You’ve done the research on your startup idea and you’ve figured out all the necessary details to set up shop. Our final part in our Startup Survival Guide series will go over strategies for long-term success. These tips will help your business stay successful in the long run.
Staying Informed & Connected
In today’s information age, it should be fairly easy to find ways to keep informed of trends that will impact your business. Look for industry magazines, blogs, news sites – even your competitor’s website can tell you a great deal. You should also use social media to expand your network, so think about joining groups on LinkedIn and other platforms.
But don’t forget that there are just as many options offline as online. For instance, joining a Meetup group for business owners or a professional organization in your field could lead you to special programs for entrepreneurs. It might even help you find a mentor.
Ask for Help
It’s amazing how many new business owners try to do everything on their own when launching a startup, but this is a pitfall you can easily avoid. There are three groups of people that you should rely on for help, so use the tips discussed above to expand your connections and start creating these support networks.
First, you’ll need advisers and experts. This includes lawyers, accountants, real estate brokers, property managers, and anyone else with the specialized knowledge needed for handling complex issues. These professionals will be able to advise you on things like whether or not you should incorporate your new business and what kind of lease will meet your needs.
The second group includes people who can help you with the direction of your startup. This includes trusted business colleagues, mentors, life coaches and anyone else who can debate ideas with you, offer suggestions, and even serve as a kind of informal board of directors to keeps you on track in achieving your goals.
Lastly, the third group comprises your staff. Even if you aren’t able to employ full-time employees, you might be able to take on part-time staff, interns or apprentices. Delegating tasks to your employees and assistants is an important part of the leadership you’ll need to provide, so don’t feel like you have to do everything on your own.
Being a Good Boss
While you might be the boss in your new company, don’t forget that you are also an employee. Startup owners who once relished the idea of being the boss might find that they treat themselves terribly with regular overtime, pay cuts, and an ever-growing list of responsibilities. While superhuman efforts are commendable, keep in mind that you’re putting yourself at risk of burning out. Your work ethic is important, but so is a healthy work-life balance.
Be Forward Thinking
Being flexible with your plans is another important asset that will help you adapt to changing circumstances. Unfortunately, embracing new methods and practices is sometimes difficult, but the consequence of staying in a rut could mean that your customers start to leave you behind. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should take a risk on every opportunity. Just keep an open mind and be willing to learn and adapt as needed. Don’t let fear of the unknown deplete your customers.
Use Failures to Build Your Success
Of course, taking a risk means your success isn’t guaranteed. You will experience some amazing triumphs on this journey, but there will also be some setbacks too. Just remember that every failure is an opportunity to do better in the future.
Take it from Michael Jordan, one of the greatest professional basketball players ever, who describes his failures and successes like this:
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Be sure to check out the rest of our Startup Survival Guide Series:
Part 1: Creating a Plan for Your Startup