Every other college kid or bored IT professional has a mind-blowing start-up idea today. But do all of them end up becoming the Facebook, Apple or the Microsoft in their area of expertise. In fact, do they all break even?
No matter how disruptive your idea is, how much people go gaga over it when it hits the market, running a business and sustaining it is a different ball game altogether. This is one aspect that needs to be mastered and is highly essential in growing your business from a mere idea to a value adding, fully functional company. Here are a few tips to start off with.
1. Employ the right team
Regardless of how smart, knowledgeable and brilliant you are as an entrepreneur, you need a motivated team by your side. It cannot just be a one-man show. You need to hire people for the various roles required in the company – marketing, sales, HR, administration etc. And it doesn’t just end at choosing the right team. Your team needs to be nurtured well to grow with the company. This means keeping them on their toes by encouraging them, inspiring them and building their confidence in you and the company. If your employees treat the company as their own, they will put much more effort and strive to get the company where you want to see it.
2. Don’t compromise on the service
“Offer an experience, not just a service.” The same quality and type of goods and services can be offered by multiple companies. But what should set you apart is your service. Provide the best possible customer service you can. Assist them at each step, be there whenever they want, 24/7. They need to know that you are putting in all you have which is how you gain their trust and hence, their loyalty. Retaining customers is one of the hardest things a business may face due to the gruesome competition out there, but only little factors such as picking up your customer’s call even at 11.00 p.m. may make a difference.
3. Use technology to be efficient
There are many softwares today that help with the day-to-day activities of a company from management of finances to sales to payroll. Depending on the field you function in, choose the best management tool providers to smoothen out your processes and enhance your efficiency. In fact, even a business such as photography has the best photography CRM to manage the business seamlessly.
4. Keep up with the trends and competition
These trends can be related to anything from advertising to even your primary product. Remember Palmtop computers? Imagine a company still selling them, is anyone even going to give a second look to it except those who treasure vintage items? Will people buy bell-bottoms in this day? Are cassette players still in the market? No. Because, gone are those days! You need to be up-to-date with this constantly evolving, fast-paced world of ours, whether you like it or not. And if you don’t, you will be history before you know it.
Keep a close watch on your competitors. They might leave you behind in the race as you snooze. Also, there is always a thing or two to learn from them.
5. Take risks
You setting up this business was the biggest risk you could take, so take a few more. This is applicable to both start-ups as well as established enterprises. You should experiment with your ways. Get fresher ideas to the table and implement them. Sure, not all of them would work. But out of the 10 ideas, you might hit jackpot with 2 which might catapult your business to new heights. People fail numerous times before succeeding just once. Thus, don’t be afraid of risks because they might end up in failure.
6. Maintain your consistency
Keep doing what you do best. Don’t compromise on the quality, principles or the foundation on which your company is built upon, on the way. What if Burger King’s Whopper sandwich doesn’t taste like it anymore? The patty’s flavor has changed and the burger now consists of a whole variety of sauces. It won’t be the same anymore, would it?
Consistency is one of the best business practices out there. It is often said that if you do nothing, be consistent.
So, these were just a few basic tips to managing and sustaining a business, regardless of the type. You may have a knack for it, may take a fortnight or even decades to hit the chords right.