Starting your own business isn’t easy, and can be quite a daunting prospect. You’ll need to put in many years of blood sweat and tears and be ready for the wild ups and downs of entrepreneurship. As a startup that’s been growing for four years, we have a great deal of experience to draw on, and thought we would share some advice to help you turn your ideas into a reality.
Start small and iterate quickly
You might be the next Virgin or Facebook, but they weren’t built in a day. The last thing you want to do is to spend years crafting a product that nobody wants. Therefore you should start very small with a minimum viable product. Get feedback early from real paying customers and then use the feedback to improve the product. With an ecommerce business, a website can be made in minutes using a platform like Squarespace, and Google AdWords can drive some traffic to the page for little money so you can validate your idea. Not only will you save lots of wasted time, you’ll also be a much more attractive prospect for any investors.
Understand your early customers
Whilst you might have dream of breaking through the mass market, the most important thing at the start of your journey are your first customers. Try to fully understand why they would buy what you’re building. What problem are you solving for the customer. You should also know who else is currently offering things that are the car repair sector is wildly different to fashion, for example.
Why start this business?
It’s surprisingly common to hear of founders running companies they have grown to hate. Before embarking on a project, take the time to understand how this business will work for you as a founder. Just because there is a gap in a market doesn’t mean that the best use of the next few years of your life is exploiting it. Do some soul searching, pick an industry that you care about and build a business you’ll be proud to be running in a few years.
Watch your finance
Simply, businesses fail because they run out of money. Not being on top of your cash flow from day 1 is a mistake many first time founders make. Not only will you get warning signs early and be able to course correct, but you’ll also understand which parts of your business are performing better and are ripe for expansion.
Taking the plunge and starting a business is something all founders go back and forth on. Be prepared for hard work, and a rollercoaster of ups and downs. With these tips, you’ll be able to avoid mistakes being costly and increase your chances of a business that’s successful. Whilst there is always an element of luck, there is a lot that you can do as a founder to ensure your business will be a success. Good luck!