Five Simple Business Strategies that Work Best for Startups
What works for the bigger, more established businesses and consultants can be overwhelming if you're new. I've seen many new entrepreneurs flounder in the best of entrepreneurial courses and programs.
When it comes to startups, keeping things simpler is better. There’s a ton to learn, so remembering to go easy on yourself and focusing on the basics is key. You can do this!
Here are a few fundamentals that will make the biggest difference in your first year or two.
Most new entrepreneurs are just getting their feet wet when it comes to sales. If you’re one of them, building your sales skills and confidence is most important. This means simplifying your sales conversations, so they feel easy and casual. Remove the sales-y stuff, take plenty of time, and listen well.
Know that one the most common reasons for startup failure is trying to sell a product or service the market doesn’t want or need. By listening carefully to your clients during your sales conversations, you can find out what they want and match your products and services to them.
Networking is by far the best way to get started in marketing (in my opinion). Making those critical referral connections, practicing your elevator pitch, learning entrepreneurial skills; all this can happen in this space called networking. Also, other entrepreneurs remember what it’s like to be new and will provide support and ideas.
Many people sell things a la carte, which is fine, but moving your services or products into packages is better. By focusing on what your clients want and need, you can create packages (also known as bundles or offers) that better support what your clients are after and increase the revenue you make overall and per client.
Some people set their prices too high and feel disappointed because they are not making sales. Others put their prices too low and are losing money or are barely scraping by. Both situations yield the same results – low revenue and big frustration.
When it comes to business, some sales are better than no sales, so if you are going to lean one way or the other, start out low and raise as you go. As your confidence grows, continue to stretch yourself and raise your prices. Review them at least annually (remember we need to make up for economic inflation at the very least).
5) Bookkeeping and taxes.
Tracking sales and expenses, categorizing things, identifying tax write-offs, choosing business entity types - these are just some of the things startups need to learn. Even though this may seem boring, intimidating, or overwhelming, the sooner you start, the better.
Your business may not be making much money yet and it may be in the negative, but all that is normal for a startup. So don’t worry! Just know that the sooner you get your books in order, the easier tax time will be.
Call around to multiple bookkeepers and tax experts, until you find ones that you’re comfortable with. Consider having two different people help with books and tax preparation (for checks and balances). Also know that there are some who will show you step-by-step how to set up your books and keep on top of them throughout the year.
No matter where you are in your startup journey, know that there is support all around you. Believe in yourself, invest in yourself, and trust that you will be guided to the right people and places. There are many who’ve worn a path before you - seek guidance from those who've been there and remember to listen to your own inner guidance, too.
Danielle Isaac is a business startup and mindset coach. She helps women turn their passion into profit with less stress and greater ease. She walks each client step-by-step through the startup process, so they can relax and know they are on the right track to success. To learn more, visit energizedbusinesses.com.
Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.
Business Start-up Coach
I'm a work-from-home mom who loves being an entrepreneur. Having my own business has allowed me to homeschool my daughter and take better care of myself. I also love organizing winetasting experiences, going hiking and kayaking with friends, and travelling with my family. I joined Elevate because I'm looking forward to connecting with women throughout the US and internationally. Continue Reading
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