More and more young people are starting companies. Crucially, they're starting them when they're younger. The average age of first-time entrepreneurs is 27, which is much lower than the 35 for the Baby Boomer generation. Younger people have their own set of challenges to deal with. And no challenge is bigger than keeping your startup on track.
In an increasingly globalized world, where even the smallest company is global, you need to avoid being distracted. You need to stay on track. This guide is going to show you how you can keep your startup on the correct path.
Write Down Your Priorities
You have to establish your goals and write them down if you're going to stay on track. For example, is your priority to improve your customer service? If it is write it down and try to be as specific as possible. Goals should be accurate and they should focus on the specifics. Deciding that you want to land more sales isn't a goal. Deciding to land 25% more sales in six months is.
These don't have to be solid goals. You might decide that you want to stop improving your services so as to spend more time focusing on applying for alternate financing. It's entirely up to you. Update and revise your goals on a regular basis.
Focus Your Efforts on What Matters
Multitasking is the curse of businesses. You think that you're being productive, but really you're just spreading your resources thinly. Always finish one task before you start to focus on another. Begin by looking at your goals and choosing which ones are the most important.
It's always better to complete one goal than to have five half-finished ones.
Prioritize the Core of Your Company
The basics of starting a business are to get over the shiny office and the fact that you have lots of minions doing work for you. Focus on what builds up the core of your business. Even the most complex business is simple at its heart. You need a product or service that works, you need to sell it, and you need to repeat this process over and over again.
Startups need to concentrate on the core from day one because that's what will keep you going. The chances are your first attempt will flop. The most skilled entrepreneurs will have no problems pivoting and trying something else though. As long as you keep improving every time you know you're doing the right things.
Doing all this will build up a reliable stream of revenue quickly, and that could just save your business.
Set Aside Some Time for the Future
Do you know what sets apart the best companies from the rest?
They take a look at the future. They're investing some of their time in future innovations. They know the direction their industry is taking and they know what they have to do to go with it. Early adopters tend to get the lion's share of the income from brand new changes.
It's easy to lose sight of the future when you're concentrating so much on the here and now. Thinking about hiring new employees and getting more storage space should always be at the back of your mind. If your business spikes you don't want to be caught by surprise.
Good goals take into account both the short-term and the long-term.
Outsource Those Extra Tasks
One of the biggest reasons why startups get off track is because they're spending too much time on tasks that aren't that important. Administrative work and keeping the accounts up to date are two important tasks, but they're not building up your company. It's housekeeping. Spending all your time on these little tasks is not a good use of your time and energy.
When you start a business with no money it's tempting to try to take on every task you can. This isn't sustainable in the long-term. You need to outsource these extra tasks so you can concentrate on what really matters.
Smart entrepreneurs realize at an early stage that there are only so many hours in a day. How are you using them in the best possible way?
Last Word - Keep Your Finger on the Pulse
You should set a time every week or every month to look at the state of your business. Focus on whether you've made the best use of your time and how you can be more productive the following week or month. Entrepreneurs sometimes need to step back and assess what's going on with their companies.
What do you think is the best way to keep your startup on track?