We have learned over the years that entrepreneurs have a hard time finding their feet in the world of business. Ask someone whose dreams have been squashed and they’ll let you know how difficult it is to survive during the initial years after inception. The fact is, you are bound to hit many bumps along the ride, but there is always a learning curve there.
For aspiring entrepreneurs, the best tip is to stay determined with your vision, no question about that. But what essentially makes your startup a great business in the making? It’s the fact that you learn from your personal experiences and experiences of others. Here are some pro startup tips that can help unleash the true entrepreneur in you.
Single Purpose Brand
If you try to do a lot of things with your startup by expanding its capabilities and solutions, you are only losing brand value. Any startup that wants to get heard has to have a unique competitive edge that increases its brand value. Even when your startup is offering more or less similar services to your competitors, like how it is in ecommerce, its brand image should only portray a single purpose.
Remove Slackers Fast
If, for example, your graphic designer is taking too much time than he/she should, and you’re falling back on your prior commitments, don’t think twice before having ‘the talk’. It may crush your team’s hope, and they may have to come to work on the weekends with you too. However, completing your projects proactively is what is eventually going to make you float during the initial years.
When you’re hiring someone, keep them on a three-month trial basis. After two months, assess the candidate and their motivation to work on your vision. If you feel there is an issue, give them a month to improve. If there is no improvement, it’s goodbye from there!
Flat Free for Distinct Orders
Not sure whether to charge hourly, or per project? Finding the right balance can be difficult, but not entirely impossible. Ideally, you should look to charge flat fee for well defined orders with clear boundaries. Once your projects start rolling, then you can move to a structured fee system. For instance, if you running a digital marketing agency, you can charge flat fee for each service you provide. Where a client demands more or something in specific, you can raise custom orders.
Hourly rates are also great if your team has fast working employees. That way, you can charge a sum for 4 hours of work on an infographic where it only takes your graphic designers an hour and a half to get it done!
Avoid Cheap Clients
As it is, most startups fail to capitalize on their potential, despite having a large client base. This happens when you’re new into the business and want to get some reviews that will help you get more work. While this can work, but offering deep discounts is only going to bite you back hard.
There are people all around the world who want quality work, under tight deadlines, for peanuts. Well, we don’t want you to settle for peanuts so never offer a discount that you’re not happy to give. It’s always better avoiding such clients rather than pondering over how much you could have made, had you done the same job for someone who would pay the right price.
Never Build the Complete Package
As you may have realized in video games since 2010, they are never the complete package. After a while, you get downloadable content (DLC) that adds more features and upgrades to the game. Similarly, when you sign up with a free account on an online graphic designer, you can only download low quality pictures in a few formats with us. Once you pay for the membership, you can access several features, quality downloads with various formats, and much more.
The point here is that if you have an innovative product, especially a digital product or service, you should only focus on making a ‘lean’ version first. Even when your clients want more, don’t give them more. If you think about it, working on a smaller contract means less income for you. When you produce a complete package, you leave very little room for consumer feedback and review, on which you can add new features and upgrades.
Hence, when the time to update the package comes, you have to address the whole development rather than specific aspects. In simple words, building a lean product takes less time, costs less, and has more room for growth based on consumer demand.
Don’t Get Emotionally Attached with Coworkers
That’s the last thing you want to do as a startup entrepreneur who has a team of young and aspiring talents working in intense environments. However, intense work environments more often lead to things of the heart. Remember that while it may seem too good to be true at the beginning, such relationships commonly end in awkward situations.
For instance, if it works out, then it encourages workplace romance, which you don’t want when your business is volatile. If it doesn’t work, how are you going to retain your coworkers, and more importantly, even if they stay, the daily awkward moments can catch up to you. Always keep your passion for entrepreneurship first, before love and romance in the workplace.
Experience Is Valuable
Every entrepreneur has a different story to tell. But what they have in similar is the experience, which every entrepreneur regards as valuable. In the tech world, it is very easy to overlook the value of experience. It’s easy for an entrepreneur to become biased, as he/she may prefer talent over experience.
Remember to keep a balance between talent and experience in your team. Sure, you want young, bright minds to work for you, but you always need experience in all your departments that hone those talents and do their job at the same time. At the end of the day, the experience matters and helps you see things from a different perspective. Even if your startup fails, you can take the experience and avoid the mistakes you made last time in your future ventures!