Start-ups are continuously springing up in the market. Yet, founding or running a new enterprise is no cakewalk. From brainstorming disruptive ideas, arranging finances, launching your products, building a management team to meeting client expectations, there’s just no end to your to-dos. In fact, with start-ups, you need to put in extra efforts as differentiating your products and services is vital for long-term survival. Each step is important and brings you closer to your organizational goals. Fulfilling day-to-day responsibilities is crucial to achieve your end objectives. When managing a start-up, the rule of thumb should be to clearly define your strategic priorities and work towards realizing your ultimate goals. Below are mentioned a few tactics that will help steer your business to success:
1. Keep your team motivated and braced up: Working in a start-up may involve additional responsibilities for some job roles. Building an enterprise from scratch is anyway no easy task. It becomes imperative for the founders and team leads then to actively take part in encouraging employees to give their best performance. You can incentivize your team in various ways through financial perks and maintaining work-life balance, including employee stock options, generous appraisals, a PTO policy, flexible work hours, wellness events and perks, public appreciation, bonuses for high performance, recreational activities, celebrations and success parties, career-advancement workshops and trainings, work-from-home sanctions, whenever necessary and regular employee feedback.
2. Define realistic, achievable roadmap: Clients and customers come first for any corporate house. They purchase your products and services and are the primary source of revenue. Outsmarting competitors and living up to clients’ expectations is important for any organization. A start-up must focus on getting new clients, retaining the existing ones and expanding their business network. This requires a thorough and shared understanding of client expectations among all team members a well as clearly demarcated plans to meet those expectations. In fact, in a start-up, planning presides over implementation and the capability to think through what your targets are and how they can be met is likely to yield your company substantial payoffs.
3. Set up organized workflows: If you want all the tasks to be executed seamlessly by your team, you need to establish and communicate the processes effectively. Rely on written documentation if you like which will act like a yardstick for the employees to follow, eliminate inconsistencies and provide clarity. Process documentation is also extremely effective for new employees for training purposes.
4. Raise or stay ready to raise funds continually: Procuring angel, seed and venture capital for a startup is challenging. Yet, a wise CEO would plan in advance by keeping all marketing materials and other assets ready for unforeseen proposal presentations. Signing up new investors requires a great deal of effort. It is advisable to prepare an investor pitch deck and a short elevator pitch for prospective investors well in advance. Run marketing and PR campaigns and try to connect with potential investors through higher-ups in your company – board members, existing investors, promoters and company lawyers. Be rapid in responding to investor inquiries and have an online repository containing your organization’s corporate documents, key contracts, intellectual property information and other data that an investor would take interest in.
5. Get a skillful team onboard: Right people for an organization can prove to be catalysts of success and fetch desired results. While hiring, keep an eye out for the requisite caliber and talent which you think can contribute significantly towards your business goals. As start-ups need to sail through in a highly volatile environment, make sure your employees are driven and accustomed to facing constant challenges. Laidback attitude won’t work and adaptability as per the company’s culture is essential. Simultaneously, effective delegation is important. No matter how small your team, you need to find the right people who can shoulder responsibilities and deliver results in the shortest time frame. However, do not consider delegation as renouncing your responsibility. Founders and CEOs must follow-up and ensure that work is done – and rightly so.
6. Welcome new ideas, opinions and changes: Sticking to an idea without considering its pitfalls or taking feedback from others can be self-defeating. Think of innovative ideas, of products and services that stand out. Make the consumer’s or client’s life easier and distinguish yourself from competitors. Getting your ideas reviewed by your team members or trusted friends will make room for improvements. Never refuse to admit loopholes, fix them or drop a plan altogether.
7. Build a unique product but don’t delay the launch: Once you’ve created an innovative product or service, you must not procrastinate releasing it into the market. Pay heed to distinguishing the solution reasonably from your competitors’ offerings and consider this sufficient to launch it. Improvements can be implemented later on and it is no bad idea to give value to early customer feedback.
8. Embrace project management protocols: Following the best practices of project management helps keep your targets on track. Established project management standards help entrepreneurs achieve business goals, meet corporate requirements, make cost savings, optimize the use of resources and keep employees motivated.
9. Be and hire people who are efficient salespersons: High sales figures are coveted by all entrepreneurs but only few are able to reach that mark. CEOs must focus on getting such employees onboard who are talented salesmen. On their part, CEOs and team leads should direct the company in a way that sales targets for each person are clearly defined and communicated. Keep tabs on how well your short-term and long-term goals are being achieved and revisit targets, policies and strategies, whenever necessary. Invest more time, money and efforts in formulating better marketing objectives and campaigns and be in the race to constantly expand your reach to potential clients and customers. At the same time, you should concentrate on understanding the major needs of your customers and resolving issues, if any. Comparative analysis of your products and services with those of the outperforming competitors will also be fruitful and help you increase your market share by optimizing your offerings.
10. Prioritize tasks frequently and effectively: As the company’s head, you need to ensure that the most important tasks are given due priority by each department and at all times. With time, your startup will grow and multiple activities may go on all at once without a viable, targeted strategy being followed. It is on the team managers then to properly communicate crucial tasks on a daily, weekly or monthly basis and set deadlines for the same.