Setting up a successful startup isn’t easy. It demands hard work, passion, creativity, and determination, and there will inevitably be problems and challenges that need to be overcome along the way.
Indeed, statistics show that the majority of startups don’t survive their first few years, so it really is vital to get into the right mindset, plan properly, and be ready for anything when setting up your small business.
As well as worrying about marketing, branding, SEO strategy, hiring the right people and offering the best possible products and services, it’s wise to get your startup into some good habits to help you grow and evolve over time. Here are five key examples, practised by leading entrepreneurs.
A lot of startups make the mistake of enforcing unnecessary limits on themselves or putting their entire brand into a box. When faced with challenges or interesting prospects, they tend to shy away, feeling that their company isn’t “ready” or “right” for those kinds of roles.
However, one of the keys to effective business growth and evolution is being able to accept challenges and face them head-on. As stated above, difficult moments will arise during your startup journey, and if you simply hide or try to avoid them, your brand could miss out on key opportunities to grow.
So don’t be afraid to take challenges, accept unusual requests, deal with clients that are outside of your usual audience, and push your brand in bold new directions to see how far you can truly go.
Trust Your Instincts
It doesn’t matter what kind of business you’re running, whether it’s a tech startup specializing in AI, a research paper writing service, or a new vegan bakery to serve the local community, your instincts as a business owner can help you make vital decisions and avoid bad situations.
This is especially true when it comes to dealing with clients or potential hires. Let’s say you’ve just had the first contact with a new client, but something feels wrong to you. Maybe the tone of their message isn’t quite right or the way in which they talked about the project seemed a little out-of-line with your vision.
Trust your gut. Don’t work with people who don’t seem to be the right fit for you. It’s so important to surround yourself with the right people if you want to run a successful startup, so you should always follow your instincts and avoid potentially toxic connections whenever possible.
Always Think of the Long Term
There are some dream stories of people launching successful startups that prove to be big hits right away and then get bought out by bigger companies within their first few years. But these are exceptions.
Most startups will need to survive on their own for many years before potentially being acquired by a bigger brand or seeking a partnership or merger with another company, so you always need to think about the bigger picture and plan ahead for the long-term survival of your company.
When it comes to making decisions or assessing your budget and strategy, always think about the future. Get into the habit of asking “How will this affect the business in the future?” and “Where do we want the business to be five years from now?”
Develop a Growth Mindset
As stated several times throughout this guide, challenges and problems are going to inevitably arise with your startup, but the way you respond to those challenges could be the key factor that defines your success or failure.
When issues arise, you can choose to respond in two ways. You can even see these issues as a representative of a failure on the part of your business, responding with frustration and disillusionment. Or you can see them as learning opportunities.
This latter method is the core concept of getting into a “growth mindset”. It’s all about seeing problems in a different light and trying to learn from them, always looking for ways to get better and improve, rather than dwelling on the negative.
Find a Schedule that Suits You
There are a lot of stories out there about how the most successful CEOs and entrepreneurs all wake up at 3 am in order to get a good start on a working day, and many people follow self-help guides and strict routines in order to try and emulate the success of their idols.
However, the truth is that everyone is different. What works for one person or business might not work as well for you. So instead of following trends or copying others, try to find a system that is right for you and your business.
There’s no need to feel forced into 20 hour working days or crazy wake-up times. Feel things out and see what suits you and your teams the best.
Jake S. Platt is 31. He has a Master’s degree in marketing and is currently building his career as a content writer. Jake wrote his first story at age 15 and has decades of experience, relying on his writing abilities to inspire people to learn more about marketing and business.