Young Upstarts

All about entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, ideas, innovation, and small business.

Tips For Success In Your First Business Venture

There’s nothing more exciting than starting your own business, especially after learning your trade, gaining valuable experience in a company, and slowly developing the necessary skill set to succeed. You’ll be raring to see your start-up grow and prosper, but your first business venture is also fraught with dangers.

They’re choppy waters, the seas of initial business enterprising, and that’s where this article comes in. It aims to offer a stabilising influence for first businesses. Keep your startup off the rocks by following the advice set out below, which will help towards your young business’ success.

1. People You Know.

It’s an old mantra, but one that’s earned its cliché-hood: it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. This is perhaps most important in the setting up and successful operation of your first business. You may aspire to being independently successful – to feel you’re an island without external need or influence – but in actuality, you’ll need all the help you can get.

This is where networking proves useful. Head to events that are relevant to your field, connect with like-minded professionals on LinkedIn and, if you can, invest in a mentor. Networking allows for you to build business-related connections that can prove fruitful later down the line.

Often this help simply comes in the form of advice and support from friends and other businesspeople, but you’ll also find people lending you a hand, tipping you off, or doing you a favor so long as they’re in your network.

2. Live and Breathe the Business. 

The second cliché worth following is to really live and breathe your work. You’ll need to be willing to put in extra hours and to work from home in order to nurture your juvenile business into maturity. That shouldn’t be difficult, seeing as the whole enterprise is likely your dream and your brainchild.

When your business is within its fledgeling years, you may need to work well into the night. These extra hours count. However, it is imperative that you do not overwork yourself. If you do, you risk making human errors and silly mistakes.

At the same time, though, you should allow yourself some off-time so that you’re not overworking yourself into a stressful and illogical place. Be sensible – but be inspired, too.

3. Get the Basics Spot-On.

There’s getting the basics right, and there’s getting the basics perfectly laid-out. Not getting the basics down to a T can have disastrous effects on your business, which is why Hiscox, a company who specialises in insurance cover, express the importance of insuring your first business, so if anything were to happen, you have immediate coverage and documentation.

Through getting the basics done correctly, you are laying down a well-structured and sturdy foundation. These basics need to be completed to a high standard throughout your business, from sales to finance, to marketing and HR. If you are unsure, there are many professionals to offer a helping hand in managing your company until you find your footing.

In order to achieve perfection in these areas, ensure that nothing’s done slap-dash and that all areas of your business are adequately protected and professionally run. Without operating on such a watertight foundation, you’ll be sure to see crack appear as your business grows, evolves and faces you with entirely new challenges.

4. Scale Up. 

Scaling is one of the fundamental timing conundrums when you’re developing your first business. Scale too early, and you’re liable to collapse with a lack of funds; scale too late, and you’ll not have the resources to cope with the extra demand you’re encountering.

There are many ways to scale your business, from the amount of employees you have to a cloud-based system. The best way to avoid a collapse or remaining stagnant is to overview your business’s numbers frequently. When your numbers are proving successful and not dipping, you can hire more workers or even move to a larger office space.

You should have as much of an idea as to your financial and trading forecasts as possible when starting your first business. Get advice from other startup gurus as to when to scale, and ensure that you have a sliding scaling plan that you can reduce back down if you happen to jump the gun a little.

Starting your first business is terribly exciting, and part of that excitement stems from the risk involved. Bear the above four tips in mind to give your business the best chance of long-lasting success heading into the future.

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Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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