With tens of start-ups popping up every year, the competition in any market space has become immensely brutal. To survive long enough for your start-up to make profits, one must find an entrepreneurial edge that can distinguish his/her brand from the rest.
Step 1: Master the space
It is crucial for startups to specialise as early as they can to catch the larger portion of the market they are participating in. Industries have become incredibly saturated to the point where new brands without any fresh offerings or key differentiator are guaranteed to crash and burn almost instantly.
Step 2: Work on scalability
Long-term growth will require the best entrepreneurial team. Without the right talent pool running it, startups cannot efficiently scale to their full potential and likely plateau their sales.
Step 3: Maximise your involvement
It isn't enough to grow your brand through external efforts. Helping assemble the right staff and prepare key operations should be a proactive part of an entrepreneur's daily regimen.
Step 4: Learn new languages
Bilingualism can be a very valuable skill for entrepreneurs. When a startup is ready to expand globally, it will have to gain new business partners in foreign markets, as well as, outsource tasks to external staffing.
Learning a language or bringing in staff with foreign languages is an obvious precuror to international expansion. It’s not enough to rely on everyone else you deal with to know English. Learn the language of your target market and think about getting to terms with the languages of growing economies: Mandarin, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Step 5: Take care of yourself
As the CEO of a startup, you should be running on all cylinders every day of the year. Avoid skipping meals and get at least 8 hours of sleep per day. Depriving yourself of the most basic needs will disable you from thinking clearly and making sound decisions.
A product like Modafinil in Australia has been proven to be effective and safe – helping you to stay awake if you're working late hours without the loss of concentration and productivity you would normally exhibit. It’s a firm favourite in the boardrooms of many of the world’s big brands. Dave Aspey, the man who shone a light on its benefits in business, told News.com.au that “it's been an enormous boost for my career and even my family, having limitless energy and focus is amazing.”
Step 6: Nurture your workforce
Startups usually have few employees in their infancy stage. But as it grows, more employees are hired to compensate for the growing amount of responsibility. Help your employees advance their career opportunities and try to design a work environment that promotes new ideas and quality work.
Step 7: Have a professional-looking website
It's easy to create a functioning website nowadays due to the plethora of web design and development services accessible. Create a website that has an easy-to-use platform, aesthetically pleasing design, and complete functionality features.
It doesn’t have to cost a fortune either. Hosted options like SquareSpace are ideal for the DIYers among you who want a professional looking site, on a budget.
Step 8: Stay updated
The technology space, which is the common birthplace of startups, is consistently changing. Continue refining your skills by attending seminars, taking extra courses online and reading books.
Tip: Is there someone in business that inspires you like Richard Branson? Do a search for something like “Richard Branson recommended reading” and learn from the books they find valuable.
One of the most interesting sites you can use is Mixergy, a site that features interviews with other entrepreneurs. If you don’t live in a hotbed of entrepreneurialism, these interviews could really help give you a sense of belonging and help you learn from the mistakes of others.
Step 9: Target the right social media space
Facebook and Twitter aren't the only social media platforms you should focus on. Research diligently on social media platforms that are popular in the area you are targeting and allocate the larger chunk of your marketing resources into it.