There’s a reason you’ve founded your startup. You have an idea that can make an impact, serve/satisfy a lucrative consumer base, and help increase the wealth of all involved. These are all glaring positives.
However, a vast gulf exists between the potential to thrive and concrete, ironclad results. Many tremendous ideas evaporate into the ether because they couldn’t get off the ground. In fact, many people will tell you failure is the root of your success as a startup founder.
Regardless of your drive, determination, passion, and the genius of your products/services, you still must face the following realities in running your startup:
- Only two out of five startups become profitable.
- Survey respondents cited competition as their most significant hurdle.
- Nearly 60% of startups have under $25,000 disposable cash during the startup phase.
These stats aren’t meant to deter or scare ambitious entrepreneurs from following their dreams. After all, it’s not like the stats implicate it’s impossible to become profitable running a startup–it’s just challenging, like all worthy pursuits. Moreover, these stats shed light on the need to continually strive for ways to grow and improve your business.
Continually adding tools to your entrepreneurial toolkit and correctly implementing them will vastly increase your startup’s chance of flourishing.
As such, acquiring knowledge and learning practical tips to improve your business are top priorities. With these notions in mind, you’ve landed on the right page. Read below for advice to help take your startup to the next level.
Embrace The Power Of Delegation.
Starting lean means you’ll have to do many things yourself during your startup’s infancy. It’s not always ideal, but DIYing is necessary to get off the ground.
There’s something of a sweet science to DIY, though. Yes–going it alone can save on upfront costs to a degree. Yet, there comes the point where doing everything yourself costs you money because you lose out on opportunities to grow your would-be thriving enterprise.
Entrepreneurs must focus their thought processes on the big picture. They can’t mire themselves in the minutiae. Otherwise, your days are spent on one-dimensional tasks that amount to cogs in the machine and nothing more.
We totally understand and empathize with the delicate balance you must strike. The stat in the introduction that points out how most startups only start with $25,000 isn’t lost on us. Unavailable cash flow can be a stifling obstacle.
You can’t grow your business if you’re doing everything. It’s not a valuable use of your time and effort. Rather, it is a form of micromanaging, a universally accepted unsuccessful business practice. Be mindful that you have a specific skill set. Others will be more skilled in different facets of your company. You want to assign the right people to the right tasks.
So–be attuned to all comings and goings of your business. Be aware of the exact point it makes sense to delegate or outsource business tasks.
Also, know that you can delegate or outsource faster than you think. You don’t need to pay someone full-time. For instance, the gig economy is set to make a profoundly positive impact on entrepreneurs running startups.
How Can Your Startup Leverage The Gig Economy?
Here’s a helpful list of tips to leverage the gig economy to help with your delegation efforts in the infancy of your startup:
- Fiverr, Freelancer, MixSquads, and Upwork are only a few online platforms that can connect your startup with qualified gig workers. Choose the platform based on the work you need to be completed (for example, do you need a content writer, graphic designer, or web designer?). Simply post your job requirement in a given platform’s marketplace, and a freelancer will take on the job.
- You can use old-fashioned referrals to discover and hire gig workers. Other entrepreneurs, peers, or colleagues will likely know other people with skill sets aligning with the needs of a given task or project. Of course, this tip means having an available network at your disposal, bringing us to our next suggestion…
- Business networking makes finding gig workers that much easier. Networking can include events or social media channels (e.g., LinkedIn or Facebook). While some people in your business networking circles can refer you to gig workers (as discussed above), others may be interested in doing gig work for you directly.
- Ensure you’re clear about expectations–this will help sort the wheat from the chaff. Those up to the task won’t balk at challenging projects and will gladly take on your explicitly outlined work.
- Only hire a gig worker based on their reputation and previous work. This way, you’ll know what to expect. It removes the guesswork from the scenario because you’ll know what your gig worker is capable of.
Do Entrepreneurs Have To Hire Gig Workers?
The gig economy may only be for some. We’ve only discussed it to prove that outsourcing options exist for entrepreneurs with budgetary limitations.
Although you don’t need to hire gig workers for specific tasks or projects, delegation remains necessary. Whether you hire a new employee, team, freelancer, or partner with a third party is up to you and your overarching business strategy.
Ultimately, entrepreneurs want to scale their businesses and keep expanding. Eventually, that means having internal teams and cultures. Until then, though, third parties, freelancers, and gig workers can fill necessary voids.
Limiting yourself to DIYing everything reduces the chances for your desired growth–and the sky should be your limit. You have an idea, products/services, and the determination to make a substantial impact. Integral to putting all these parts together to create an unstoppable sum is finding the best people to do the best work.
Harness The Value Of Business Networking.
We’ve already briefly explored the concept of business networking in the previous section. We’ll extrapolate further in this section.
Did you know that 80% of professionals believe that effective networking can bolster their success?
The first benefit of business networking is the connections you make. Broadly, these interpersonal links are the currency of any flourishing company. Every business relationship you formulate can prove lucrative, depending on how it fits your overall strategy.
Here’s an example:
Say you form a relationship with a local napkin manufacturer. Then, say your company sells software to local businesses. It might seem like there’s no crossover between your two brands. Yet, maybe the napkin factory could benefit from your software that streamlines menial tasks. Alternatively, your growing workforce could use high-quality napkins in the cafeteria–and getting them at a discount saves you some much-needed cash flow.
Business networking is also how you foster relationships that expand your startup. For instance, attending events or participating in online groups could lead to meeting potential investors who can give your startup some financial rocket fuel.
Moreover, business networking helps you keep your ear to the ground. You’ll stay on top of the latest trends because you’ll be involved in circles where matters relevant to your company are discussed. The resulting insights can prove crucial in how you market, distribute, execute, and design your products/services.
Below, we’ll delve into one more reason why business networking can elevate your startup.
Business Networking Will Speed Up Your Journey To Success.
A vital advantage of business networking for startup founders is the ability to course correct faster.
When you’re part of business networking groups, you surround yourself with like-minded people in similar positions as you. Thus, they can act as both your sounding board and trusted advisors. They can listen as you describe your challenges and provide objective insights and solutions.
Without such a group, you could be spinning your tires for months–if not years–trying to solve the same problem. A business networking group will streamline this process so your operations become more efficient in less time.
Additionally, you’re greatly influenced by those you surround yourself with. Associating with successful entrepreneurs makes it likelier to learn from them and adopt their empowering beliefs, philosophies, and habits. These thriving individuals will continually challenge and inspire you to achieve greatness and strive for more.
Join A Thriving Business Networking Group Today!
The Entrepreneurs’ Organization South Virginia chapter offers our members an array of benefits, including:
- A forum to exchange ideas and garner insights from other business owners.
- Strategic business alliances that can boost your bottom line.
- Global and Chapter events at memorable social venues offering learning resources, peer interactions, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
- Mentorship opportunities that allow our members to learn at a higher, more intensive level about running their startup.
- And much more!
Learn more about the Entrepreneurs’ Organization today by contacting us. We look forward to hearing from you and having a chance to inform you about all we can do for your startup.