Starting out right – 6 things that every start-up business needs to know
The life of a start-up company is fraught with risks, hurdles and potential pitfalls, all of which require deft management, planning and decision making to navigate successfully. While it’s a fact that the majority of start-ups fail within the first few years of operations, the rewards are there for the entrepreneurs that plan well, work hard and manage smart. Many of today’s most successful business people failed, sometimes many times, before hitting the jackpot. Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma, Arianna Huffington, Evan Williams and Reid Hoffman are just a few of the star-spangled names that kept persevering until they found the formula for success. For any enterprising business person with a bright idea and the drive to make it a reality, there are plenty of ways to maximise your chances of beating the odds and avoid the start-up trash heap. Here are a few of them:
Far too many ventures fail for the simple reason that they ran out of money before fulfilling their goals. In fact, a staggering 29% of start-ups foundered because they ran out of cash. A great concept left begging for lack of funds is a travesty that can usually be avoided by managing your expenditure. For example, while every start-up dreams of occupying a trendy converted warehouse office with the obligatory table tennis table, deluxe foosball unit and basketball ring, this can be a fatal trap. Acquiring and maintaining a dedicated office space can be a monumental drain on resources. Between rent, utilities, office equipment, cleaning and a myriad other costs, you can find your start-up funds dwindling rapidly. Alternatively, a top-quality serviced office can provide you with a professional workspace in a central location with all the amenities that you require for a mere fraction of the cost. This is just one way that savvy organisations can save thousands every month and make their capital go further to maximise their chances of success.
Your high-school mate Kevin may be a sensational guy, but this doesn’t mean come should be along for the ride unless he has the skills, attitude and work-ethic to help you reach your destination. Conversely, the most talented visionary genius may not be the right fit if they don’t share the team’s culture, are difficult to work with or lack people skills. Assembling a great team is about creating the right mix of skills, work-ethic, cohesive culture, shared values and collaborative temperament. Get that mix right, and you can gain the competitive advantage that catapults you to victory. Get it wrong, and even the most ingenious concept can fall by the wayside.
Simon Sinek, in his inspirational TED Talk, describes how the finest leaders inspire us not because of what they do, but why they do it. People and businesses with a clear vision and underlying cause motivate those with the same values to join them or purchase their products because they connect with the underlying ideal, not just the product specs. Successful start-ups of every shape and size got that way not because they had a great idea and a plan. Rather, they had a passion and vision for a cause that was worth sweating and bleeding for and they attracted collaborators, colleagues, employees and customers who shared that belief.
Now that you’ve found your “why”, it’s crucial to build a business model that will bring it to fruition. We’re not talking about a business plan here. Anyone can put together one of those. A business model will define the underlying structure of the enterprise that allows it to take wing and become a self-sustaining, viable entity. What does this mean? If you’re company functions because you work hard and pour every ounce of yourself into each detail, you have a business. If your enterprise would function effectively and seamlessly whether you are on deck or vacation, you have a business model. A business is limited by the physical, intellectual and creative potential of the proprietors and can only grow as large or in ways that they are able. A business model has the freedom to expand, evolve, adapt and create ongoing value for both internal and external stakeholders.
The more homework you do on your target market, potential competitors and industry, the better prepared you will be for the challenges that come your way. In fact, it may turn out your research concludes that there really isn’t a market for your product or service after all, in which case you’ll save yourself the time, effort and heartache. Learning from others’ prior mistakes, understanding what consumers want and how to differentiate yourself from existing solutions can put you on a pathway to success.
With a clear vision, firm values and plenty of drive and determination, you too can build the venture of which you’ve been dreaming. We hope that these tips will help you to get there. Finding the right environment is critical and APSO have the solutions to help you with that. Our serviced office solutions in Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide are the perfect options for any small company looking for the right space from which to launch the next big thing. Contact us today to find out how APSO can help you on what promises to be an exciting journey.