There’s a big divide between having a great business idea and running a successful startup.
Somewhere in that divide are a thousand hurdles you’ve probably heard about, from creating a business plan to protecting your IP to hiring employees. But before you let your enthusiasm drain away, let’s get one thing clear: if you take a look at the big picture, there are actually just a few key elements that help startups see success.
Sure, there are many things under the umbrellas of these key elements, but knowing the general overview can help you decide how to put your best foot forward. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need, at an absolute minimum, to bring your startup to the next level.
Start With the Right Idea
As with any new company, your goal should always be to solve a real problem with your products or services. More importantly, you can’t just believe you’re solving a problem: you have to know it.
Starting a company isn’t the time to try trust falls with your audience! If you haven’t done the market research to be sure your audience wants and needs what your idea will offer them, your startup is destined to fail.
Get Your Team on Board
Startups can’t launch in a vacuum. In the first days of your business, it’s all about having the right people in place to support your growth.
This happens in two ways. First, you’ll need to surround yourself with teammates who genuinely support your vision and fit into the culture and mindset you want to develop long-term. We’ve talked about the importance of company culture before, but just know that it’s much easier to develop one now than it will be to change it later.
Second—and sometimes overlooked—you’ll need advisors in place to help you take the right steps forward. Don’t be afraid to seek out mentors, lawyers, investors, and other experts as you grow, because you’ll be surprised at the leaps your business can take with a little direction!
Start Marketing Yourself ASAP
When you’re first launching, marketing is what pushes your business to the next level and gets people through the door. Without it, all you have is an expensive new brand that isn’t actually serving anyone.
This means getting your digital marketing tactics up to speed, well in advance of your launch. It also means that you should start doing things like fundraising and professional networking as soon as you can: word-of-mouth marketing is a surprisingly powerful tool for a new startup.
Keep Your Work-Life Balance
This should be the most straightforward part of this list—but it’s also one of the things most entrepreneurs overlook. When you’re mired in client calls and meetings and deadlines it can feel hard to take a single second for yourself. Your brand may feel like your new baby at this point, but leaving space for you to rest and recover is critical to succeeding in the long-term. The last thing you want to do when you’re establishing a new business is burn out before you can see it through!
As any entrepreneur will tell you, these four broad elements are hardly the only things leading to a brand’s success—but covering the details of each one will help you smooth your path forward. If you’re on a path to become more successful in business, let me help you on your way! Check out my recent post for more info.