Habits that can make or break your startup
Starting a business is a very personal journey and one that requires absolute attention and effort. Entrepreneurs often create businesses that reflect who they are as a person – meaning that personal habits and motivations can commonly creep into business proceedings. However, it’s important to ensure that you recognise when you are doing something for the benefit of the business or yourself because these lines can become blurred when you are at the helm of a startup.
Below, we explore some of the habits that you may or may not be doing, and how these could just make or break your startup dreams.
You may be a planner or a more spontaneous individual in your personal life, but when it comes to the world of entrepreneurship planning thoroughly at all stages is a must. Failing to plan is, as the saying goes, planning to fail. A lack of strategy and forward-thinking will only lead to poor decision-making and leave your startup without a real sense of direction. If you’re not an effective planner, perhaps consider bringing someone onboard who can help you with that element.
Keeping pace with market and industry developments
Industries and markets are forever changing, and this means you have to change with them. Many entrepreneurs start businesses off the back of knowledge or experience they gathered from previous roles – but this knowledge can be outdated and irrelevant in certain industries. Digital transformation is determining the future of all industries at the moment, and you’d be smart to attend events and conferences to boost your insight. Perhaps you could stay in a serviced apartment for a few nights and expand your knowledge through talks, seminars and trade shows.
Bringing the right people onboard
The key to a successful startup is surrounding yourself with the right people who can support your ambitions and efforts. This refers to both employment (if you’re at that stage) or just friends and family if you’re still relatively new. People that you are trusting with your business should share your enthusiasm or passion for what you are trying to achieve or at least understand its importance to you. Entrepreneurs need to recognise where their strengths and weaknesses lie and how they can benefit from the support of others.
Money is a significant factor for anyone starting a business, but it can’t dominate your thinking or ambitions if you’re looking to succeed in the long term. Take Amazon, for example – Jeff Bezos was solely focused on customer satisfaction and experience when he started the company decades ago and this allowed him to build a massive and loyal customer base whilst he barely turned a profit. Fast forward to today and Amazon is one of the biggest companies in the world and sees annual profits in the billions. Chasing profit whilst you are starting up is more likely to see you fail than succeed because you’ll care less about the long-term viability and strength of your business and more about short-term gains.
Cutting corners can have devastating impacts on both your personal and professional life. When things aren’t done properly, the risk of accidents and mistakes increases dramatically. This could be avoiding basic car maintenance in your personal life leading to you breaking down or being involved in a collision. In the business world, it may be choosing a cheaper material for your product simply because it costs less or filing your accounts incorrectly which can lead to many financial and legal implications. Of course, finding ways to improve efficiency or productivity is great, so long as it doesn’t impact the quality of your product or service.