People say, when you are starting a company, you need to put a lot of time and energy into its first three years. Very few businesses make it past the three year milestone.
In fact, the survival rate of businesses, decreases as the years progresses. About two-thirds of businesses survive a two-year period while only half of them reaches the five-year mark.
Here are five tips that will help you create a strong foundation for your company:
Set Clear Goals
Without a goal then there is no direction for the company, and without direction then the company is bound to fail even before it starts. It is therefore crucial that the entrepreneur comes up with clearly set goals that are specific concerning what you want to achieve. The goals set should be measurable which will help you determine the answer as to when you’ll achieve it. It should be realistic.
Do not expect to have 100000 subscribers by one week. It should also be time bound.
Learning how to build relationships will play an important role as to how big your business will expand. A company cannot survive on its own, but instead, it needs partners and other companies to work with.
These people will add value regarding funding and ideas. So, you should think of what you want to achieve, the industries you want to work in a network in that area to able to create a spreadsheet of the people you want to work with and work on it.
Create a Clear Brand
It’s essential that you have a brand that will able to distinguish you from other people who are probably doing the same thing as you. A brand represents what you can offer to your customers that other people are not able to deliver. This will set you apart from your competitors and drive numbers to your online business and thus generate revenue.
A brand enables customers to associate themselves to you because they are given an assurance they will be offered the best services over and over again without failure.
Factors to consider when developing your brand include what your promise is or rather what does brand stands for. You should also consider what your voice is.
You can start this by creating a website. But you have to make sure that your web design is well-developed and can easily be navigated. You can also let Hypercube assess your website and help with web design and marketing strategies.
Decide if You Need Extra Capital
Most of the time it feels like starting an online business is quite expensive. But if you are creative, you can start it on a shoestring budget without the need to giveaway equity to investors.
Here are a few funding solutions:
WhatIs.com editor Margaret Rouse defines Crowdfunding as, “Crowdfunding is a financing method that involves funding a project with relatively modest contributions from a large group of individuals, rather than seeking substantial sums from a small number of investors. The funding campaign and transactions are typically conducted online through dedicated crowdfunding sites, often in conjunction with social networking sites”.
2. Business loans: Business loans are readily available from both public and private lending institutions. It is wise to consult your accountant or financial advisor before taking out any loans. You will need expert advice on whether you can meet your obligations and repayments on time.
A business loan could be considered the last step before pitching to angel investors for funding, if your willing to give up a portion of the business.
3. Government grants: Ranked fifth in Forbes’ Best Countries for Business in 2019, New Zealand is an attractive location for starting a business. Regardless of whether you established or new the New Zealand Government offers resources to support business owners.
Callaghan Innovation offer a “Getting Started Grant, to help kick-start your product, process or service solution from development through to commercialisation”.
How does it work?
Your business will:
- Receive 40% of your eligible R&D project costs, up to $5,000 (based on a quotation)
- Only receive funding for R&D done in New Zealand
- Receive a one-off payment on completion of the project.
4. Sweat Equity: According to Investopedia Editor Will Kenton, “Sweat equity is often used to refer to the effort and toil a company’s owners and employees contribute to a project or enterprise – and the value it creates.
In cash-strapped startups, owners and employees typically accept salaries that are below their market values, in return for a stake in the company — which they hope to profit from when the business is eventually sold”.
These platforms may not just be used for posting random pictures or tweets, but instead, they will be used to market your online business, engage with the customers where you get to read about their complaints and come up with solutions. Having a strong social media presence is also one of the ways of finding new clients.