Tips for start-up suc­cess

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS -

You have the per­fect home busi­ness idea. You can’t be­lieve no one has thought of it be­fore. Or, if some­one has, he or she doesn’t have your vi­sion, skills or pas­sion. You are con­vinced this new busi­ness is the key to your suc­cess­ful fu­ture.

Now what? The best way to im­prove your odds of suc­cess is to move slowly and care­fully in start­ing a busi­ness. Do so, and you can join the 70 per­cent of busi­nesses that suc­ceed in their first two years, ac­cord­ing to the SBA.

Not all home busi­nesses need an of­fi­cial busi­ness plan, but every home busi­ness owner must spend some time plan­ning. Be­fore you put out your shin­gle, sit down and de­ter­mine how much money you need to in­vest (and in what), your goals (short- and long-term), your mar­ket­ing plan and all those de­tails (For ex­am­ple, do you need a sep­a­rate check­ing ac­count?).

You may know some­one who has suc­cess­fully cre­ated a home busi­ness and feel com­fort­able ask­ing for ad­vice. Seek help from other small busi­nesses, ven­dors, pro­fes­sion­als, gov­ern­ment agen­cies, em­ploy­ees and trade as­so­ci­a­tions. Be alert, ask ques­tions, and learn ev­ery­thing you can.

Don’t quit your day job just yet. For those of you con­sid­er­ing the full-time free­lance plunge- set up a sav­ings ac­count with enough funds to cover at least six months’ worth of bills. This will give you a buf­fer to help with your bud­get. While hunger might be a good mo­ti­va­tor, it’s eas­ier to work when you have elec­tric­ity and your house isn’t be­ing re­pos­sessed.

Be­gin with a plan. Find a men­tor. Money in the bank. Keep com­pet­i­tive.

Even if you think your busi­ness is unique, you need to con­duct a com­pet­i­tive anal­y­sis in your mar­ket, in­clud­ing prod­ucts, prices, pro­mo­tions, ad­ver­tis­ing, dis­tri­bu­tion, qual­ity and ser­vice. Also be aware of the out­side in­flu­ences that af­fect your busi­ness. Know what makes the dif­fer­ence be­tween you and your com­peti­tors. Is it ser­vice, price or ex­per­tise? What­ever it is, cap­i­tal­ize on it.

Word of mouth is the best way to grow your busi­ness. Ask your sat­is­fied clients for re­fer­rals, of­fer free con­sul­ta­tions to new re­fer­rals, and con­sider a re­fer­ral or finder’s fee. Get your name out to build your brand. Go to in­dus­try events-con­fer­ences, as­so­ci­a­tion meet­ings and sem­i­nars. Go to events in client in­dus­tries; so­cialise, and al­ways have your card ready. In ad­di­tion, do some pro bono work for a char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tion with in­dus­try links.

Culled from www.en­tre­pre­

All sys­tems grow.

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