As a startup owner, you will have a lengthy list of things you need to do just to get your business up and running. While the first few years you are in business are often the biggest challenge, it is sometimes easy to get caught up in day-to-day responsibilities and forget to grow your business over the long haul. While it is important to build a solid foundation in which you can best support and serve your clients and customers, without a steady stream of revenue, your business will not be successful. The following tips can be used to turn your startup into a successful and viable business.
Know Your Strengths And Weaknesses
Begin by learning your team’s strengths and weaknesses. The fact is, not everyone will be good at everything, and certain people will have different skills than others. Once you learn everyone’s strengths and weaknesses, place people in roles that you do not do well, allowing everyone to work in areas of relative strength. While you may need to invest time in developing some of your weaknesses, you’ll find more success when you allow everyone on your team to work to their strengths.
Train and Educate
Now that you have identified everyone’s strengths and weaknesses, it is time to train, educate, and further develop your team and their skill sets. You also want to ensure that you spend time and energy educating yourself on the latest advances in your industry. This could be anything from the latest industry software, the latest electronic communication platforms, or new directions in which your field is emerging. To train and educate your team, consider attending industry-specific seminars or taking leadership and development classes.
Set Measurable Goals
Once everyone has defined roles and knows what they are responsible for, you want to set measurable goals. Create an annual plan, with goals and objectives for each person. This annual plan should have measurable goals, not just for certain people, but for the company as well. For example, if your goal in your second quarter is to identify 15 new prospects, and land five new clients, you will have set a specific and manageable objective. When setting your goals make sure that your entire team, or at least your key players, are aware of the goals you are working towards.
As a startup, employee retention is even more important than in an established businesses. Since your business is new you don’t have the resources to constantly train and develop new people to replace others. While you will need to continue to bring new staff onboard, you want to minimize employee turnover. One way to motivate, inspire, and retain your people is to celebrate success along the way. A popular way to do this is to give crystal awards for recognition. These crystal awards can be inscribed with the achievement your team member has made, their name, and the year in which they earned their trophy.
As a startup owner it may seem as if your work is never done. While there will be several things you want to accomplish, prioritize your goals and objectives around their financial impact and ability to grow your business.