Starting up your own business is a task filled with multiple stages and an abundance of questions. You may wonder if you are doing things in the right order or what areas you should focus on next to improve your revenue. All potential entrepreneurs want to see efficient business growth in a short amount of time, and they are always questioning each move they make, worrying about that one wrong move that could destroy everything.
One challenge with operating a business is that you feel like the answer to your problems are so different from other entrepreneurs and so complicated that you will never find the solution.
Fortunately, that is not the case. Your business isn’t so different from all others that you cannot solve your problems. Certain strategies work for all models of activity which can help you get to the next level of your growing business faster and with less stress.
Is Your Focus on the Right Area of Business Growth at the Correct Time?
If you research tips on how to make your business grow successfully, you may come across some inaccurate tips that will do more harm than good. Some people believe that to stay on top of your new business, you need organization in your office. Although it’s always good to have a clean and neat work area, that is not where your focus should be during the initial stages of your role as an entrepreneur.
When you first start a new business, it’s important to take a step back and look at the big picture. That allows you to receive a clear image of what you should be focusing on the most. To make this process easier, here are five core areas that every entrepreneur should focus on if they want their efforts to be successful.
5 Core Areas to Focus on When Starting a New Business
During the initial stage of building a business, you are still busy deciding on whether you should start your own company at all. You like the idea of it, and you have come up with a few great ideas for your future enterprise. However, getting your business started is the tricky part. You may be working a dead-end job with no potential and would love to start your own company and get out of the endless cycle of demanding work and limited pay. But there are so many unanswered questions and uncertainty that you feel you can never achieve your goals.
Taking the first step to getting out into the market and validating your ideas with those who are interested in the purpose of your new company is essential. You need to put some footwork into the validation process and do more than only work on a computer. Talk to people who are interested in your ideas over the phone or have meetings with them face to face. Keep that same mindset once you get your business up and running.
Call your customers after they make a purchase and find out more about why they decided to buy from you. That effort will provide you with insight on what areas you need to change and what should stay the same.
A new business that doesn’t have a reliable validation system in place will launch with a small chance of success. That is one of the reasons why 81% of all businesses fail in their first two years. Learn what people want from your industry, what frustrates them concerning other companies and pay attention to the feedback you receive on your initial sales to be successful.
During this stage, you start to see sales come in and you have a handful of loyal customers committed to buying your products or services. It can be a fascinating time, but there will always be questions running through your mind at every stage of developing a new business. You will notice that even if you are successful, owning your own business is nothing like you had imagined. There is so much work involved with being a boss and many responsibilities you must take on.
Most entrepreneurs experience mixed emotions at this point. They may have money coming in, but it’s not enough to make a decent profit. Your sales may lack consistency, and you may spend most of your time trying to learn how to do things such as manage a payroll or bookkeeping since you can’t hire someone else to do these things at the time.
At this point, your focus should be on marketing, sales, and production systems. You need to get the word out there about your business any way that you can. The more affordable your marketing efforts are, the better off you will be. That is one reason so many new business owners turn to the Internet for most of their marketing needs. They can use online resources such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus or LinkedIn to help promote their business for next to nothing. Creating social media pages and profiles is also an excellent way for business owners to learn more about their target audience and connect with them.
At this stage, you start to build your operations to let your creativity shine. It is also the point where many business owners find out that their company isn’t going anywhere and they need to try something new.
If your business is successful at this stage, you have managed to reach a comfortable stage financially, yet it can be difficult to enjoy these rewards since you are always working. Now is the time to hire a few more employees to help decrease the load that is weighing you down. Choosing to hire people who have similar goals and the same mindset about the company as you can contribute to giving your creative ideas a boost.
This stage is the best time to try out something new and see how your customers react. Keep in mind that the efforts that got you to this point will only get you so far. To move forward, you will need to reinvent your business from time to time. If you thought about adding a new product to your line or offering a different service to clients, give it a shot. It may work and it may not, but if it’s successful, you’ve managed to add to your company’s revenue.
Known as the Scale Up Stage, this is the time to focus on your team, your business’s mission, and leadership. You have hired on a sizable number of employees who have taken most of the workload off you so that you can focus on leadership. If you haven’t at this point, you should hire an experienced human resources manager. They will become the most valuable asset that you have on your team. In today’s fast-growing global marketplace, if you don’t have strong leadership skills you will have a tough time attracting and holding on to the talent that you bring to your business.
The percentage of your profits may start to fall at this point, not because of a dip in sales, but because you have hired more employees. However, the overall sales and revenue can increase at this point based on the quality of the talented members of your team. Therefore, you may still see an increase in your profits, even if you are paying more workers.
You should focus on adding more talent to your team at this point and work on your leadership skills so that you can continue to move your business in the right direction.
5. Keep Your Business Relevant
If you’ve made it to this point and find that your business is still successful, you have reached a stage very few new business owners achieve. You could take your vision and turn it into a reality that not only you benefit from, but your employees, customers, or clients profit from as well.
At this stage, other business owners want to work with you, and you receive requests to collaborate with others in the industry. You have negotiating power because there is finally something that you can offer to others. Marketing and publicity for your business is typically in excellent condition.
However, at this point, you may also face the possibility of leadership failure due to power, vanity, or greed. These three factors caused many major corporations to fail and become obsolete. There is also the threat of another company creating something similar yet better than your product.
Think about how cell phones changed over time Just a few short years ago. Everyone wanted the latest flip phone device with a camera installed and very limited—if any—Internet access. Today, those high-tech phones are lying in landfills thanks to the invention of the smartphone.
No business is safe from innovation and modern technology. Therefore, you should never stop being creative.
Climbing the Mountain of Success in Today’s Business World
Each stage of building a successful business has its challenges. Even the most successful corporations have had their fair share of disappointments. To sum up what you should focus on during each stage, remember these concluding thoughts:
- During the initial stage, you need to validate your ideas and find people who are interested in your thoughts.
- When you reach the marketing or start-up stage, it is time to focus on getting the word out about your business and commercialization.
- During the creative or formative stage, you should begin getting your house in order by hiring additional employees who have the same mindset as you concerning your future intentions for your business.
- The leadership stage is the time to scale up your team. You should start focusing on what your company’s values are and pay attention to your leadership goals.
- Finally, you need to make plans and protect your business from failing due to modern technology using innovation and acquisition.
Becoming a successful entrepreneur is not an easy task. There is plenty of fear, stress, and pitfalls that may cause you to want to give up. However, if you hire the right team, and focus on the areas that you need to at the right time, you will have the skills and resources needed to make to the top of the mountain of success. Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.