We have all been made painfully aware of the increasing numbers of cubicle workers leaving their day jobs to join the self-employed army. The startup boom is cause for some concern if you’re looking to take the plunge into self employment. Though we hate to admit it, competition is a scary concept. No one likes the thought of trying to start a business just like one that already exists. For that reason, it is extremely beneficial to take extra steps that will ensure your business will stand out.
Keep it Simple
In the first stages of creating a startup, we tend to cling onto any idea that comes to mind and not want to let go. Businesses are not like blogs. They don’t dabble into multiple fields and try to make them relate. The most successful startups have a specific focus. Simplicity is the key to branding a business. Taking on more than what’s necessary can create problems that are impossible to handle.
Have a Lawyer
One of the biggest mistakes anyone creating a startup can make is not having someone to give them legal advice. Creating a brand can bring about a hailstorm of legal struggles. Consider yourself lucky if you don’t have to battle anyone in court. Even if you don’t foreshadow any of this happening for you, it is always best to be prepared. Websites and products need to be insured and at some point, unless you went to law school yourself, you’re going to need a lawyer.
Go Old School
Remember the days when marketing was so simple that you didn’t need to hire someone else to do it for you? When it comes to advertising, especially when starting a brand from the ground up, getting the word out in any way possible will help. Don’t be afraid to give discounts on your products or services. A lot of owners are afraid to give discounts at first because they don’t want it to take away from possible early profit. Giving incentives will not only increase your customer base, but it will turn more profit than expected. Use all of your connections. By connections, I mean family, friends, old co-workers, old employers, and anyone else that can help you spread the word about this great startup you’ve created. Make quality posters and give them to whomever you can. There’s no reason to be bashful when your career is on the line. Be proud of your work and put yourself out there.
Never Stop Learning
Skills that are learned while interning and working for others never retire. Continuing to learn and better yourself, and your brand, will always be beneficial in the long run. Reach out to other owners in similar fields as you. Pick their brains about their experiences, if they allow you. Constructive criticism is extremely helpful. Take seminars whenever you can. Travel to other cities and visit businesses like yours. Keeping an open mind about ways you can improve any aspect of your startup is crucial.
Lauren Runyon is an up-and-coming interior designer, business owner, and blogger. She is currently an Interior Design student in Gainesville, FL.