Who wouldn’t like to be their own boss one day? But this wish is expressed faster than thought. There is a lot of stamina and good planning behind the thought to help the project “start-up” to much success.
Do you have a clever business idea? You think you can inspire the market with new ideas? Then the temptation to found a start-up is certainly quite great. But being your own boss brings not only increased responsibility, more flexibility and decision-making power. In the end, there is also more financial outlay for the entrepreneur. But of course it is a long way to success and not every good idea pays off in the end. Only a quarter of company founders make it out of the initial phase and into the profit zone.
At the end of the process, the goal is to make money with the developed concept and to survive in the market. Good planning and all kinds of forethought are indispensable for this. Hasty start-ups without long-term planning are rarely crowned with success. Consistent and permanent reflection on one’s own behavior and personal decisions is indispensable. A start-up is a principle that is flexible and subject to continuous change.
Basically, you should be convinced of your idea and have the necessary amount of passion. Should you only want to found the company in order to earn a quick euro, then it is best to let it go straight away. Your drive should be an inner conviction, based on an initially relatively simple basic idea. You can build the rest of the idea on this. The following 5 tips will help ensure that you, as an entrepreneur, come out a winner in the end if possible.
Tip 1: Adjust to the role of the entrepreneur
Great words are quickly spoken, but the subsequent actions are the ones that matter. Self-employment is very different from being an employee. As a company founder, you hold all the strings in your hand. You take care of planning, appointments, accounting, order acquisition and contact management, to name just a few aspects. A high degree of self-discipline and organization is required from you. You should also not be very susceptible to stress, as a lot is demanded of you, especially in the initial phase. Working weeks of 60 and 70 hours can be no exception.
Nevertheless, you should make sure that your private life does not suffer too much. Always allow yourself rest periods and keep in mind that founding a company (legal form of company formation) is not a sprint, but rather an endurance run, in which you should have the appropriate breath to succeed for several years to come. The level of frustration can also be quite high from time to time. You have to be able to endure this and not be discouraged by setbacks. And these will come in any case, so be prepared for them. Company founders must be resilient and have a high degree of patience.
Tip 2: Keep the business idea simple and concept-oriented
A good idea is half the battle. Many euphoric company founders make the mistake at the beginning of complicating the idea unnecessarily. First and foremost, the idea should be quite simple. Don’t overload the initial concept at the end with unnecessary little ideas that come to you in addition. Make sure that the initial concept is simple and understandable, and build the business plan around it. The idea should not only be simple, but also realistic to a high degree, so that it actually leads to success in the end.
The idea should always be seen in the context of your personal skills. Are you an expert in the sector you are aiming for? Do you possess the appropriate education, as well as have the appropriate qualifications. Only if you have good knowledge of the sector can you keep up and lead the start-up to success.
It is important that you differentiate your idea from the competition and find your own niche. The latter is not possible without appropriate market knowledge. It is also important that your idea is not a financial bottomless pit. You also need to understand whether your business idea can be financially self-sustaining. Refinancing (for refinancing definition) should be possible without much effort and after a foreseeable time.
Tip 3: Nothing without a good business plan
Starting a business without a business plan is almost impossible. Not only does it act as a kind of written roadmap for your start-up, it is also an unbeatable argument when it comes to attracting potential financiers to your project. In a detailed plan, you break down what your future business plans are, where you plan to go with the business in the near term, and what the funding options would be. Keep the following points in mind when writing the business plan:
- Write the plan in as neutral a language as possible
- Concrete and realistic statements are in the foreground. Facts are more important, so to speak, than emotions
- Look for evidence and statistics to support your views
- Problems and obstacles should definitely be taken into account and integrated, but always in connection with concrete proposals for solutions.
- Pay attention to comprehensibility and do not get lost in unnecessary technical terms and difficult-to-understand phrases.
- Also waste enough time on the layout of the business plan. Again, the first impression is the most important one.
- Avoid repetition, make sure it is easy to read.
- Afterwards, have the plan proofread by an appropriately qualified person.
A business plan contains various sub-areas, such as a financial plan, marketing plan or personnel plan. It is important to deal with all topics as evenly as possible. If you have little knowledge of certain areas, especially in the financial sector, it is advisable to obtain appropriate advice in advance. It is particularly helpful to get a person on board the company who is knowledgeable in this area.
Tip 4: Be flexible
Even the best business plan and the most precise preliminary considerations are worth far less in the end than originally thought when it comes to implementation in reality. Theory is theory, practice is usually more unplanned. Therefore, do not have blinders on, but always approach new ideas with an open mind. It is important to retain your stubbornness and conviction for the project. There will always be people who will advise you against it. The important thing here is to maintain a balance. Don’t let people talk you out of your idea, as long as you are convinced.
On the other hand, listen carefully to what people you know or even customers give you in terms of feedback. There is always room for improvement, and just because an idea is well conceived does not mean that it will always be easy to implement in day-to-day business. So don’t be afraid to leave existing paths and try out new ways of thinking. Adaptable entrepreneurs are usually the ones who end up on the winning track.
Tip 5: Organize well and hand over work if necessary
Not everyone is a born natural when it comes to organization, but this point is indispensable for the functioning of a start-up. Invoices have to be written and paid, appointments have to be prepared, phone calls have to be made. And the success of your company stands and falls with your level of organization and motivation. While normal employees can afford to work ineffectively and do less than required, as a company manager you have much more responsibility. As a self-employed person, organization and discipline are cornerstones of the way you work.
It is best to make daily, weekly and monthly plans for yourself. Organize your day as best you can. Also important is effectively allocating work to your tasks, especially if you don’t work alone. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Some are brilliant analysts and can plan well, others are more outgoing and communicative. And perhaps still others can give you a good hand with organization and marketing.
Particularly because of the heavy time commitment involved in running a startup, effective time management is an important tool in organizing your company’s day-to-day operations. Assign responsibility for certain areas and don’t burden yourself with more responsibility than you can handle.