Perhaps you’ve just started a business and you’re ready to get to the next level, but you don’t want to make common mistakes other startup owners make. Running a successful business isn’t just about building a great product or service, it’s about longevity and creating a team who can support your long-term success.
Here are some tips to keep your startup humming along.
Don’t hire just anyone
A bad hire can end up costing your small business some serious money. When you’re desperate for help, it can force you into making a bad hiring decision. It’s important that you choose someone who can wear many hats, especially when you’re still in the initial phases of business. Any person you add to your team can make or break your business.
Take your time with all aspects of the hiring process (from hiring to offer letters), and make sure each step is compliant with federal regulations regarding discrimination.
Start with a thoughtful job description that accurately describes the role, reporting relationships, and responsibilities expected of a worker in the position. Post the job description on your local social media network, LinkedIn, Indeed, and other career websites. You may even want to consider adding on a post on Craigslist to find local candidates. An accurate, well-written job description will help you narrow down who you want when the applications come streaming in.
Don’t scale up too quickly
One of the biggest mistakes that startups tend to make is scaling up too quickly. It can happen to anyone. Imagine this scenario: your company is doing exceptionally well in the marketplace and you hire on more people to keep up with your growth. Then, your biggest client ends their contract. Now there’s simply not enough work to go around and there definitely isn’t room in the budget to keep all your employees. Do you lay people off by seniority? By productivity? Nobody wants to sit down and have to make these terrible decisions when you’re dealing with a struggling business.
So, your best bet to avoid this situation is to scale up in a way that allows for sustainable growth. If you know you’re going to see a busy season, can you hire outside help in the form of freelancers to get you over the hump? If you can outsource some of your work, it provides you with a way to keep growing without the expense involved with hiring on a full-time worker.
Don’t worry about flashy trends
Marketing is like any other industry and is subject to trends which may or may not help your business. Regardless, stay true to the values and core of your business. Use your brand voice as your guide and don’t be swayed by flash-in-the-pan trends that may not accurately reflect where you want to go.
Make sure your finances are in order
If you have any issues like back taxes, it’s important to get them squared away immediately. The last thing a new business needs is trouble with the IRS. So make sure to hire an accountant if you need help filing back taxes and allow you to better comprehend your finances. Setting a realistic budget for your company is crucial. Do you really need in-office hoverboards? Probably not. Make sure to list out a business wants versus needs priority list.
If you’re trying to save money, consider some of the tips below:
- Hire a remote, full-time workforce: Not only does this allow you to attract top talent regardless of their location, it also avoids you needing to sign a lease for an expensive office.
- Hire outsourced workers during the busy season: In a pinch, freelancers can fill in the gaps. However, if you regularly rely on freelancers to help you out, it might make more sense to hire a full-time employee instead.
- Offer low-cost perks like flex schedules: Perks make a large difference in your ability to attract and more importantly – retain – top talent.
It can be easy to be discouraged in the world of startups. Perhaps you lost out on getting a lucrative sales contract or your favorite employee is leaving for greener pastures – those are all headaches that startup owners have to deal with. However, being able to deal with the ups and downs of business life is an important part of being a business owner. Stay calm and stay true to your vision.
It’s no surprise that 90% of startups fail. It can be hard to dial everything in and create a successful business out an initial idea. However, with the right business plan and growth strategy, you might just find yourself at the helm of a lucrative company.