Updated: Sep 28, 2019
Startups... even the sound of the word can send chills down the beastliest (not a real word but should be) of entrepreneur focused individuals. I dare you to say the word three times fast, in a dark room, while the water runs, holding a spoon, and see what happens. I’m sure you’ll just walk out of that room feeling silly. In hind sight you should, which can be the same feeling you should have if you told yourself that you can’t start your own business. Starting a business can be frightening…yes. Is there an absolute winning strategy to a successful business? I would say yes, the perfect examples are all around you. Every business you see was at one point, in it’s existence, a start-up. These successful companies even have internal start-ups that succeed or fail.
Is it unfortunate that start-ups fail? Yes and No. Personally I look at failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. Such in a way to have the ability to try it again, try something new or simply teach someone from my failures that they may not make the same mistakes. Hey, if the individuals or team of people that have started multi billion dollar corporations would have quit, then what? Well someone else would have came along and did it better, and they would have reaped the benefits. I mean what if Steve Jobs would have given up? I don’t even want to think about it, or Jeff Bezos, nope couldn’t have it! We are all given a gift, and nothing in life is promised to be simple, so failure comes with the territory. How you handle that failure is what will make or break you.
So the real reason you are here. The Bright Box Insight on the winning recipe, and by no means is this the gospel. However, if you start a business following these tips and you make hundreds, thousands, millions or even billions; can you please send us a amazon gift card for about $100? Feel free to contribute more! I was going to darken the mood with a bunch of numbers on the failure and success rate of start-ups, but who really cares? If you do, then happy hunting. So the recipe calls for;
1) Forward thinking
Now this is a term that you rarely hear in the start up lingo, but more from executive leaders trying to establish their strategic plans for their respective company. However, you need to eat, sleep, breath, drink, bathe in, ride to work with, etc. a forward thinking mindset of an entrepreneur. Obviously not every entrepreneur has this type of mindset because of failed businesses, but this type of mindset has the making of something Successful! How do I know if I am a forward thinker? Glad you asked! Having the ability to assess your business’s current operations, goal, financial state and more importantly the consumers demands; which by the way is always changing. However, possessing the ability to understand your market/industry and how to be a influencer of that change is where you find yourself among the elite; FORWARD THINKERS.
This is the monkey wrench, more so the school bus full of monkeys with wrenches, gum and super glue. Most will say the speed in which you get things done is important, and I will not argue against it. I would say that efficiency is the precursor to speed. How can you be fast if in all reality you have a massive amount of work in progress or too many steps to reach your end statement? Yes, you made that T-shirt in record time, the fastest you have ever done it, but had you placed the box of T-Shirts on this stool to increase the height of the box, directly effecting how far you had to reach could have saved you 10 minutes per 100 shirts made. That 10 minutes you saved could have been used to get that shipment out before your local mailing office closed. Maybe submit a new order online for more items to restock your inventory, the possibilities of an extra 10 minutes could be priceless and all because you moved the location of a simple box. Your competitors are counting on you to not be successful and an inefficient process can give them just what they want.
This can be hard for some of you stubborn folk out there. You have to be able to change, and yes it may not always be time to change, you have to be able to assess the climate of the market. Jumping to change your business and operational model because you saw a facebook post at midnight might not be in the best interest of your business. Adaptation is a MUST, the market is ever changing. If McDonalds only made a cheeseburger and a hamburger; do you think they would still be in business? No, they had to make some changes. For the sake of your business look at Amazon, GM, Apple, Exxon, all companies that have been around the block a few times, they still adapt their product to the changes in the consumer base, technology and other factors. It’s the ability to access when and what to change is where you will make your money.
If it only grew on trees. Well if it did; would you still be here reading? Would you still want to open your own business? If so, good! Then you just might have what it takes to make it through. A successful startup is efficient in managing its piggy bank. You are more than likely tight on funding, so that means you have to learn how to operate with little to nothing. If your business can survive without it, then it will survive without it. Alternative research should be a primary tool in your tool box that you use every day. So establishing what your company needs and doesn’t need is important, and as you scale up you need to ensure you can forecast your budget properly. Conduct your market research so you can set good price points for your product, so in the event you need to have a sale, you will start to make somewhat of a profit.
4) People Skills
What does your circle of trust look like? Now what does the outside of that circle look like? If neither of the circles have supportive people in it you might need to re-evaluate your circle. Your network of surrounding support is important, there will be challenging times ahead and the more support backing you the better. Now, when it comes to expanding on that network is where those people skills are really going to come into play. You have to possess the ability to communicate with potential investors, consumers and other parties that effect the success or failure of your business. Let me give some context on what I mean by communication, the ability to relate on a personal level with people. Yes, those other warm bodies walking the earth, you will have to talk to them, build relationships to expand that network to cultivate success. Those networks can open doors that you may not have been able to reach on your own, or may not have been aware off. Just as important is your ability to lead. Having those people skills to inspire those around you to have a reason to want to follow you through this challenging time.