Overcome the obstacles to the success of a start-up

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With over 660,000 new businesses registered between 2019 and 2020 in the UK – which equates to over 70 per hour – it goes without saying that start-ups face stiff competition on their way to success.

The telegraph reported in 2019 that 20% of new businesses would fail within 12 months of opening their doors, with that figure rising to 60% in the first three years. In fact, failure is so prevalent in the start-up phase that many entrepreneurs have taken to writing a “failure postmortem” to assess where they went wrong in the hope that other aspiring entrepreneurs can. learn from their mistakes.

Being aware of some of the most common setbacks and hurdles a new business faces is key to recognizing the weak spots in your own model, enabling you to do something before your start-up is part of that 60’s growth. %.

# 1- cement your vision

Start-ups face many challenges in the early stages, and without a clear vision of where you and your business are heading, you can easily lose motivation.

Setting a mission statement isn’t just about stating your vision, but actively setting the framework for achieving that vision, so you can set clear goals and start measuring progress. Moreover, a clear vision also serves as a foundation for your entire business, allowing you to develop a long-term strategy that engages and unites your people in what you are working towards and why.

# 2 – take control of your cash flow

Poor financial planning is one of the main reasons many startups fail before they really take off.

Why? New businesses can often seem profitable on paper, but money owed is not the same as money in the bank, and the gap between the delivery of your product or service and the receipt of actual payment can be. leave you in a precarious financial situation.

Without healthy cash flow and a solid understanding of the costs involved, growing and scaling your business or securing additional funding will be an uphill struggle. Strict budgeting and cash flow forecasting can help alleviate these issues, allowing you to stay in control of your finances so you can plan for the short and long term.

# 3 – build your brand and market your business

The importance of a strong brand identity cannot be overstated. So many start-ups overlook this crucial aspect of their business when it should be part of their vision from the start. Your brand is what communicates your values ​​and is what will help you build trust and recognition, and effectively tap into your target customers.

While a strong brand identity is what will set you apart from your competition, it is futile without a solid marketing strategy in place to ensure that people actually know about your business. Without proper marketing, you might have the best product or service out there, but your ability to generate leads, acquire customers, and ultimately convert them into sales will be severely hampered.

Successful businesses, regardless of their size, understand the importance of branding and marketing. Although start-ups often operate on tight and limited budgets, omitting or severely reducing your marketing budget always comes at the expense of your own business. Instead, look for cost-effective ways to market your product or service, or outsource to a marketing provider.

There are plenty of opportunities for small businesses to market themselves without breaking the bank, and however you choose to do it, always have a strategy in place and regularly measure your marketing efforts to track their effectiveness and ensure you are successful. ” get a good return on investment.

> See also: Why every entrepreneur needs their own mentor

# 4 – hire the right people

Having the right team in place can make or break a business early on, so having a clear idea of ​​the type of people you want in your business is essential. The hiring process can be arduous, especially when you have limited capital to spend on staff. Therefore, making sure you take an informed approach to your first hires can save a lot of time and resources in the long run.

Bringing in too many people too quickly can create problems, especially if you don’t have the money and income to support payroll. In the beginning, it’s often best to have a small, dedicated team that understands the vision and direction of the business and can help you establish a positive work culture that will pay off in recruiting in the long run.

High staff turnover rates can also be avoided by establishing clear lines of communication with your employees and ensuring they know what is expected of them from the start while developing a corporate culture. that makes them feel appreciated and valued.

# 5- Create a scalable business model

Every entrepreneur’s goal is to transform their business into something bigger and better, but growth that your business isn’t prepared for could be damaging if you don’t have the structure in place to support it. You may find that your business is successful, but don’t let this tempt you to jump head first into growth without a strategy and plan.

Seize the opportunity while your business is still in its infancy to create the structures it needs to grow. By implementing the right procedures and systems early on, you will avoid the headache of catching up later as your business grows, and without negatively impacting customer service and / or product delivery.

# 6 – never give up, never give up

Navigating the many pitfalls of starting a new business can seem like a daunting task, but resilience and a willingness to change tactics when something goes wrong are hallmarks of a good entrepreneur. And finally – in the words of Winston Churchill – never never never give up.

Mark Wright is the BBC’s The Apprentice winner and director of digital marketing agency Climb Online

More from Mark Wright

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