Going into business for yourself can be tricky, and unfortunately there's no sure fire success game plan to strategize by. This means that you learn as you go, and while some things might come naturally, others may not be so easy to grasp in the beginning. Here are 5 things I wish I knew before starting a company.
1.) Nobody Is Good At Everything
Just because you're starting your own business doesn't mean that you have to be an expert at everything going on behind the scenes. Of course, you should have one area of expertise and a clear cut ability to manage the company, but sometimes even the best bosses need to hire help for certain things. Don't stretch yourself too thin trying to make everything perfect on your own; hire a staff that can help you reach the top.
2.) Reputation Means Money
In the beginning it's easy to say what you need to get ahead, after all it's only business right? Unfortunately, that is not true. When you start a company your reputation builds your brand, so spend money and energy boosting and protecting it from harm. Your business only gets one reputation, and once it's tarnished it can be pretty hard to bounce back.
3.) Learn Your Market
Of course, any business guru can tell you to do your research, but sometimes this means more than just getting some statistics off of the internet. You need to know your consumer market before you start working toward selling them your products. Finding your ideal audience can be more important than making an ideal product, because if you don't know who you're selling to then you won't make any money from them.
4.) Quality Matters
In this big business world it can be easy to get sucked into the cheaper is better motto used by many companies around the world. While shipping away products to third world countries for manufacturing may be fine to some in order to save on costs, if you want to make it big, you need to focus on quality of work not how many can be pumped out before the shopping rush. When a product breaks, has to be recalled, contains toxic materials, or is defective it looks bad for your company.
5.) One Size Does NOT Fit All
No, this isn't just in regards to clothing; the one size fits all mentality doesn't work in any business. Whether you're selling food, books, clothing, or furniture, every consumer is different which means that you're going to need unique and interesting products that work for each customer rather than one product that works for everyone. When you build a company, you're not just building a business, you're building a brand, and that brand has to represent everything that your company stands for, including future products that might be designed and distributed in the future. You don't have to have everything on the market at one time, but remember that the sales world isn't a cookie cutter kind of place.