacks to help you avoid some common startup mistakes and give you some time-saving ideas to help you start your business.
1: Start A Business That People Want
Probably the biggest mistake that people make when they start their own business is they start the business that they want. That’s great if you’re going to follow your dream, but you may fall into difficulties if nobody else understands or is interested in your business.
You may have an incredible skill or produce a great product but if the only people that are interested in it are your friends, family and people you know it is very likely the market is not big enough for you to create a sustainable business.
2: Test Your Market & Record Your Findings
Before you fully launch your business, test there is a large enough market for a sustainable business. Come up with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and start selling your product.
Instead of just selling your items, question your customers. Find out what they like about your product, what features they would like to see in the future. Use this information to build a customer-centric product that provides value to your target market.
3: Find A Niche
To create a successful business, you do not have to appeal to the mass market.
One of the most significant advantages startups have over large businesses is their ability to focus and capitalise on niche markets. A niche is best-explained as a sub-market within a market.
The internet has transformed how you can serve a niche market. What you consider a local niche market with only a few thousand people can become a “Global Niche” connecting you with hundreds of thousands of people.
Forget about offering generic replaceable products to the masses. Focus on providing value to the people that are most interested in your product or service. They will value it more; thus you can charge more for it.
4: Give Away Something For Free
The power of free is dominating the digital economy. It has revolutionised the music and literary industries. You must be prepared to give something away for free to acquire new customers. This applies to any industry; there is too much choice for consumers, you have to be able to draw people to your business. Giving something valuable away for free is the most powerful way of doing this.
5: Assess Your Funding Options
Don’t go into the funding cycle with any preconceived ideas. Not every business is destined to become an overnight success and will attract interest from a Venture Capital Firm.
If you need large sums of capital to launch your venture, go back to the drawing board. Find a starting point instead of an endpoint. Scale down pricey plans and grandiose expenditures.
Simplify the idea until it’s manageable as an early stage venture. Find ways to prove your business model on a shoestring budget. Demonstrate your worth before seeking investment. If your concept is successful, your chances of raising capital from investors will dramatically improve.
6: Start Lean:
Forget about fancy offices, fast cars and fat expense accounts. Your wallet is your company’s life-blood. Find out exactly what your customers want and value most and concentrate on this. Anything that does deliver value to the customer is waste and should be eliminated.
7. Fail Fast Instead Of Dying Slow
Wouldn’t you prefer to know if something doesn’t work within a couple of days rather than it taking years? Start-ups are full of ideas; I would suggest you commit to one idea and thoroughly test and document the results to determine the success of failure. If it doesn’t succeed move on while you still can and put the past mistakes behind you.
8. Your Business Plan Is Your Best Friend
I cannot stress the importance of planning when starting your business. There is no surprise that the number one reason why 80% of startups fail is that they did not plan properly. An integral part of planning is research. Ensure you research your market and competition thorough and map out your strategy using this information. Keep your business plans up to date by entering actuals information against your plan then revising your targets.
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