It is very easy to get carried away with the excitement and optimism of venturing into the entrepreneurial world. However, there are certain decisions which could be termed ‘hasty’, especially at the initial stages.
The Entrepreneur, a US based online platform for insight and advice on nurturing businesses, together with Michelle Fish of Integra Staffing, have drawn up a list of six things that can wait when starting up.
Pursuing sales whales
Most times you may be lucky enough to land a major deal at the beginning of your business. The only problem with that is the risk involved. This is because if at any point you lose anyone of the big clients responsible for both the expansion and funding, it could prove disastrous.
“It may be best not to go for the home-run account right away,” suggests Michelle Fish of Integra Staffing, “because you might not be ready for the size and scope of their business, and you might not get another chance at them if you blow it. Sometimes it’s better to get your feet wet with smaller accounts.”
Hiring Sales Personnel
You have to be prepared to multi-task especially at the early stages. Hiring someone to run the sales department may seem like the easy way out, but sometimes it’s better to take charge and sell your products and services. Later in the course of your business you can employ a representative.
“Hiring for sales is hit or miss,” she says. “And anyway, nobody’s going to do [sales] better in the beginning than you.”
Develop the habit of looking up to a mentor or someone who is capable of motivating and checking your business strategies. This mentor can offer practical advice on how to handle partnership contracts, which is exactly what you need at this point. In a situation where the need arises for an accountant or attorney, make necessary allocations of duties.
“Pay them now for help incorporating the business, reviewing partnership agreements and ensuring you have a viable accounting system in place upon launch, but wait to enlist them for less pressing matters,” advocates Michelle.
A rather expensive website
In the beginning you really do not need a high-end website to push your business. This can dip far into your budget, stick to the main priorities. This applies most especially to start-ups that do not rely on e-commerce.
“Unless it’s e-commerce-reliant, start with a no-frills website. You can roll out major improvements, such as regularly refreshed content, multimedia, a mobile-friendly design and other bells and whistles, in version 2.”
Alternative Marketing, Advertising and PR
Seeking outside marketing and various forms of promotion should be avoided. Trust your instincts and stick to in-house schemes for a while. It is a great feeling to have the big shots manage your advertising, but is that the best option for a growing business?
“We said no to a lot of marketing opportunities that we thought would be cool but didn’t make sense from an ROI standpoint,” says Nick Friedman of College Hunks Hauling Junk. “Sure, it would have been nice to have prime-time TV and radio ads right away … but that would have sent us way over our marketing budget.”
Brand New products and services
Build on your solid points, the best of all your products during this period. At this critical stage avoid carrying out any experiments. Focus on your strongest offering first.
You need the best of your goods and services to enable you build the customer base you desire. When you are sure that the existing products will provide a long term source of revenue, it will then be safe to invest and introduce new offerings.