When starting a business, every entrepreneur dreams of the time the business will grow to be successful and bring in all the big bucks. However, it is not as easy as it sounds. The reality of starting a business is that there will be times of despair, when business is slow and you feel all hope is lost. There will be times when you will have doubts about why you got into business. Entrepreneurship is glamorised and the psychological price of entrepreneurship is rarely ever discussed.
You have to view entrepreneurship or building a business like a child learning to walk. The child will initially fall and stumble, likely graze his knees before he gets the hang of it. Gradually, he can walk and even run.
Business is the same way; in the early days your services may not gain traction in the marketplace and sell quickly, or you may make mistakes along the way that will threaten the existence of your business, or you may have days when you would have to chase after customers before things begin to pick up and move smoothly.
So what is the best way to go through this trying period?
Start as small as possible. In other words, establish what your minimum viable product (MVP) is. This refers to the most basic version of your product or service that you can offer. It gives you the opportunity to understand what your market wants and improve from there.
Move fast and break things
This simply means, “don’t be afraid to try new ideas and be disruptive”. Try new ideas and fail fast. If you fail, learn the right lessons and move on fast. In fact, it is one of the advantages to being small – you can implement new ideas quickly.
Secure cash flow quickly
Contrary to belief, profits aren’t the key to sustaining a business. It is cash flow. How consistent is your revenue? If you are able to achieve consistent cash flow, profits are not far off.
Treat your customers like king
This is more than just a cliché. It is very important that you offer the best customer service possible. Doing this will make them more than just customers; it will make them your ambassadors.
Fine-tune your company culture and leadership skills
Your company culture means how you do things as a company, your processes, and your interactions among you, your staff and suppliers, among others. If you are unable to get it right when the company is small, it will even be harder as the business grows.
Learn as much as possible about every aspect of the business at this stage
The times will come when the business will be too big for you to micromanage like this, and if there are aspects of it you do not understand, you will have a management crisis waiting to happen.
Implementing the above will able to you to build a structure to enable you to dream big, but start small to help the company grow well.