7-Step Guide for Startup Entrepreneurs: From Taking the Leap to Growing Your Business

Mar 11, 2022

Ready to embark on an entrepreneurial journey? There are many different small business kick starters or approaches, and people take varying pathways, with some falling by the wayside after several months or a few years, and others learning as they go along and eventually succeeding.

It does not take a genius to figure out the tried-and-tested techniques. In fact, there are lots of testimonials and other available information resources on how to start a business. While many small business ideas may inspire startup entrepreneurs to get started on their own venture, a cardinal rule to keep in mind is that what has worked for one successful business owner may not fly with others. Amidst the noise – which you can block out — focus on your own vision, seasoned here are some guiding tips as you start your own business, make a mark, and soar.

Tip #1: Refine the business idea or concept. Most people use their gut instinct and kindle their passion for an activity, hobby, or something they have long had a strong, enduring interest in, which may be food, a desire to help others, something natural, and so on. At a forum for Filipino small entrepreneurs a decade ago, a pizza franchisor stated that passion and a hands-on approach were very important elements when starting up a business, but her love for food – which she narrowed down to pizza – prompted her to start her own business. Refining a business idea also means knowing what is out there – what existing players are doing, and what business models are being done – are they franchising or starting their own brands?

Tip #2: Have a unique selling proposition. As you get your foot in the door or enter the wide-open market, what specific need are you satisfying? How do you stand out from others? Do you offer something environmentally-friendly? Every sale may thrill you, but beyond capturing buyers’ attention, remember that you need to be able to give due attention to these three start-up business essentials: product, value, and brand experience.  To be able to deliver these three important elements paving the path to startup growth, you need to have a pulse for the market. Know your target market, consumers’ evolving needs, and why they buy stuff.  Find out as well what irks customers, like being overcharged, slow delivery, lack of additional services, and others.

Tip #3: Ensure adequate funding. Being on the right footing entails, among others, having sufficient funding. So as not to be too pressured, some small entrepreneurs keep things simple. They start with very minimal financial investment upfront, but then orders may increase and with that uptrend, one needs to be ready with funds. Finding out how much new business or startup costs are when getting one’s own business off the ground is crucial. Simply relying on your saved earnings, and on family members who may be around to help, maybe reassuring, but devise ways and find other options, including alternative financing sans the long, tedious process. Glean business financing tips from those who have been around. A good piece of advice is not to overspend, for instance. When extra funding is required, get qualified for a loan from a lender with a track record of experience. Turn to a reliable peer-to-peer funding platform such as BlendPH when learning the ropes on how to start a business and covering the financial aspect.

Tip #4: Do not spread yourself thin. Learn to delegate and empower people who show dedication and potential to look out for the business. While it is true that putting massive effort into an entrepreneurial endeavor can lead to good things happening, always doing so can leave you exhausted. Scheduling is key. Set aside time for well-deserved breaks and self-care.  Hire and train people to help you manage your small business, including a marketing consultant who can see things from the outside. You may not readily discern it at the start of your entrepreneurial journey, but there are a thousand and one details that need to be attended to. Chances are, you will not be able to do them all.  Prioritize and realize that as a business owner, you have limitations.

Tip #5: Limit threats that may lurk in the internal or external sphere. A single mistake like frontline personnel showing bad customer service can be a major misstep.  A seemingly little thing or an important but overlooked matter can be pricey, especially if it erodes customer confidence. Consider insurance, tech investment, the right people. Be ready to invest in such things.

Tip #6: Timing is important. When you start your own business, you need to guard against growing too quickly, too soon. There is an abundance of small business ideas in the marketplace, and an excited start-up business enthusiast may want to try more than one product/service all at once, but if the timing is not right, the business may soon flounder.

Tip #7: Adapt. When crises occur, adjust or rework your business model if the need arises. Have a Plan B or Plan C to enable the business to keep moving forward when unexpected changes occur. Evaluate situations well and form strategic relationships. Even if you are not the type who wants to mingle, you need to interact and grow your reach with the help of like-minded entities. For example, you may want to join an association of small franchise owners if you have taken the franchising route.

The best starts up business ideas are not born and executed posthaste. Startup growth very often occurs after a long gestation period. Planning, finetuning, adopting good business ideas, spotting red flags, tweaking, pivoting, re-learning is all part of the process of knowing how to start a business, and then growing it.