One of the hardest things with a startup is taking it from your mind, notes and plans to a physical presence online. Choosing a skilled passionate website development company is key. If you can find someone that also has the experience of dealing with startups and knows all the little tricks even better.
After the intial excitment of the completion of the website and the first earlier adopter orders come through things reduce to a simmer. This is where your determination will see you to success or failure.
So how do you ride the storm of ups and downs with a new online business or Online Start up?
Here are some tips to see you through
1) Don't spend your capital or profits
Don't spend them!! If you start to get some money in bank don't spend it. Keep your broken down old car, worn out shoes and hole ridden T-Shirts. Keep eating noddles and working like a manic. Why? because most start ups or new business go through the feast and famine situation. You'll have what appears to be a lot of money and then next minute your buried in bills and no sales. The number of times I have seen startup owners make their first little bit of money and then rush straight out and buy a brand new european car is shocking. A few months or a year down the road they are selling the car or are broke.
So don't spend that money. Horde it like it was your last dollar. Don't spend one cent unless you know you will get a return on it. Keep doing this until it gets ridiculous and then keep doing it some more until you have enough funds to run your business for 3-6 months without sales. Then still don't spend. The longer you can live on $2 noodles and sit on an old beer crate the better.
2) Focus on what makes the most money first
Put all your focus on what makes money fast. Startups often die for lack of cash flow. In part it is from the up, down nature and rapid growth. Often though the people driving the income streams get all caught up in paperwork and talking themselves up. Then all of a sudden no one has done a sale for a month and you need money to keep the phone on. Stay focused on what pays the bills and put your effort and resources into that.
3) Make sure your measuring success correctly
In a Startup business success is measured in surplus cash (Yes internet startups can be structured to run on invest funds etc. But lets stick with Mum and Dad business success). Hiring lots of employees, buying fancy cars, uniforms, business cards, stickers etc doesn't mean a thing if your in the RED.
4) Don't get fancy before your time
What I mean here is, if you have $10,000 for your online website startup. Then you talk to the best accountant and he says you need to form a company to protect yourself $1500-2000, then you should talk to your lawyer to cross check your account and make sure all your legal affairs are in order, you know protect your idea $1500-3000. Then you want nice business cards to show your friends and branded shirts Shirts $1000. Now your ready to do the not so important part of having a startup website business...actually build the website...dup you have hardly any funds left to build it so I you better shop around and get the cheapest website developer on the Gold Coast! Then Marketing...you can just do yourself because you watched half a youtube video on your phone one night.
This is totally the wrong way to do this. The most funds your get invested in to what you are actually doing then the marketing of what you are doing. Things like business cards, Branded T-Shirts, fully incorporated companys (for one person), best taxation accountant in town can be left when you actually are generating an income. For I.P. copyright in the tech industry your best protection is getting the thing built and into the market place as quickly as possible. Even if it truely is unique and at risk of patient trolling you have nothing if you can't take it to market and make money off it. (there are many ways to claim your idea so you can prove you came up with it later without spending lots of money).
5) Trust your technical professionals
You hired people for their technical skill and experience, so use it. Often I see people get going with their startup and have some success. All of a sudden they forget all the professionals with experience who got them there. Now they stop being open to input from there experts, because they are successful in their own right...they did this! So now anything they think is correct and will work. This has been the one thing that has sent a lot of companies heading nose first into the ground.
6) Have a sensible marketing plan
All new online startup people think they have a marketing plan. However let me just say, if your Website startups marketing plan involves;
Paying for Facebook marketing
As your sole source of traffic you don't have a marketing plan. You also don't understand how the Internet works. The old saying 'the web' is how the internet works...webs of social networks and influence. You need to have a strategy to capitalise on search results and social networking.
Most importantly do not spend money on what you can't measure and test. Do not spend money on pie in the sky or 'Branding' marketing. You need direct result marketing. Spend a $1000 and make a 30% return that should be your marketing.
7) Test and Measure
Test and measure everything. Don't ever assume you know what you are doing. Always test and measure. If you think you have a design or piece of copy write on your website, great. Now test and measure to check. Its often surprising how wrong you can be sometimes. Testing a measuring can also help you focus your efforts. A few times I have had customers wanting to invest huge amounts of money into their website and it's a page or product that know one has looked at for a year. However on another page there is huge volumes of traffic which could be even further improved and be a way better return.
8) Hire a small tight team
When your a startup you need everyone on board and working as hard or harder than you. One average person can will bring the whole process down. Look for people better than you, not the same as you. If someone isn't pulling their weight get rid of them asap.
More no nonsense advice and website development at mebsites.com