How To Make A Sustainable Startup

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There’s a trigger that’s propelled you to start looking at ways to build a business, and coupled with this you’re also trying to figure out how to make sure it will survive. There are an abundance of entrepreneurs out there that are eager to set up their own startups. And some even take the plunge to do it. However, it’s widely recognised that after four years, half of these startups will cease to exist. Which leads us to conclude that the foundation blocks for some of these businesses were rocky to begin with. To give your new business the best shot at surviving and being successful, consider taking the below pointers onboard.

Assess Your Interests

Not everyone that’s interested in starting their own business already has an idea in mind. But if you do, you should assess whether your idea is something you feel passionate about. And whether this passion is enough to carry your business through the rough patches that every company encounters. As with most matters in life requiring your commitment and hard work, you need your heart and head to be in it together. Especially when you are about to do something that will push you out of your comfort zone regularly, test your limits and challenge you when you have been knocked down for the umpteenth time.

Therefore, if you’re second-guessing that your clothing business, organic food store, or digital marketing company isn’t something you can see yourself carrying on in the next five years, choose something else that provokes your interest. And you already know this deep down, but none-the-less some people try their luck at attempting it for the wrong reason anyway – there needs to be more than the potential prospect of money to start a business. It should be something that you will gladly get out of bed in the morning for, and you can easily devote your time and attention to.

Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.
–Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO

Research And Your Business Plan

Once you have your exciting idea, you need to put this into practice and test the likelihood of its success by researching things like; consumer demand, public opinion, competition, and whether there is a gap in the market. It may be tempting to just begin your business without much thought for this step, but this will only set your new company up for failure later on down the line.

While collecting your primary and secondary research, you will begin to establish whether your business is likely to succeed. However, if you choose to work against the findings from your research. For example, enter a highly saturated market with a new shampoo product. Then you should expect your business to fail following its launch.

Once your business concept has survived the research stage,  you need to break it down in the form of a business plan. The proposal should identify your business’s mission statement, values and goals. It should determine whether you have any employees, and what their skills and working hours shall be. The plan will also demonstrate a financial forecast for your business, in consideration of your overheads and predicted income for the next twelve months.

It will also identify when you are estimated to break even and begin making a profit too. And it shall also outline your sales and marketing strategy to target and attract new clients in a bid to make money. Overall, your business plan should break down every aspect of your company processes to ensure there are no grey areas. So long as everything is worked out accurately and makes sense, your plan will enable you to strive towards creating a successful and sustainable business.

Education

The most successful CEOs are those who continuously search for opportunities to improve their knowledge and skills. Whether practising to perfect their public speaking, learning a new language to liaise with suppliers overseas, or enhancing their understanding surrounding key business areas such as leadership, management, marketing and technology by enrolling on a course at the University of Alabama Birmingham. Continuously striving to improve all aspects of you is what will enable you to create a sustainable business that grows as you do.

Reach Out For Support

We’re prone whether because of pride or habit to struggle through our challenges alone. There is only so long you can do this when setting up your new company. By trying to tackle the branding, networking, booking the business premises and the accounts this will only lead to failure. Hence, asking for help is vital to ensure you don’t burn out or try and do all of the tasks yet end up doing them poorly. To run a successful business that will last, you need to reach out for support.

Whether to hire a business mentor with a wealth of experience and knowledge to guide you. Or investors to help with funding your business and sometimes bestowing some much-needed business advice. And/or perhaps you need to reach out to other companies to outsource some of the work you need doing. The best way to do this is, list all of your tasks, and pick out the ones that you do great and a few you have time to work on to improve your skill set. But other than this, you need to hire help if you want to create a business that will survive past the four-year mark.

Use the pointers above to assess your passions and interests to find an area of business you are enthused about and then put time and effort into your research to discover whether your idea has the scope to become a success. Once the research is complete create a compelling business plan.

Furthermore, continuously strive to further yourself academically and enhance your skill set to facilitate your business to grow. And last but not least outsource jobs in the process so that you can devote your time on the tasks that you excel at. This is the best advice to allow you to run a startup that will last.

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About Author

Ben is a follower of Christ, a rabid computer geek, small business owner, and breaker of things. He is married way above his station in life and has three wonderful children who have made driving him insane their mission in life.

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