This blog contribution is being made by Paisley Hansen, a freelance writer.
Over 90% of startups fail and there are about 627k new business started every year. This is not meant to be an in-depth business overview but merely some tips to keep in mind to assist a startup in not contributing to that 90% statistic.
Keep track of ALL your expenses
This may seem obvious, but you may be surprised how much is being spent on non-essential items and services. Make a record of everything purchased and organize them by what is essential and what is discretionary. Many startups when securing the first round of funding, or turning the first profit, splurge on office spaces. It’s hard not to “show” your success. You don’t need to go all out, just snag some cheap office furniture and make do.
Even if this is done over a short period of time it can uncover a lot. A careful review of spending can show how much wasteful spending can be channeled to more important functions. Investing in reliable software, or even just high-quality office organizer that you can use to keep track of and organize your budget may be worthwhile, depending on your needs.
Get as much free exposure as you can
We are more connected than ever and there are multiple platforms available to get your name out there. The flip side of that coin is that many are already aware of this and you have to fight to be heard within something as broad as the internet. Whether it is an actual position within your company, or the responsibility of an intern, or you handle it yourself; use every opportunity to get your name out. Start an account or page for every social media available. Blog, keep up on your twitter, leave comments, do whatever it takes to have a presence online. This alone will save on more traditional marketing strategies that might not be as effective.
Continue to learn on the job
Feeling like you’ve already made it can cost you. If you want to keep up with a changing marketplace and stay ahead of the curve within your industry, you will need to take time to continue learning new skills on the job. Even hiring freelance help with marketing or programming may make a dent in your bottom line. Many of the things you may need to learn are within your ability to pick up to an extent that you can handle most if not all of it. There is likely someone already on payroll who would be willing to use part of her day to learn a new skill or brush up on something you need them more familiar with. Of course, there is no replacement for leading by example. Your employees need to see that you are actively adapting and that your start-up has a culture of continuing education.
As different needs arise, try to approach each new task as one that can be within your ability. Not everything will be within the company’s skill set, but you may be surprised what you are already capable of with a little time spent educating yourself.
Crowdfund a project
If you have a product or service you think enough people will be excited about, take the time to make a serious crowdfunding campaign to get it off the ground. Multiple sites now offer the means to create your own online pitch to potential customers. The catch is you have to meet a dollar amount goal or you get nothing. This allows those who are interested in funding with a risk free way of investing in your company and in turn helping you avoid chasing down capital.
Most are unaware that their startup qualifies for some kind of assistance. They can be hard to lock down, but they can definitely be worth the effort. These can range from modest help to being a huge source of funding. Factors ranging from geography, your specialty, and what demographic you serve can help you qualify for assistance. Having someone researching this regularly for you could be just what you need to get your startup off the ground.