Building a startup from the ground floor can be one of the most exciting and fulfilling journeys of your life. The perks of setting your own hours and running your own business often make the inevitable challenges that entrepreneurs face worth the risk, and even something to embrace. That said, a little knowledge and foresight make the challenges that much easier to overcome.
Six Tips for Startups
Tip #1: Choose a Passion
It’s always important to choose a career that you’re passionate about. Why? You’re far more likely to stick with a career that you like, and your interest builds even more industry-related skills in a virtuous cycle.
In other words, the more that you like something, the better you’re likely to get at it. Whether you’re an entrepreneur steering a startup or considering a franchise opportunity, embracing your passions is a time-tested recipe for success.
Tip #2: Arrange Your Team Wisely
Picking the right business partners is another essential ingredient to making sure that your startup stays solvent and successful years down the road. Even though this might sound strange to some of our readers, you should really treat the idea of choosing a business partner like picking your better half in a marriage.
The right partner can create new opportunities, and the wrong partner could be your downfall. Ask two questions before embracing a business partnership: Can you imagine yourself working side-by-side this person in five years? and, secondly, what value does this person add to the startup?
Tip #3: Focus on Consumer Relevance
Calling back to one of the all-time most famous entrepreneurs and inventors, Thomas Edison, Entrepreneur magazine wrote a recent article about the importance of addressing consumers’ current problems.
Make sure that your business is both a passion and something that directly contributes to consumers’ multifaceted lives.
Amazon makes purchasing a huge amount of products and services online easier, Netflix makes finding and streaming old movies a cinch, and you…find a good answer to that question and you might add a few zeros to your yearly income.
Tip #4: Emphasize a Work-Life Balance
The first few years of getting a startup off of the ground can be tough, we’re not going to sugarcoat it. What can happen to even committed entrepreneurs, though, is that they put all of their time, money and energy into one basket and later find out that life has passed them by.
Or, perhaps more common, a lot of entrepreneurs rub up against that ever-looming reality: burnout. Discovering the right work-life balance for you can save you a ton of hassle (and money) later while keeping you on your path.
Tip #5: Avoid Money Hangups…Initially
In your first few years of striking out on your own, you should be focusing most of your efforts on learning about the industry, networking, attaining venture capital, and bolstering your branding image.
You shouldn’t necessarily let the fact that profits are trickling in rather than raining down deter you from pouring your heart into your startup. Every entrepreneur had to make sacrifices at first, and there are enough stories of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs sleeping in their offices and eating Ramen to fill an entire novel.
Tip #6: Avoid High-Risk Rates for Credit Card Processing
Many startup companies, just because they are new, whether high-risk or not, face higher credit card processing rates by default. It could be because no card is accepted in person with an identification to verify the person (e-commerce as a common example) or it could be because the applicant has sub-par credit.
Some industries, like collection agencies, vaporizer / e-cig and the adult entertainment subindustries – automatically get a high rate just because of the industry.
For this reason, its always a good idea to go with a provider that specializes in getting competitive rates and fees for a low or high risk merchant account, whether you’re a startup or in one of the high regulatory / controversial niches.
Starting a business is often one of the most rewarding yet challenging undertakings of your life. Turning a startup into a thriving business (or franchise) is definitely fraught with obstacles, but focusing on your passions and teaming up with the right people can definitely increase your odds of success.