Startup companies tend to grow fast, which is why it is very important for entrepreneurs to follow advice of more experienced business people and gain knowledge in all areas of company development. In this article we listed dos and don’ts from several important areas that are crucial for startup success.
Do- Put Yourself in Customer Position;
Most people don’t like receiving spam mail, cold calls or leaflets they don’t intend to read. When trying to engage targeted audience, marketers should imagine what they would like to hear and share only the things they find useful. Free gifts, useful tips, product trial periods, interesting articles in newsletter are the things that build company’s reputation and increase its sales.
Don’t- Give False Promises
Many entrepreneurs fall into marketing speak-trap and tend to make false promises, artificially increase the value of their products and use mind-blowing phrases, which their customers don’t understand. Marketer needs to know the core value of the product and never over-estimate it for marketing purposes. Also during promotion they should use the right language, and know company’s capabilities. Giving false promises and taking more orders than company can process, is the fastest way to destroy its reputation.
Do- Have an Onboarding Process for New Employees
In the same way employees are trying to give good first impression on company’s recruiters, company management should to do the same for them when they arrive on their first day at work. They should be greeted by their managers, introduced to their new colleagues and exchange contact information with them. New employees should also be invited to any kind of team-building activities, the company is organizing. This way, new employees will feel welcomed, and they won’t have problems with fitting in and adjusting to new work environment.
Don’t- Skip Writing Performance Reviews for Each Employee
Performance reviews provide insight in employee’s agility and are very useful to company management when choosing employees who deserve promotion. These reviews should be followed by performance check-ins and consultations with employees that didn’t satisfied the planned norm. After few consultations if employee continues with underachieving, without providing any explanation, company should think about terminating his/her contract. This is another case when performance reviews come handy, because in case of a lawsuit, company management can justify their actions by presenting written proof of employee’s underperformance.
Do- Consider Crowdfunding
This is a completely new concept of funding that became highly popular recently. Companies and individuals create projects, which are being funded by large number of people in the form of contributions, on websites like Kickstarter. For this to happen projects need to be presented in a fun and unique way and they should also be socially and environmentally responsible. In 2013 more then $5 billion was raised in thousands of campaigns, which makes crowdfunding the number one alternative fundraising practice.
Don’t- Skip Liability Insurance
Modern corporate structures are made out of their employees, liabilities and account funds. In this equation liabilities are probably the most important variable, because they allow employees to work and directly determine company’s efficiency and quality of its products or services. That’s why buying an insurance policy that will cover all company’s liabilities in case of emergencies, is a matter of the utmost importance. Entrepreneurs who run small businesses from their homes usually think that their homeowner’s insurance is a safe bet, but if they work with expensive equipment, they should consider buying general liability policy can be a great investment.
Do- Make a Clear Deal with Startup Co-Founders
Not making a clear deal with startup co-founders can cause great problems later on. We can see many corporate examples on how weak deals can cost entrepreneurs billions of dollars, especially in case of highly successful startups. Co-Founder deal should define:
- Percentage each co-founder gets;
- Does co-founders have vesting rights;
- Co-Founders roles and responsibilities;
- Co-Founder’s salaries and commitment;
Don’t- Start Legal Battles Without Hiring a Company Lawyers
Each business (no matter how small it is), should have a company lawyer, from incorporation onwards. In spite of this, many startups skip hiring legal experts, which can lead to catastrophic losses, or even a jail time for the company founders. Although legal issues are not the field in which entrepreneurs should try to save money, if they don’t have enough funds for hiring a legal guardian, they should at least seek for business legal advice whenever they have an issue they can’t resolve.
Although high percentage of startups fails in their initial year, entrepreneurs with good ideas, and a desire to work and prove their abilities, will always succeed. Following these tips and constant learning, pays off big time, when startup grows into a multinational corporation.