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Building a Strong Foundation for your New Small Business
Just like life, businesses need a strong foundation to build upon. Anything that you want to grow and last requires that you begin with a strong base. I am not saying that everything has to be perfect from the start, however, a solid foundation can help you get there smoothly, rather than having to start all over again.
Here are our 6 tips on building a foundation that lasts.
The people you hire or choose to go into business with are going to make all the difference when it comes to the success of your business. The wrong partners and employees can stunt your growth and bring more hassle in both the short and long run. You have to make sure that anyone you hire is playing on your team and has the same vision and values as you. If they do not, you may run into inconsistencies down the road, which can potentially compromise all aspects of your business, including internal culture, customer experience, and even your product or service.
When people come to us who are just starting a business, and barely have a website up and running, I always tell them that this is the perfect time to invest in key technologies such as CRM and marketing automation. Why so early in the game? The sooner you have your processes in place, such as drip campaigns, signup forms, auto-responders, etc, the sooner you can start figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Having these in place from the beginning also allows you to build your list more quickly than if you implemented your strategy later in the game. Remember, you can always change and refine, but setting up the right technology from the start will point you in the right direction.
Financing & Accounting
Making sure you have enough money to start a business is a rather important piece of the puzzle. It takes money to make money, right? It is also critical to manage the money you do have properly so that it lasts and grows sustainably. Check out our recent blog post, Accounting for Startups, for more information on accounting and money management.
Your company culture (imbed link to culture blog post) defines who you are as a company, and greatly effects how your customers perceive you. Company culture is your organization’s personality, and a positive personality can make the difference between success and failure.
Vision and Mission Statement
A clear vision of where you want your company to go should be the guiding light for your employees and the strategies you implement to get there. Your vision statement defines your bottom line values. Your vision statement communicates both the purpose and your core values of your organization. Take into account your five and ten year goals. Your vision can always evolve, but you have to start somewhere.
Your company’s mission statement is similar to your vision, however it goes deeper into the how, rather than the why. The mission statement shows your stakeholders the purpose of your company, and how you are going to get there.
Knowledge and Focus
This may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people start in an industry that they haven’t thoroughly researched or worked in before. As an entrepreneur, you must understand the industry in which you are entering. A business owner needs to understand the competition, opportunities, weaknesses, and what is going on at all times. Obtaining this knowledge comes with focus.
Starting a business is no easy feat, and it takes a lot of time, concentration and focus to build an organization that is going to last. Each and every individual involved in your organization must have focus, and keep their eye on the prize. It is this focus and dedication that will make the difference in the long-run.