Basic startup understanding requirements

Basic startup now, less problems later.

Basic startup requirements involve more than technical expertise.

“I’m very good at what I do, I’m going to start a business, I know the basic startup requirements”. That’s great, but there is more to running a business than being technically competent. You need to start with the basics, because if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing you will never be the best at it. However, to really enjoy what you’re doing make sure the basics are in place and remember that great things never came from comfort zones. However, following your dream can have a big impact on the success of your new start-up.

Many new business owners don’t achieve the basics until they have been in business for a while. It sometimes takes a few knocks and scares before action is taken.  EEventually,they suddenly realise they are working 70 hours a week, and all sorts of pressures are developing from the family. Progress is much slower than they ever imagined and struggling is an everyday issue. Why? Because they ignored the basics.

There is a lot to consider with a start-up

Don’t underestimate the things you need to learn about.

There is a lot to consider when starting any kind of enterprise. Leaving parts out could prove to be fatal. If you are having trouble understand the important basic requirements seek help and avoid unnecessary risks. The basics are to sow the seed correctly and then nurture it carefully.

I remember when I started my first business, my bank account was nearly empty and I thought I might have to close my business (and get a ‘real job’) because I couldn’t make ends meet. I’ll never forget that ache in my stomach because I was too embarrassed to tell anyone I didn’t understand the basics. I wish someone had shown me the basics and let me know I didn’t need to feel ashamed or hit rock bottom before turning things around. What I needed was a roadmap with directions and a plan to make my business go on the thrive.

The basic startup is different today.

In business things are never static, basic startup requirements are no exception, they too are constantly changing. In some cases, the basic startup is becoming even more challenging with the advent of globalisation driven by technology. On the other hand, technology has advanced so much that it can facilitate the basic startup. What works today can be totally useless tomorrow. What works in one business can be totally disruptive in another.

Some  causes of poor performance in the early stages of a business.

  • Not following your dream and working to your strengths.
  • Inadequate management skills.
  • Lack of innovation, too much like everyone else.
  • No direction, inadequate business planning. Make a start with the One-Page Plan,
  • Inadequate working capital and cash flow problems,
  • Insufficient  resources to do a good job.
  • Limited market and opportunity.
  • Poor knowledge of modern marketing.
  • Poor technical skills and use of technology.
  • Lack of ambition and drive to succeed.
  • Insufficient external support.
  • Poor administration.
  • Unrealistic workload and poor time management.
  • Family pressures.
  • Conflict with suppliers and others.

It is hard to solve all the issues you face, therefore external help and assistance can be invaluable. It is too hard doing business by yourself. Lack of practical support for even the basic startup makes it almost impossible to achieve your aspirations as quickly as you would like.

Five barriers to startup success.

If you don’t get the business part of the business right, then you won’t have the resources to look after your aspirations.

  1. Management – who has the leadership and management skills to drive the business?
  2. People – who will be involved and how will they be managed?
  3. Infrastructure – what facilities will be required, for now, and for future growth?
  4. Finance – who will fund the get-going and the keep going?  
  5. Marketing – how do you attract and retain customers, you must be agile and adapt to new marketing strategies and actions?

Today’s customers make some of the basics different.

The pace of technology never is ending and most are struggling to keep up. The online marketplace and popularity of cloud computing, social media and mobility have forever changed the way businesses operate. We need to focus on what continues to stand out, our customer service, and basic requirements.

Today we are all doing business differently and so do our customers and they think nothing of changing their suppliers. This makes it easier to attract new customers, but much harder to retain them. Therefore you need to work harder to retain customers, grow customers and replace lost customers. New businesses along with old ones, struggle to generate and retain customers.

Ideas for retaining customers.

  • Understand the problems, frustrations, wants and needs of customers.
  • Be available, reliable, practical, useful and helpful.
  • Help customers get to know you.
  • Careful planning improves your chances.
  • Focus on your customer service.
  • Improve your customer experience.
  • Provide practical and useful information and knowledge.
  • Help customers provide you with their feedback.
  • Strengthen your employee’s customer service skills.
  • Enhance every customer touch point.
  • Improve your customer interactions.
  • Make sure your people know how to engage customers.
  • Create a unique community for your customers.

Build your market presence by understanding your words before discarding them. Become a superhero to your customers and watch your business soar beyond your expectations. Try to   create something unique every day that will improve your customer’s experience.

Social media is one of the biggest catalysts for change.

Social media provides you with a great opportunity to reach and engage with more potential customers than ever before.  A professional social media presence can benefit your business by boosting traffic to your website and your businesses physical location. A working website and social media presence should be high on your basics list.

  • Develop your digital strategy with clear guidelines, starting with your website.
  • Select the channels you will use and develop them one by one.
  • Create high-quality content and a way to manage your information and knowledge.
  • Track and measure your effectiveness with analytics.

Keep your business lean and mean.

Many people lose focus when the money starts to flow, with new offices, cars and so on. While it is important to pay yourself a salary to keep you going, splashing money around is fool-hardy. When I started my first business, I set myself a modest salary and paid it every month to keep my family happy with the food on the table and other necessities of life. I never missed doing this, even when I was under severe financial pressure.

The aim should be to decrease costs and increase profits but be careful not cut expenses that help to generate profits. It is important to manage those parts of the business that generate cash flow and profit. Revenue must come first, followed by cash flow and then the profits will emerge.

What lean and mean businesses do that you can follow.

  • Nothing happens until sales are actually made and the money is in the bank.
  • Set objectives and create strategies and actions to grow your revenue and profits.
  • Understand the things that impact your cash flow and how to manage them.
  • Focus your marketing efforts on the most profitable products and services.
  • Tightly control the two ‘cash traps’, debtors and inventory.
  • Control you overheads, you can increase the fat when the profits stabilise.
  • Use tools and processes to make the business operate efficiently.
  • Productivity improvements can always be made, don’t let excesses build up.
  • Don’t take margins for granted, your margins must be able to sustain the business.
  • Understand the components of your pricing structure.

Starting a business requires a lot of time and money spent on the basics before things will work well. Every outcome has a starting point, and every starting point requires a decision. Every decision you make should be backed by sound reasoning. Take time and care on the early decisions you make because you want them to be effective and you can’t afford too many mistakes.

Running away from your problems is a race you’ll never win. It’s a matter of identifying potential issues and addressing them before they impact your business. A lean, mean business is more likely to spot problems than a cluttered, over-bloated  one.

The basics needed from day one.

  • Business name.
  • Email address.
  • Bank account.
  • Mobile phone.
  • A computer with Microsoft Office.
  • A simple Business Plan and Budget.
  • Your basics should always include a clear sales target to aim for.
  • An understanding of financial matters.
  • A clear understanding of your products and services.
  • A clear understanding of where you can make your initial sales.
  • Even the smallest basic startup should be investigating technology to enable basic business processes.

Quotable Quotes.

“The first step before anyone else in the world believes, it is that you have to believe it”. Will Smith

“You may be the best cook in the world, but if you can’t operate your restaurant as a business, it means you just throw great dinner parties”. Charles Bililies

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