Running a Startup? Make these 5 Things Your Priority
So much to do, so little time (and money). This is a reality many startup founders can relate to. With so many responsibilities to juggle, it's difficult to focus on the things that really matter for your business growth.
So, what should startup businesses prioritize amid the hustle and bustle? Of course, you need money—that's a no-brainer. But it is not the only thing a startup needs to launch and grow.
Aside from financing your startup, here are five things you need to prepare and focus on as you start or run your business.
1. Delivering a Product That People Would Actually Buy
The golden rule for starting a business: There has to be a product-market fit. Focusing too much on offering a product you're interested in without considering your target market is a recipe for disaster.
Based on the latest CB Insights analysis of startup failures, the number 1 mistake that 42% of startup businesses make is delivering a product with no market need.
The lesson to learn from it? Your business won't likely succeed if there's no market for your product. No matter how groundbreaking it is, if people don't see a need for it, then no one's going to buy it.
Rather, focus on developing and providing a product or service that your target customers are willing to pay for—something that either solves their problem or makes their life better.
One of the post-mortems cited in the CB Insights report couldn't have said it any better: “Startups fail when they are not solving a market problem. We were not solving a large enough problem that we could universally serve with a scalable solution."
So, how will you know if there's a market need for your product? Validate your business idea by doing market research. This will give you an insight into your target customers' needs and preferences.
2. Investing in Office Hardware and Software
Startup companies typically operate on a small budget. But that doesn't mean yours should skip investing in technology that can help run your business.
Yes, things like office equipment and business software are important even if your business doesn't have an office or physical location.
Investing in the right technology makes your operations more efficient, enables you to serve your customers better, helps scale up your business faster, and saves you time and money in the long term. You won't get these benefits if your computers and software are outdated and prone to security risks.
3. Building the Right Team and a Great Work Culture
Having the right people in your team—whether they're business partners, employees, freelancers, or suppliers—is as critical to your startup's success as your physical assets. This is especially true in the early phases of running your company.
What exactly does hiring the right people mean? Look for those who not only offer the skills required to perform a certain job but also share your passion and company values.
When it comes to outsourcing partners such as third-party service providers and freelancers, look for those with expertise in their field who are ready to take on responsibilities without the need for training.
For example, for your startup's IT support needs, it's best to rely on an IT solutions provider with tech experts who are qualified to handle your specific requirements.
Once you've formed a solid team, the next thing to focus on is building a culture that motivates and empowers your staff, as well as respects the need for a work-life balance. It's easier to grow your startup business with a motivated and empowered team than the one that's on the verge of burning out.
4. Establishing and Documenting Your Business Processes
Prioritizing tasks is a common challenge among startups. Especially if you're too excited to launch your product, it's easy to forget the smaller yet equally important details like your workflow and day-to-day operations.
Right off the bat, document your critical business processes—this will serve as a guide for all your employees on all your operations. Doing this not only keeps your processes organized but also puts clarity on how your employees should perform their tasks. This way, mistakes and chaos are avoided, and your people are more encouraged to keep on doing their job well.
5. Keeping Your Passion Alive
A lack of passion from founders and their team is another top reason why startups fail, according to the CB Insights analysis.
It's no wonder. If you are not passionate about what you're doing, you won't be driven enough to gain more knowledge about your product, target market, and the different aspects of running your business. You won't be as committed to following through your business goals. You'd also be easily discouraged if anything in your startup didn't happen as planned.
Managing a startup has its ups and downs. With an undying passion for your business, you'll keep going no matter what. You'll dedicate more time and effort should things go awry. When your people see your passion, they're just as motivated to help you grow your business.
It takes a lot of work and resources to run a successful business. But as long as you're focused on what really matters, you are and always will be on the right track.
Focusing on your business priorities will a lot easier if you hand off certain responsibilities, like office equipment procurement and IT support services, to a competent IT solutions provider like PoundIT Business. It's a cost-efficient way to meet your business needs without having to hire full-time procurement and IT teams.
PoundIT Business offers office hardware and IT solutions tailor-fit for startups. Want to know more about our services? Send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org now and let's talk about how we can help you grow your business.