The very earliest days of starting up a new business will inevitably be challenging for the founders involved at the sharp end, regardless of the goals being set or the markets being targeted. But once a measure of growth and success has been achieved, there are new challenges to overcome and a new array of pitfalls to avoid.
Here’s a look at a few ways in which a fledgling company might aim to maintain growth and develop consistently into a business with a sustainable future.
1. Avoid making too many promises
Having ambitions to grow is essential as a startup but it can be just as important for a new company’s founders not to promise more than they are capable of delivering.
Startups will generally have limitations on what they can do and it is better to acknowledge and be open about them than to make extravagant promises and then fail to deliver. Developing into a capable and well-regarded business takes time and growth needs to be managed, particularly during the early stages, and taking on too much work too soon can often actually hinder rather than advance that process.
2. Don’t let discounts become the norm
Bending on price can be a useful ploy to appeal to potential customers and clients as a newly created company but it is important not to let these policies become standard procedure. This is particularly the case if the terms of a working arrangement are consistently being set and negotiated down by a specific client. Each case must be assessed on its merits but it is vital as a small business to have an awareness of what your services are worth and to be prepared to walk away from business that is not worth the investment of your time and effort.
3. Be upfront about payments
So much of the focus when you’re starting a new business will be on securing sales and exceeding customer expectations wherever possible but there is nothing more essential to the development process than getting paid in full and on time. Cash flow problems can quickly become vital concerns for small businesses and it’s crucial to be completely clear with your clients or customers about exactly what you’re expecting of them in terms of payments.
4. Be proactive
Getting involved at the earliest stages of running a startup company is an inherently proactive step to take but important decisions will inevitably need to be made on a regular basis thereafter and inaction can be every bit as unhelpful as bad decisions.
There is no sense being proactive purely for its own sake but in the context of having started a business, bosses need to be alive to opportunities and potential problems alike and to be ready to seize equally quickly on both.