Even if it’s true to say that half of all new start-ups fail within the first five years, what’s to say your start-up cannot fall on the other side of the fence? Beating the odds is most certainly possible and is something that so many plucky entrepreneurs are doing every day right now – building their own incredible success stories.
Exactly what it takes to breathe life into your own business dreams will vary in accordance with the specific nature of the start-up itself, your goals, current circumstances and so on. But in all instances across the board, there are certain tried and tested rules that must be acknowledged and followed to the letter.
Here’s a brief rundown of four to help get you started:
1 – Analyse Your Idea Objectively
First of all, it is important to remember that your emotional connection to the business you’re trying to kick-start makes it very difficult to review or evaluate its objectively. There are so many questions you need to ask yourself and brutal honesty is the only way to go. Are you genuinely passionate about your idea? Will people really be willing to pay for it? What will your customers get out of it? Are you offering a solution to a problem that actually exists? Is there any real need or demand for what you are doing? Is it useful, practical or nothing more than a novelty? If you cannot be objective, you may need to consult with someone who can be.
2 – Research Your Opportunity
Validating exactly how fantastic your idea is means carrying out extensive research, in order to ensure that the opportunity is valid. In this instance, you need to be looking at things like whether or not your chosen industry is currently in a state of growth or decline, along with exactly how large and immediately accessible the market is. The same also goes for your competitors – what kind of direct and indirect competition you expect to face from day one? Have you considered the development, delivery and price points of whatever it is you are selling? Have you considered every available market demographic?
3 – Get Ready for Action
The problem with most great ideas is that they remain nothing but great ideas. It takes serious guts, determination and dedication to actually execute and follow through with an idea – this making the difference between a successful business and the start-up that never was. Putting a plan into action means coming up with a comprehensive business plan and strategy, along with the human resources required to drive your business forward. Build a team comprised of those with just as much passion and commitment as you yourself, outsource anything to the experts you cannot tackle flawlessly in-house, seek advice from those who know and understand your niche and don’t be afraid to incentivise team members to inspire outstanding performance.
4 – Financial Projections
Last but not least, while it’s fair to say that cash is far from the be all and end all, it is impossible to survive if your finances flat-line. Quite tragically, a simple lack of money is the reason why 42% of start-ups fail – suffice to say you cannot become another statistic. Solid financial planning means working out how far your current cash will take you, when you will require further investment and where you intend to get it from, when you expect revenues to begin coming in, how you will deal with any shortfalls that may arise and more. If in doubt, consult with the experts.
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