Realistic Tips for Your Startup
Startups make the free world go round. Every giant brand began life as a startup. From Apple to Google, they all began with one person saying, “Hmm, what would happen if I … I mean, would that even be possible? Only one way to find out.”
If you want to change the world, you might need some tips along the way…
Invoicing is essential
Serial entrepreneurs will be familiar with the scenario of chasing payments – invest in invoicing software as early as you can (see this site for invoicing options).
Let’s say you start a paper sales company. All day, you and your minimal staff numbers work hard to create business connections and seal deals to meet the paper supply needs of paying customers. But here’s the problem. What if they don’t pay?
Startups are notorious for being given the-run-around (or more simply, startups are treated like second-class companies, whereby a residential business address and low staff numbers means many companies choose to ignore requests for payment because they know you don’t have much in your sales-team arsenal to chase them).
Invoicing looks smart. It puts the total bill in your customer’s hands and it informs your customers of all payment details. Invest early, and save time on chasing payments.
Begin networking yesterday
Networking is only easy if you know how to do it. If your attempts at networking have so far amounted to nothing more than telling your aunt Nora and her friend Doris about your business, then you aren’t going to have much to report in terms of quarterly sales figures that can be traced back directly to your attempts at networking.
You need to find and attend relevant events. Message people in your field and compliment them on their work. Ask how they did it. Ask for advice. Let people know about your projects and tell them how they could get involved in ways that could benefit their company.
Reaching out to the right people and leaving your message open to feedback is the difference between people somehow knowing who you were and clicking on your website through a feeling of familiarity, and people that have never heard of you. It’s called networking because it works – if it didn’t it’d be called net-not-working.
Your competitors are already networking. They get out of bed early in the morning to poach your customers. It’s time to take networking seriously.
Work hard to maintain a work-life balance
Entrepreneurs have to put in the hours. There is no doubt about it. You can’t reach your goals without blood sweat and tears (if it were easy to succeed in business, everyone would be doing it!). But working hard to afford that island in the shape of a dollar bill will all be for nothing if you forget who you are and where you came from.
Family is huge. Good friends are hard to find (“grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel”, as Shakespeare once said). An island is just a lonely place to sit if you’re there alone, no matter how nice it is. Make sure you make time for what matters.