There are countless startups being created every day, but very few of them make it past the first year. Fewer still become multimillion-dollar businesses that everyone has heard of. It’s not easy to pinpoint what makes a company stand out and become a success of that kind, but those who have been in the business for a while now notice patterns that apply to great businesses from all industries. It’s still important to keep in mind that there are no tricks and advice that can replace hard work. To make your startup a success, you’re going to have to work no matter what.
1. Increase your capacity right away
Most startups are in a hurry to get started and they decide to do so as soon as they have the capacity to keep the business running. This means that they don’t have enough manpower or resources to actually grow the business.
However, this should be on your mind from day one. Always prepare for doing more and faster than you actually need to. That way you can step into the shoes of the business you want to have as soon as there’s a need for it.
2. A marketing strategy
Every business has a marketing strategy these days, but it’s hard to actually tell what they mean by the term. A schedule for posting on social media is hardly a strategy. A comprehensive marketing strategy should take into consideration both your offline and online campaigns and it should be based on the understanding of your customer base.
A good marketing strategy should bring out and emphasize what’s unique about your company. That way your brand won’t be about comparison, but about the benefits that your business alone can provide.
3. Inexpensive promotion
Promoting your brand is a 24/7 kind of job because you need to keep your business on the mind of your customers at all times in order to stay competitive. This may seem like an expensive task that no small business can take on. However, it’s enough to be clever and to have a clear idea of what your brand is, and it can be done without breaking the bank.
This is best done by using tools such as promotional hats, mugs or office supplies with your brand logo clearly visible on them. Those items circulate pretty fast among your customers and clients and they get noticed if they are designed with care.
4. Going for the recurring revenue
It’s always a good idea to bring in new sales and to strive to get as many new customers as you possibly can each month. But a financially sound strategy would be to focus on having recurring revenue that you can rely on regardless of how well your sales are doing.
This is best done by having a partnership with a business in your community that has a need for your service. However, keep in mind that there’s also a downside to this since you’re tying the fate of your company with that of another.
5. Embrace the technology
Businesses often rely on upcoming technological innovations in order to make their workload easier and to seem like they are on the cutting edge of their industry. It’s fine to have doubts about the future of some technology, but it’s also imperative not to lag behind.
The biggest change for small businesses comes in the form of mobile devices and the advertising focused on them. It’s also good to keep your eye on automation, even though it may disrupt your workforce significantly.
It may seem counterintuitive, but in order to make your business a success, you need to prepare for failure. A lot of companies fail within their first year and sometimes there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s best to prepare for such an event by separating your personal assets from those of the company.
This isn’t just about protecting your money in case something happens; it’s also about making your business sustainable and dependent on its own resources. That can mean a lot in a time of crisis.
Business success always depends on a lot of variables beyond your control. In order to see your business rise up, you need to do your part as best as you can. This means that management and marketing need to be your priority and only then can you rely on luck.
Carolin Petterson is a businesswoman and content marketer with years of experience under her belt. She has had the opportunity to contribute to a number of popular business and marketing websites.