Starting your own business can trigger a swirl of heady emotions. Anticipation, nerves, hope, dreams, and crippling fear all vie for control. It’s all part of the emotional highs and lows of startup life, a roller coaster ride that is painstakingly and meticulously rewarding from inception to launch.
For would-be entrepreneurs who plan to launch a business, advice will pour in from every direction. Most would be common and familiar tips, but seasoned entrepreneurs will recommend you keep an eye on the basics and innovative opportunities.
1. Prepare to commit for the long haul
Many people dream big but end up nowhere. A business can be as much or even more demanding than taking care of a newborn baby.
Ask yourself if you are willing to commit – heart and soul. Starting a business will entail hours of toil, weeks and months without vacations, very little time for family and friends (at first), and the possibility of your plans going belly-up.
There is no room for procrastination and excuses. Before you invest time and money into a startup, be brutally honest with yourself, and consider whether you are ready for the long haul.
2. Understand the investment landscape
How will you fund your business? Will you begin scrappily? Do you have friends and family that could invest? Have you considered a crowdfunding campaign? Perhaps, your startup costs require angel or venture investment, and you’ve exhibited initial traction.
If your business model is attractive and produces modest profits, you might be able to impress venture capitalists. But attracting investors is merely the first step.
Consider the overall value an investor brings to the table. A strong investment partner will provide invaluable expertise, connections, skill development, and more – an offering in exchange for equity that is commensurate with their contribution.
3. Consider alternative payments, including cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrencies can be a boon for startups. The world is undisputedly moving towards a digital ecosystem, and digital payments are a large part of that transition.
Accepting crypto payments can help your business grow and succeed. For starters, businesses can benefit from low transaction fees when compared to traditional payment systems such as Visa and Mastercard’s credit card swipe fees. Payments are direct and do not rely on intermediaries. This eliminates the cost that banks or other processors charge.
Meanwhile, crypto payments are more secure than traditional banking institutions. Banks obtain too much data and retain it, while there’s more privacy with virtual currencies. When a transaction takes place, the most you can know is a transaction id and the wallet address, while the cryptocurrency payment processor requires your name and shipping address. No additional information is shared with anyone.
Startups can undoubtedly benefit from monetary transactions being safe and secure. If you’re unfamiliar with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ether, and the definition of Ripple, research how these digital currencies can transform your business.
4. Don’t overlook the competition
You may think you’ve come up with an innovative idea, but in all probability, there is already an established business working along those lines. Even if you are operating in a niche industry, you have to be aware of your competitors. Research competitive performance, supply chains, marketing, and everything that can help you identify a competitive edge. You will also learn a thing or two about running your business.
5. Become an operational success
How successfully you deal with the operational needs of your business will make or break your startup. Make careful plans regarding your supply chain, where you will source your materials, how you will go-to-market, the best ways to reach potential customers, technical aspects of marketing including website development and social media, payments, maintaining records and many other daily aspects of operations.
Craig Lebrau is the CMO of Media Insider, a Wyoming-based PR company that aims to disrupt the way companies communicate their brand in the digital era.
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