Getting a business off the ground is one of the most stressful and challenging things you can do. UK startup business failure rates suggest that 20% of all new businesses fail in their first year, while 60% have failed by year three. But that shouldn’t stop you.
If you have a great idea, are passionate about your business and are committed to making it work, then you should absolutely give it a go, but make sure that you take plenty of advice along the way.
So what do those who have been there and seen it before have to say? Let’s take a look.
- Show that you can do more than make money
The vast majority of startup businesses require external investment at some stage in their early lives, but according to Blake Mycoskie of TOMS Shoes, showing investors that your business can be profitable is really only the beginning. Investors also want to see how your business will contribute to the wider world, whether that’s by helping the underprivileged, saving the environment or championing sustainability.
- Be versatile and collaborative
Startup life is not nearly as glamorous as you might hope and it can often be extremely messy, says Edison Chen. That’s why the ideal startup founder and early-stage employees are able to tolerate chaos and still drive the business forward, whether it’s by approaching potential clients as a salesperson one moment, to creating marketing campaigns the next.
- Be the sidekick
As the founder of a startup, you might expect to be front and centre of everything the business does, but as Vasco de Castro of Fruitful Office explains, that should not always be the case.
He found that “learning to delegate important tasks and decisions was essential as my business grew, but you can only do that if you have employees around you that you trust.”
Giving employees the autonomy to make decisions and explore how they work best is a hugely important part of creating a successful team. Vasco has been successfully running the Fruitful brand through recession (not to mention a destructive pandemic) over the last 15 years.
- Create a business plan that gives you room to change
When it comes to your business plan, it’s important to appreciate that your original path to success might not be the one you stay on. According to Huw Griffith of M&C Saatchi, as you come to better understand your products and services, your costs and your customers, you’ll always need to change. That’s why your business plan should never be set in stone and should be flexible enough to allow unexpected pivots.
So there you have it, four tips for startup success from experienced entrepreneurs. If you have any startup tips of your own, we’d love it if you could share them in the comments below.