How to Keep Your Startup In Business
Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart; 75% of startups fail in the first year. To avoid falling into this statistic, plan methodically about what you can do to ensure that your small business is a success. How can you make sure that you are in the smaller, more inspirational 25% of entrepreneurs who run a successful startup?
Find an Area of Expertise
Likely you already have an idea for a small business. If so, think about it in terms of a businessperson. How can you ensure that your idea is profitable and will grant you the ability to stay in business?
- They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and in the case of opening a business, they’re not wrong. Uber was founded by friends who were irritated at their inability to get a cab, for example. Take note of things that your friends and family comment about being an annoyance or inconvenience in their daily lives and consider ways to improve it.
- What is a market that has been gaining a lot of traction recently? Don’t focus on ideas that are going the way of the Beanie Baby — what is a rising industry right now? So ideas might include AI, drones or even Instant Pots. How can you make your mark on a growing field?
- Reinventing the wheel isn’t always necessary; sometimes you simply need to tweak an existing idea to make it better. Your toaster is a pro at its job, but what if you could somehow figure out a way for it to also butter the toast when it’s done?
Remember: Your Audience Should Be At the Top of Your Mind
You might be the brains behind the idea, but your customers are the ones who will benefit the most from it. This means that customer feedback is essential when you’re trying to figure out improvements or enhancements. While you’re still in the beginning stages, create a prototype and invite a focus group to help you make tweaks. You might think that the kitchen gadget you’ve crafted is the bee’s knees, but if everyday users can’t figure out how to power the darn thing on then it might need a facelift. Ask your focus group-specific questions like:
- What do you like or dislike about the product?
- Do you think it would be useful in a year? In three years?
- What kind of changes or enhancements would you make? Why?
Even though being your own boss and the king or queen of your own business is the dream, don’t lose sight of what makes it a valuable endeavor. Entrepreneurship is hard work, but it’s worth it when you do what you love.