Launching a business for the first time can be intimidating, as you’re diving into a whole new world. What’s more, you need to face the seemingly endless customer, marketing, staffing, legal and financial issues that will come up as you open your business as a new entrepreneur.
7 Crucial Tips for a New Entrepreneur
If you are worried or have second thoughts about starting a business, don’t fret. Here are some core tips to help you navigate the startup landscape:
1. Raise as Much Funding as You Can
Raising startup financing is often more challenging and takes longer than you think. As a first-time entrepreneur, you need to make sure that you have a cushion for all the marketing costs and product development you will incur.
You also have to allot a budget for other startup expenses. For instance, if you’re running a home improvement business, you’ll need to raise funds to cover the startup costs for lawn care, remodeling, and other service offerings. You’ll need funds for home improvement materials, equipment, employee training, and other expenses.
2. A New Entrepreneur Must Monitor the Finances Constantly
Besides raising capital, you need to keep on top of your balance sheet, income, and expenses. Many startup firms fold up due to the failure of juggling the finances effectively.
When you’re starting a business, maintain a low overhead. Avoid spending money unnecessarily and stick to the company budget as much as possible.
3. Hire the Right Employees
One of the biggest mistakes made by entrepreneurs is hiring the wrong people. You need to bring on workers who have the relevant experience and background. They need to be flexible and hardworking, as employees in startup companies often have to take on multiple roles. What’s more, they need to fit into the organizational culture you’re trying to build.
As a new entrepreneur, you have to do thorough reference checks on all candidates. When you’re drafting the offer letter, make sure that the document says that they’re “at-will” employees and can face termination at any time. Remember the saying, “Hire slowly, fire quickly.”
4. Every New Entrepreneur Mus Ramp Up the Networking Efforts
Networking offers a lot of benefits to the first-time entrepreneur. It can land you a great mentor, a new customer, an excellent employee, or a new investor.
Take the time to attend startup and industry conferences and events. LinkedIn is a powerful tool to help you network, so make sure that you and your startup have profiles on this social networking platform.
Also, make sure that you’re constantly adding new connections. When someone performs a Google search on you, your LinkedIn profile will typically appear on the first page of the search results. Your goal, therefore, should be to leave a positive first impression.
5. Each New Entrepreneur Should Find an Experienced and Trusted Startup Lawyer
First-time entrepreneurs are highly encouraged to hire a savvy business attorney for their company. Look for one who has regularly advised and formed many successful entrepreneurs and who specializes in startups.
When you have an experienced attorney on your team, you can successfully do the following:
- Protect your inventions and ideas (through non-disclosure agreements, patents, and copyrights)
- Draw up contracts with co-founders
- Limit your potential legal liabilities
- Create key contracts for your startup company
- Negotiate terms effectively with prospective investors
- Come up with a stock option plan for your workers
When you’re searching for a business lawyer, obtain recommendations from venture capitalists and other entrepreneurs. Then, meet with several potential lawyers before you arrive at a final decision.
Companies such as Virgin America and Zappos became immensely successful because they focused on offering excellent customer support and service. As a first-time entrepreneur, you need to deliver the best possible service to your early customers. By doing so, they are more likely to give referrals and even sing praises to their colleagues and friends.
You can also deliver stellar service by thanking your customers personally via e-mail. Going the extra mile to show your appreciation will help win you lots of customers.
7. Bolster Your Marketing Efforts
As a new entrepreneur, you continually need to attract, build, and educate your market. Even if you have the best product on the market, your business will fail if people won’t see or hear about it.
When formulating your marketing plan or strategy, make sure it contains the following recommendations:
- Issue press releases for critical events in your startup.
- Perform content marketing by coming up with guest articles for relevant websites.
- Promote your business on popular social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- Learn and apply search engine optimization (SEO) tactics so that people looking for your services or products might find you near the top of the search results.
Follow these seven tips to help you elevate your startup. When you’re running your business, don’t forget to enjoy your time as a new entrepreneur. Fun is infectious and can attract the right customers and the right opportunities.