What’s Standing In The Way Of Your Startup?
Many challenges that pop up along the way to getting a startup off the ground can be avoided, or the impacts lessened, with due preparation. Not having set plans in place for all areas of your business is just begging for trouble. True, you certainly don’t need all of your ducks in a row to take the plunge and start a company, but you need a good picture of the ducks you want and where you want them to go. With a sense of direction and an understanding of your support structure, you’ll be better positioned to glide smoothly around unexpected obstacles and let would-be problems slide off your back.
What to plan for? If you’re already in business then maybe it’s time to revisit your original business plan. Look at the aspects you have adhered to and the ones that have evolved, additionally, if any initial goals have changed. As a fundamental, products and services should be working as intended. If not, this is where to find the first holes to plug.
Improvements might be made administratively, perhaps by making updates to human resources, or consider shopping different automating platforms. There may also be lags due to lack of employees or equipment, then it’s time to scale.
Money is the most obvious hurtle that the majority of small businesses face. Before day one, an entrepreneur will have hopefully researched and compared financial options, along with worst and best-case scenarios. The SBA is an invaluable resource for low-budget startups. Traditional lenders, business lines of credit, or credit cards with generous rewards programs are a straightforward way to secure the capital needed to expand, or invest for growth. Private investors will provide freedom to move forward, but can also hamper the amount of control an entrepreneur has over business decisions.
After reviewing fundamentals and basic health of operations, it’s then time to ask how well defined is your brand? Does your company have a clear purpose and a coherent, memorable image? Embrace the factors that set you apart from your competition and echo them. Marketing strategies will be a constant conversation to be refreshed regularly. There’s always an opportunity for a new promo campaign to engage new and existing customers. If the well of ideas is running low, ask your following what they would be excited to be offered. Consumers always appreciate having a choice and a voice in creating options for themselves.
Everyday efficiency could be hindering acceleration to the next level. Bookkeeping software can help not only automate a massive amount of otherwise tedious tasking, but it can also run analytics. This will render an overview of possible leakages of time or money, as well as show you the areas working for you and where you can capitalize or invest more.
If you know something is holding you back but are unsure where, it’s best to take a magnifying glass and go back to basics. Look to your team for feedback on what their pain points are and how to optimize workflow, or what might boost the company overall. Make sure you’re delegating the right jobs to the right people, and that everyone is in the role that best suits their talents – without being micromanaged.
If you do know what needs to be improved then the solution may be just to get out of your comfort zone and get out of your own way. We all fear failure and success, but in the long run the only thing worth fearing is regret. For some it’s from inaction, for others unwise impulsivity. A well-thought plan can give motivation or restraint as needed, while keeping a business on track and in sight of the goals it set out to reach.