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6 Tips for Making Sure Your Startup Can Survive and Thrive
by Startacus Admin
We all know that starting a business is likely to be an extremely challenging process and there is never any guarantee of success no matter how brilliant your ideas might be or how dedicated you are to realising your ambitions.
The truth is that the startup process is tough and unforgiving, so the more you can do to tilt the odds of achieving success and sustainability in your favour, the better. With that in mind, here are a handful of tips that could be well worth paying heed to no matter what stage your startup is at.
1 – Be clear on what your business is really about
It can be valuable for a startup to retain a degree of flexibility in terms of how it takes shape and the precise nature of the services it ultimately provides. But it is often imperative too for a fledgling company to have a clarity of purpose and a defined sense of what its central aims are as a business.
Having this clarity makes it much easier to communicate ideas internally to anyone working for or with your startup, however it also helps establish a coherence in terms of external communications and helps everyone involved buy into the core ideas underpinning a new company.
2 – Don’t commit to promises you can’t keep
Having ambition is essential for any startup company but this should not reach into the realms of making promises that can’t be kept. Doing so will immediately raise serious questions about reliability and can be very damaging from a reputational point of view for new companies.
It is far better to under-promise and then to over-deliver than the other way around. Pushing the boundaries of what’s possible can be a source of motivation and can be crucial to seizing important opportunities as a startup. However it is important too to know when to be honest about what the true capabilities of your business are during the early stages of development.
3 – Don’t be too risk averse
For obvious reasons, it is far from advisable to take unnecessary or dangerous risks as a startup company. This kind of recklessness can clearly be enough to take a new company down and leave its protagonists wondering what might have been.
But the nature of startup operating is such that their development inevitably involves a degree of risk and the key isn’t for startup bosses to avoid those risks at all costs, but rather to determine which risks are the right ones to take at key moments.
4 – Set your payment policies in stone
Without certainty with regard to payments, no startup can realistically expect to make the kind of progress that will be necessary to enable its sustainability. There will be much else to occupy the minds of anyone in charge of a new company but the issue of how and when payments are to be secured is very important and shouldn’t be overlooked.
So for a startup it can be wise to effectively set payment policies in stone and to establish as early as possible precisely the terms under which services or products will be delivered.
5 – Don’t be too quick to discount
It is easy to assume that offering discounts to attract new customers represents a good strategy for a startup trying to make early strides in its development. However the potential benefits of offering discounts to attract new customers should always be weighed against the potential that these customers will then expect the same low prices to be maintained.
The key here is to carefully consider and to understand the value that your services are capable of delivering and having the conviction then to demand the kind of prices that they’re worth. Or to put it another way, start as you mean to go on when it comes to pricing your services or your products as a startup.
6 – Be ready to be ruthless
Starting up a business almost inevitably involves entering a market that is highly competitive and establishing a place within it is never going to be easy. Therefore, anyone leading a startup endeavour owes it to the business they’re creating to be ruthless where necessary.
This can mean letting go any employees or suppliers whose contributions aren’t a net positive for your business. Every resource is precious in the context of startup operating and acting quickly to eliminate scope for wasted time and money can be the difference between success and failure.
Keith Tully is a leading business insolvency expert and a partner at Real Business Rescue a UK’s leading professional services consultancy. Keith provides support and advice to small and large companies alike with the benefit of over 20 years’ experience in the field.