The idea of being your own boss can be very appealing, if you’re an ambitious person who feels like taking the plunge into starting your own business, you probably already have some great ideas. One of the things that can seem daunting if you’re thinking of branching out on your own is how to know if you are making the right moves.
If you want to see an example of business success, take a look at Reliant Finishing Systems, America’s fastest growing powder coating equipment manufacturer. As well as the quality goods they provide, their success is down to their simple but highly effective 5-step approach to building and selling. You can find out more details at Reliant Finishing Systems. Here are some tips from today’s top business founders to help you make your company a success.
- Stay humble: According to Ethan Austin, Co-founder and President of Give Forward, you should avoid giving yourself too big a pat on the back for your business successes, and similarly avoid being too hard on yourself during the bad times. Remind yourself that luck plays an important role in the success of your business, and try to remain humble while maintaining your self-confidence.
- Don’t get too close: It’s perfectly natural to feel proud of the products you are creating, but try not to get so close that your perspective becomes skewed. Pavia Rosati, Founder of Fathom recommends not getting so close to your work that it becomes distracting.
- Understand the start-up community: Christina Wallace, Director of Startup Institute NY and Former Co-founder of Quincy likens the start-up hierarchy to a high school with freshman, sophomores, juniors, seniors, and then teachers and staff. When you start up your company you will initially join the community as a freshman. Do foster relationships with more experienced business owners, that way you can learn from their mistakes and successes so that you too can move up the hierarchy.
- Look for free advertising: Disruptive Advertising’s Jacob Baadsgaard recommends checking online advertisers such as Yahoo, Bing, Google, Facebook and others that offer free advertising for new businesses who sign up for their services.
- Share your workspace: Because renting office space can be expensive over the long-term, Michael Zaro, of Startup Dojo and Coding Campus recommends creating or opting into a co-working space. Before you chose one, make sure it has all the amenities you need for your business purposes.
- Don’t purchase software: According to SkyCentral’s Dave Turner, with all the cloud software that’s currently available, there’s no need to buy your own software. When you subscribe to cloud software, you can spread subscription plans over a period of months so you can save money. This is also a great way to try out software first if you are considering buying a package.
- Stay ahead of the game: Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter and Square says it’s preferable to have the best idea rather than being a first mover. He cites MySpace to illustrate this point; there is always room for disruption of the creative space.
- Outsource your IT: iTok’s Seth Bailey suggests outsourcing your IT services such as marketing, book keeping, cloud hosting, and web design will help keep your business costs down. Shop around, there are many different groups that provide IT services at competitive prices.
- Choose your staff wisely: Virgin founder Richard Branson warns new business owners not to fall into the temptation of staffing their company with friends and family. This can turn into a serious mistake if it doesn’t work out, because asking them to leave may be very difficult.
- Market your company: Rieva Lesonsky, columnist at Small Business Trends emphasizes the importance of marketing, whether you’re a start-up company or well established. A well-thought out marketing campaign can give you the edge over your competitors in any economy.
- Maintain flexibility: Jim Chung, the founding executive director for the George Washington University’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, recommends avoiding becoming too focused on a particular way of solving a problem. Staying flexible will make it easier to change direction when you need to find a new route to success.
You may already be more equipped for entrepreneurship than you realize. Being a successful business person is not a gift; it takes practice and is a continual learning process. You have to be able to meet a need within that market. The mission of your company is to create sustainable value for your customers.
Archie Norman works closely with startups to ensure their success from day 1. His business tips can be read around the web on a number of business blogs.