So, you’ve decided to become a small business owner. You’ve done all the first steps: created a business plan, laid a foundation, and you’ve already launched. But now, with all these moving parts, you’ve got a choice of what to focus on. Growth or profit? Product or value? Bootstrapping or aggressive marketing? The answer is all the above and more. Startups must focus on all elements that will help them stabilize and grow, including, but not limited to, workplace culture, value proposition, and honing in on the “why” of the business.
Your target market is your startup’s primary driving force. The product or service you offer is for them, and they provide you with the sales that run your business. From the start, you must know your target market like the back of your hand and design your products (in appearance, use, and price) with them in mind. You must also continuously get to know them throughout the tenure of your business, listening to their feedback and concerns to improve your business further.
Alongside knowing your target market, you must also develop your product or service’s value proposition, i.e., the benefits that customers derive from your product (versus another’s). You must understand your value proposition so much that it embodies and guides everything that your startup does. With it, you can optimize customer experience, develop branding, and market with a consistent story or message.
A startup’s employees are its greatest assets because they’re the people that get the business going, helping it achieve its goals. With the rise of remote teams, it’s even easier today to hire the best talent, no matter where they are in the world—which may be ideal for your business.
As a leader, knowing how to take care of your employees is one of the most important skills for starting a business. Nurturing a good company culture enables employees to be motivated and work at their best. You must set a good example about values, communication, teamwork, productivity, and drive so that your employees know how to conduct themselves in the workplace.
A business without a budget is a recipe for failure. From the get-go, you must allocate finances properly and, most importantly, stick to that plan. Research the costs you’ll likely come across: logistics, production, employment, marketing, etc.
There are lots of factors that can derail a business. But a startup built on a practical strategy is more likely to conquer these challenges because it’s prepared for whatever comes its way. Think of longevity and plan your moves with that in mind.
Your branding should be rooted in a story or key message that your business can communicate to its target market. This goes beyond just the products or services; branding should also be communicated by the people behind the startup itself.
Even the most amazing product or service won’t sell without a marketing strategy. You must create interest within your target market by communicating your product’s value proposition and competitive edge. This should be done through the proper channels, such as an advertising and marketing plan aligned with an effective sales strategy.
For starters, you can create a website or set up social media accounts, expanding into investing in on-the-ground promotions, hiring a Google Ads expert, and whatever tactics are relevant to your business.
Establish a good relationship with everyone you meet along the way: experts, suppliers, financiers, customers, and even your competitors. Expanding your network can drastically help you improve and grow your business because you can collect advice, ideas, and insights from sources that can better inform your decisions.
Always remember the “why” of your business; that is what inspired and fueled you to establish your small business, be it for financial independence, your passion for the project, or your family. Your “why” will help you stay passionate and keep you grounded on your vision.
There are lots of things that startups must focus on. When it gets overwhelming, going back to the “why” of your business can help you obtain clarity, become more resourceful, and even motivate the people you work with.