If your dream is founding a disruptive, eyecatching start up, you need to be focussed on success. So many businesses falter in the early days that you need to be sure of success from the beginning if you’re going to reach the long term.
Today we’re looking at the things you can do when you’re setting up your business to ensure you’re ready to succeed: to capture a share of the market and turn investment into a sustainable revenue stream that allows you to grow.
There are skills you need to run a successful business that aren’t directly related to your product and too often they are overlooked by eager founders rushing their offering towards the market without thinking of the long game.
Skills like market research are vital to make sure your intuition about what the market needs is actually correct – if you don’t ensure there’s demand for your offering, you’ll not just find it hard to get funding, you could launch to a resounding silence and close in record time.
You also need back office skills to handle the human resources side of your business. HR is about much more than turning down holiday requests. Human Resources also handle the development of the people working for you, which is vital for long term success: people will leave if they don’t feel valued and don’t see a future at the company and the annual appraisal process help you identify areas where people need or would appreciate development.
It can be difficult to justify hiring full time people into these roles in the early days when you’re running a lean team. You can get data services and insights from agencies and consultants, and hire short term interim talent to fill out your back office pool. If you’re looking for interim management, uk firms are experiencing a boom at the moment, and they can supply specialists who can work with your business to educate your staff and set systems in place that will keep you going until you can scale to the extend that you can sustain the necessary departments yourself.
One of the most important things you can do before you actually launch your business is plan for the future. A business plan is a vital document for securing funding, but you can take it much further – with back up plans accounting for various fallback situations, including not getting the revenue you’ve projected, finding success with a different customer base than you’ve been working for or even experiencing a much larger early success: if you don’t know where you to productively spend that money and ensure you can fulfil those unexpectedly big customer expectations you can just as easily be swamped by success as by failure so plan for multiple eventualities and you’ll be sure you’re ready to turn challenges into lasting success.