5 Top Reflections of a Post Twelve Month Startup
Starting your own business is a journey, no doubt about that. When I began The Female CEO, I had no idea of the impact it would have on my life. Entrepreneurs across the world, I feel you nodding in recognition. The 10,000000 ideas per minute, lack of sleep and an aggressive Guinness world record-breaking typing speed became the norm alarmingly quickly, and the temptation to keep adding bigger and better ideas to an already overflowing workload almost impossible to resist. This shit is hard work, and it’s easy to see why so many businesses don’t make it past the first 12 months; some days, I didn’t think I would survive 12 days!
Today I want to share with you my top 5 reflections and learnings on how to make a new business not only survive but thrive in today’s marketplace.
Are you ready to armour up? Good. Let’s get down to Business.
Are you making life easier?
Think about it. Why do you buy anything? Typically, we put our money down on products and services that make our lives easier or better in some way. Ask yourself; How does what your offering add value? This could be by simplifying an overly complex process, time-saving, cost-saving or improving on something they struggle with. Look for the value, survey your audience and find out what they need. That way, you won’t need to go out searching for a client base; they’re already looking for you because you’ve got what they need. What you seek is seeking you.
Be prepared to change
Successful businesses are typically those which remain flexible. I think we can agree that today’s world is filled with uncertainty and no more so than in the last two years. Covid-19 brought about some of the biggest and most significant business and economic changes we’ve seen in our lifetime, and that’s before we throw political and technological evolution into the mix. Suffice to say, startups need to remain open to review and change to stay ahead. Imagine if Apple inc. Stopped making computers at The Apple 1 or Henry Ford decided cars were good enough in 1913 and declared ‘everyone go home, we’re done here!’. The world is where it is because of people like us. We don’t stop at the first draft of an idea; we learn from feedback, competitors and global market change to find even better ways to serve our people. So stay open; you never know where this entrepreneurship road will take you, and isn’t that exciting?!
Know that you will make mistakes
You can’t know everything; you will make mistakes from time to time, expect it, and learn when they come your way. At first, mistakes can feel like a monumental shame sandwich, layered with guilt and a side helping of radish faced inadequacy. But, in reality, every startup has eaten their share of shame sandwiches; the only difference is that the successful ones learn to order ‘hold the guilt and sides please, we’re all good from the last one’, put right whatever caused the issue in the first place and move on to the next, much more satisfying meal. Accept, rectify and move on.
Ask, and you shall receive
We can’t be good at everything. It’s a fact and not one I embraced readily, let me tell you. When you start out doing all of the things for yourself, you’ll soon realise that there are certain tasks you’re just not cut out for. You’ll recognise them as the things you find yourself muttering phrases such as ‘for fuck sake’, ‘are you kidding me?’ and ‘WTVF’ over and over again while aggressively taking out your frustrations on the keyboard. Start here. This is the best lesson you’ll ever learn in your business, outsource these tasks or hire a team member to take this load off your already burdened shoulders. As your team grows, evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and seek diversity in skills, personalities and backgrounds. That way, you can hire a small dynamic team with common goals and aspirations, and you’ll be ready to take on the world, or at least the next profitable project.
Remember to check in with the plan
It’s easy to say that you need to laser focus on the bigger picture to grow and succeed as a startup, but in reality, It can feel ridiculously challenging when you’re a solopreneur or running a small team. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve completely forgotten where I’m headed, or where my car keys are, or why there’s cat food in the freezer (get used to this, it’s the part of overloaded brain entrepreneurship people don’t talk about at parties). However, having a roadmap and guidelines on what needs to happen and by when is crucial to see if you’re meeting your milestones or goals along the way. Set yourself a date to review it every month and make it enjoyable! Take yourself out for a coffee somewhere with a gorgeous view or lunch in a fancy hotel, this startup stuff is hard work, no two ways about it, but no one said you couldn’t enjoy the process!
Tricia Scott is an author, speaker, passionate startup business mentor and the Founder and Editor of The Female CEO — Create Evolve Overcome, a resource platform and digital magazine for female entrepreneurs worldwide. She brings the most inspirational journeys, stories and tips and training to help entrepreneurs on their own personal success mission.
The Female CEO is expanding and gaining global recognition daily and Tricia is able to bring her own level of expertise as a start-up mentor and multi-company director to her very exclusive table along with her team of brilliant Guest Editors and Contributors. You’ll usually find her with her MacBook in one hand and a coffee or a glass of something fizzy in the other and she always has sunglasses in her hair. Reach out anytime!