Getting your start-up business off the ground requires careful thought and planning. One of the greatest things that you can do is to get going on an action plan. Here’s how.
Many of us have a hundred ideas for a business that we somehow never end up starting or executing. For whatever reason, we get up close to the proverbial window of our dreams and feel overwhelmed and unable to proceed. The excuses that we give ourselves when it comes to our start-up business are many:
We are too tired… Too busy… Too scared… We have no money… No support structure…
Yet in as much as we feed ourselves these excuses, we somehow know at the end of the day that we have cheated ourselves of our dreams. The time has come to put aside the excuses, the feelings of disenfranchisement and helplessness and ask yourself a critical question.
How badly do you want to achieve your dream?
If deep down in your soul you know that you will be unable to sleep another night without taking some action toward your start-up business idea, here are some tips to help you along the way.
1. Ask yourself why?
You over there reading this. Yes you! Why do you want to start your business? Do you want to enrich lives? Change the way in which people see the world? Simply sell products that earn a high-profit margin? Part of the start-up journey is about being brutally honest with yourself about the motivations that you have about doing what you do.
Take the moment to look at the market. Do the people that you wish to service have a need for the product that you wish to offer? Sometimes preparing for a start-up business might mean that you need to enroll in a management course in order to get you there. Research requires more than just finding out about your market though. You will also need to look at suppliers, products, understand the logistical requirements of a business and so much more.
3. Speak to people who are living your dream
Nothing helps better than speaking to people who can relate to your dreams and who are more importantly, living your dream. Find those people, speak with them. Get to know who they are and what makes them tick. Get their insights and gain an understanding of their hopes, victories and challenges, as this will inform your own journey.
4. Pay attention to the critics
No matter what you are doing in life, one thing is certain. There will always be critics and people who pick holes through what you are doing. Some of them are energy vampires and people who will drain you. Others if you pay careful attention, actually have valid and sound advice that can inform and shape what you are trying to build.
5. Don’t focus immediately on money
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t focus on money at all. However if the only reason that you are starting up a business initiative is because of money, you might want to rethink your motives. Focus first on providing value, fulfilling a need or a service and once people are able to see that you do this, they will willingly pay the prices that you pitch.
6. Mobilise a community on social media
Long before products are popular and take off, you will find that they have an extensive social media presence before that. In addition to that many start-up companies also engage in online and offline marketing events that serve as a visual showcase for their social media community pages.
7. Be Willing to be Wrong
So you are super excited that your start-up idea will be the next best thing since sliced bread. But you find that after you’ve put yourself out there, that your idea is not as well-received as you expected. Don’t feel disheartened. Give yourself a pat on the back and go back to the drawing board. Your entrepreneurial spirit can be channelled into other avenues.
8. A Strong Follow-Up Game
The road to success is built with many bricks, rocks and craters. Many of these obstacles are not easy to overcome and require a lot of inner emotional resources to deal with. Part of dealing with these challenges and obstacles means that you need to have a strong follow-up game. Find it in yourself to come back from adversity by engaging in dialogue, picking up difficult tasks, and not giving up hope in the things that you need to get done.
9. Study your Competition
It doesn’t help to hit the start-up companies’ market blind. If your dream is to open up that cupcake shop, you need to know exactly who your competitors are. What their motivations are, what they are selling, which sectors of the market are yet untapped. This isn’t to say that you wish to steal their ideas, but to also understand how you can provide value in ways that your competitors have yet to offer. This will give you the edge.
Many start-up founders at the helm of successful start-ups have endured unimaginable stresses and adversity in order to make it in this world. Although we may see the gloss of success once a start-up founder is successful, we can rest assured that perseverance is a quality that we all need to have if we need to succeed. The founders of the PayPal service actually first ran at a loss and gave away funds for new users to join their service at $10 each. This may have seemed like a huge loss, but the amount of traffic that they gained, more than made for this. Pinterest co-founder Ben Silbermann, also took intensive action to nurture his first following of 7 000 people to truly understand what they wanted from the site. A move that he feels is responsible for the popularity of his site.
Wherever you may be right now in your life in terms of your own personal development, know this. Your dreams and goals do matter and the start-up business that you want to create can and will materialise if you begin to move toward it. Have the courage to step out of your own way and move toward creating the business of your dreams.
Author: By Laeeka Khan