By Jessica Edwards, Director of Marketing & Community Development at NEST With the shifting demands and needs of the millennial entrepreneur, and their tastes and expectations when it comes to working collaboratively and creatively, having a few tips and tricks to manage your start-up can take you a long way!
Start with a great product
All you need is a really great product or service and a customer base that loves it. Blindly assuming you know what your customers want could prove costly.
Fortunately, researching it first doesn’t have to be expensive—you can search forums, ask questions on social media, or spend some money on surveying opinions
Pick a good name
“Good” can be a subjective qualifier, so you should try making your decision based on what your target audience would enjoy.
Build a business plan and model that is attractive to investors. I see too many business plans that are really product plans for customers, touting free services and long feature lists.
It’s hard to build and scale a business on free high-support products. Scalable businesses have high margins (over 50%), low support, and minimum staffs.
Pay attention to your business plan
A business plan is much more than a necessary evil to help you get funding—it can act as a guide and keep you focused on the task at hand. It’s easy to get caught up in the minute details and lose sight of the big picture.
Entrepreneurs may differ on the importance of a business plan or on what form it should take. But a good business plan is key to startup success.
Don’t plan forever
Don’t get caught in the trap of thinking that since you’re planning you’re being productive. Planning must make way for doing—preferably sooner rather than later, so use your time wisely.
Build a strong team
If you are still spending most of your time working “in” your business, rather than “on” your business, then you are not yet ready to scale.
Show that you have and can continue to hire the right people to run the scaled business without you being everywhere and making every decision.
Change your approach to recruiting
Startups have been evolving their approach to recruiting for quite some time. Plain old want-ads were replaced by online job boards and replaced by recruitment via LinkedIn.
Generate some buzz
This is basically the art of getting people talking about your brand, and it’s not confined to the Internet. Don’t stop with these suggestions. Come up with some creative ideas yourself.
Anticipate the future
Nobody can know for sure what tomorrow will bring, but if you keep yourself informed and learn how to spot upcoming trends, you’ll be much more likely to successfully predict the future.
Think about your customers
No matter what kind of startup you are launching, getting your message to your customers is more important than ever. While you should rightfully feel ownership of your startup, remember that ultimately it’s there to serve your customer and not you—vanity projects won’t last long.
Keep the customer in mind with every decision you make, and you’ll build a product or service they can get excited about.
The views expressed by the author are her own and do not necessarily represent those of Gulf Marketing Review.