5 top tips for making your startup a success

There is no route to entrepreneurial success that doesn’t involve making some mistakes along the way. But let’s change our language a bit here.

Let’s take those “mistakes” and re word them as “opportunities to improve”. Fundamentally, they are the same thing but with one major difference.

Description 1 – Mistake – something goes wrong. You’re pissed.

Description 2 – Opportunity to improve – something goes wrong. You’re pissed. You analyse why it went wrong. You do it again, using this analysis to avert the previous mistake.

Get the picture?

You’ve all read the stats – between 90% and 95% of all startups fail.  So the question is, why, and perhaps more importantly, why that small percentage prevail.

Now, learning from those “opportunities to improve” is massive in this, but there are loads of other reasons that we can safely say set those successful entrepreneurs apart from the also rans.

Rather than list them all here, (I thought it would be better to write a blog that is actually readable), I’m sharing 5 that I think are so important and definitely achievable!

  1. Ensure there is a need for your product or service

It’s all well and good having an offer that is super exciting and creative, but the only true measure of its worth and therefore its success is – “Does it meet a real need for the ideal client that you’re targeting”?

The most successful businesses are the ones that never lose site of this, but importantly are also ready to adapt their service to meet the changing needs of their target market.

  1. Reach out to those who inspire you

Starting out as an entrepreneur can be intimidating, especially when you’re looking up at all those incredible pioneering individuals who inspired you to take the plunge.

So, as things get moving, you’ll want, and will undoubtedly need a “go to” group of knowledgeable and approachable mentors in place to help offer advice and guidance, and maybe just a sympathetic ear.

The point here is “Don’t be afraid to ask”!

You’ll be surprised by how many replies you get from those inspirational characters who you would have assumed would never have time for little old you! Remember, they were where you are once, and will often be glad you asked.

  1. Remember, competition is a good thing!

You will not be the only one offering what you offer – simple as that!

Sure it can be a bit scary, especially as you are trying to gain recognition and build a client base for your service. But don’t be intimidated by it.

Look at like this – competition is proof that you’re onto something good. Use this competition as inspiration to up your game, focus on continuous improvement, and never sit back and bask in your successes!

  1. Question everything. Why?

Just because something has “always been done that way” doesn’t mean it’s necessarily right. It may seem counter productive to ignore the status quo, but how many of our most successful entrepreneurs succeeded by saying “I want to do this differently”?

Never be afraid to stand up for what you believe in, stick to your guns, and say no when necessary.

  1. Content, content and more content

Content is king in this internet age (yes, it’s an irritating and overused phrase, but it is true!), however it needs to be GOOD content. Good content will make your business stand out from your competitors, and ensure you become firmly lodged in the hearts and minds of your ideal customers.

Blogs, videos, podcasts – work out what your customers engage with most, and tailor it specifically to them. Remember consistency is key here – blogging every day for a week then waiting a month will not bring success!

So, if your business lasts, there will be those who say you’re lucky. You’ve been able to do something that the vast majority of new startups haven’t.

I’m not sure I believe in luck. There may be a certain amount of right place, right time, fortunate meetings or fortuitous breaks that appear to come your way, but I believe you truly reap what you sow.

There are always more tangible reasons for that success.

Namely – a product that meets a need, an inquisitive and learning mindset, a willingness to invest and grow, and that ability to turn those “mistakes” into opportunities!

Focus on these four traits, have faith in your ability and perhaps most importantly – enjoy yourself – and you’ll be well and truly on the road to long lasting success.

For more support, advice, problem sharing (and solving) from a truly awesome collection of entrepreneurial women, check out my membership group http://bit.ly/gsdsociety