Helping your business build and grow

7 things that make a startup thrive

Ever find that when you finally figure out a simple solution to a big problem, you think: “why didn’t anyone tell me that in the first place?

It’s the same way when you’re setting out on the journey of your startup. So we wondered what tips our business consultants in Hertfordshire would have liked to have been given when we started out.

Use these tips to stand out from the crowd and allow your business to thrive!

  1. Under-promise and over-deliver

Promising to do too much at once is a sure-fire way to lose the trust and respect of customers and clients. You’re much better off at developing an agile way of working, in which you deliver in phases.The quality of what you deliver should be higher than satisfactory, so your client knows they can come back to you again.

2. Find a good sounding board outside the business 

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Photo: Flickr

Some of the best business owners are also some of the best listeners, and you shouldn’t be above seeking advice.

Think about how refreshing it can be to step away from a problem and cast new eyes on it after a break. By presenting your issues to someone completely unassociated with your business, you can open yourself up to new ideas.

It gets lonely at the top, so developing a close circle of people whose business acumen you trust, or gaining support from a business consultant, can be a vital asset.

3. Invest in training and skills development

A great idea is nothing but a great idea, and that doesn’t make a great company. To get your business off the ground you will need solid foundations.Although training will vary between industries, there are some areas that almost all startup CEOs should train in. Examples include systems-based thinking, managing yourself and driving execution. In short, how to make your dream a reality.

4. Focus on you customer’s success

Have you done your research? No, we mean really done your research? Because there is little point in trying to combat the market if you don’t understand the sector you’re going in to.There are lots of important questions to ask before you start selling your product or service, but many of them can be answered by looking at the ways in which your customer succeeds.

The more you can help show customers that they can succeed with your product or service, the more closely your can associate your brand with happy customers. This, in turn, builds your reputation as an essential vendor.

5. Hire for your company’s style

There’s a reason that the staff of a small business often feel like a family. Because a team spends a lot of time working closely with each other, especially at the outset, you need to like your employees. But more than that, your company needs to like your employees.In order for someone to fit your company culture, you don’t only look at whether they’ll get the office joke. You should be looking to hire people who are more highly skilled in their area than you are, this way you can have specific roles within your organisation for these people and they will feel valued and fit in.

6. Lead with reason, not reaction 

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Photo: Wikimedia

It’s natural, and often helpful, to express passion for your business – we know it feels like your child! But this is often where entrepreneurs go wrong and lead with their emotions.

Any decision you make should be made with data and understanding. To achieve this difficult balance you can utilise technology to provide performance analytics, this way you can measure your pre-determined goals.

Once you are used to making fact-based decisions, you’ll be able to better understand what works (or doesn’t!) and why, and take corrective action if necessary.

7. Don’t be afraid to fall

Dwelling on past failures – or the possibility of failure again – will only stop you moving on to bigger and better things. The important part of failure is assessing what went wrong and learning from it.The most important part when it comes to failure, however, is balancing your conviction with outside input.

Many people will tell you that you are going to fail, they are not necessarily correct, but you need to know when you might need some input and suggestions from somewhere else.

These are just a few things that are useful to know when you’re starting out in the world of business.

There are plenty of other tips and tricks that you’ll pick up along the way and embrace into your business strategy, and even more than you can pick up from our business consultants in Hertfordshire. Just make sure you pay it forward and pass on your pearls of wisdom to the entrepreneurs of tomorrow – they could one day be you!
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