Startups are on the rise. With brands like JUUL and Airbnb starting as small startups and are now billion-dollar businesses with an international reach, many startups are aiming to be the next big thing. Many startups become so successful, in fact, that investing in these businesses have now become an actual portfolio investment in its own right.
But before you can get your billion-dollar company, you only have an idea. And whether that idea is the latest app that can make daily living even easier or a shampoo or conditioner with expiration dates that are much longer than the average product shelf life, there’s always a chance it can be the next billion-dollar idea. But before your startup can earn money, you need to spend money, which means incurring startup costs that require capital (and this is where venture funding comes in). But venture funding is not profit, so how can your startup actually earn a profit?
Focus on Marketing and Sales
Once you have the ideal product or service, 80% of your time should be spent focusing on your marketing plan and making sales. While there are other important parts of running a business, you’ll want to focus on the parts of your business operations that generate income.
Depending on the size of your business and how well your product sells, expect to spend the first two years of business operations focusing mainly on marketing and sales. Leave the rest of the operations to your business partners or employees.
Learn How to Handle Your Customers Right
Unlike established businesses, the way you handle your potential and current customers can affect the success of your business even before it takes off. This means you’ll need your customers to be on your side if you want to increase your chances of success.
Your customers should feel like they’re receiving much more than they’re paying, otherwise they wouldn’t be buying it in the first place. Startupnation.com recommends collecting your accounts receivable as soon as possible, as this can affect your business’ income flow.
And while you’re still at the early stages of your startup, it’s best to get feedback from your first clients. It’s much better to get constructive feedback and make adjustments to your product or the way your business operates at the start of your operations. The alternative is operating the same way as your business grows larger and then later deals with the negative feedback from more customers. And given that 84 percent of consumers believe online reviews, this can have a much bigger negative impact on your business.
Build Your Network
Many startups and businesses start from the support of friends and family. However, their support isn’t enough to sustain your startup, which means growing your network is an essential for any successful startup.
Ask your social and business network to help you build your network by asking for referrals. Attend events where you can market your business to the right people that may be interested in your business. Always come prepared and spread out marketing materials that can help you sell a product or service – it can also help your network reach out to anyone they know who could benefit from what you’re selling.
Making a successful startup does not happen overnight. To really make your business profitable, you have to build your network, focus on marketing and selling your product, and using your customers’ feedback and reviews to your advantage.