Starting your own business can be a stressful, complicated, and yet rewarding endeavor. However, if you don’t have much experience launching and growing a company, you surely have more questions than answers.
Increase the odds of your startup’s success by considering these five key elements of growing a new business:
1. Be sure you understand every aspect of your business
Every entrepreneur has a bent toward one or two specific areas of business. Some people like the creative side of things and prefer to spend time on marketing, branding, and design. Others are more analytical and enjoy programming and data. But regardless of your interests, you have to be involved (on some level) with every aspect of your business.
Over time, this will change. As you hire people and the company grows, it becomes healthy to step back and release control. However, the early days are different. You need to understand how your company works and the only way to do this is by being directly involved in sales, marketing, logistics, manufacturing, payroll, management, etc.
2. Set your business up with the right legal structure
Business ideas can develop slowly over many months. And before you know it, your idea has become a reality. In the process, it’s easy to forget how important it is to add the proper layers of legal and financial protection.
Experts recommend legally incorporating your business. Incorporating will protect you from personal liability from any business debts and obligations, and can provide tax advantages as well. To learn more, see Why Your Startup Should Be a Corporation.
Do your research and find out the best type of legal entity for your business and goals. Options include LLCs, corporations, and even nonprofits.
3. Seek advice from other successful entrepreneurs
No matter how many books you read or podcasts you listen to, there’s nothing more valuable than having one-on-one conversations and relationships with other entrepreneurs. And believe it or not, most are generous enough to help young entrepreneurs who are bold enough to ask.
“Sitting down and speaking with other founders who have already been through the process is invaluable and will save you from making unnecessary mistakes,” writes Kolton Andrus, founder of Gremlin. “I couldn’t be more grateful to the numerous people who have served as mentors, providing advice and helping to calibrate the direction of my company, and now I feel a strong responsibility to pay that forward.”
You can find other entrepreneurs and business owners in your own personal network, on LinkedIn, in local business groups and startup clubs, etc. The key is to put yourself out there and take chances.
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4. When you’re ready to grow, hire strategically
You’ll eventually outgrow yourself and need to bring on other team members and employees. And once you start hiring, your growth potential goes through the roof. However, you must hire strategically.
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