Online Startup: 3 Mistakes Preventing You From Reaching Your First Million
Figures. We’ve all been obsessed with figures at some point of our lives. This society have had this habit of solving things through figures and classifying people based on figures as well. The figures I’m pertaining to is money. And the greatest competition right now? Online startup.
There has been a lot of Chief Executive Director also known as CEO these days, which makes some question, what is the true meaning of becoming a CEO. In these days context, you do not have to become a conglomerate to be called a CEO, own a small business, say a tech startup (despite the competition), and you not making so much money, can still call yourself one. And who wouldn’t want to increase their revenue right? From getting your first four (4) figures up to your first five (5) or six (6), but the highest level of difficulty lies on getting you first seven figures.
So, whether you’re agitated to get your seven digits or you want to take it a step at a time, take your time to read this. You might be surprised that the solution for a figure increase doesn’t rely on the figure itself. Money isn’t the solution for everything, widen your viewpoint, there aren’t dollar signs everywhere.
PERFECTION ISN’T KEY
“Strategy is about setting yourself apart from the competition. It’s not a matter of being better at what you do – it’s a matter of being different at what you do.” -Michael Porter
While some think that perfection is supposed to be their end goal always, it isn’t the actual answer. And whether you’ve had the company going for a few years already or just beginning to do so, try to analyze these things. If perfection is your goal, sorry, I don’t think you’ll ever make it.
Out of anything, the first basic step is to plan. Strategize. Sit down, stand up or do it whatever you want but it is important as it sounds. You have to identify your goals, plans and things that needs to be achieved. Your ending, well, it doesn’t mean ending as it is but at least visualize what you want your company to be known for over the years. Something that would be an end game for others, remember competitors may decrease over the day but it’s more of the increase than the decrease.
Then from these big goals, divide them to smaller pieces and to every detail possible to make it happen. Accept that there would be mistakes and failures along the way but you’ll never going to figure it out if you won’t make a way to actually figure them out. One common mistake of the higher ups I guess is that they may see the large picture and act on it but they do not mind seeing the smaller ones which actually causes the large picture to grow.
Say you are a teacher in a class, you lead everything. Suddenly, the class starts to get very loud and what you do is just tell them to be quiet only to found out that one of their classmates vomited and you never tried to get to help the child but instead silenced them.
A multi-billion company did not start from being like it is, it started from being a hundred thousand company climbing its way up to the top.
The second step would be to actually execute what is planned and what was strategized, do not keep a blind eye just because you do not accept the changes that are going to be made or you do not feel comfortable or confident about it. Let me tell you, no one is not really comfortable at first. Adjustment is what you will be needing, but what is adjustment compared to the thousands of possibilities that could happen once you have executed your strategies at hand. A piece of unsolicited advice for everyone: plans are nothing but a thin dust of air ready to be carried away into wilderness unless executed.
And there are two indicators that tell if you have strategized and have executed well: 1) if it is done for your existing customers, 2) if it does makes a difference from your competitors.
Have you tried thinking and staying outside your box? You might want to give it a try. The chills may want you to crawl back inside the box again but chills go away after some time.
NO MAN IS AN ISLAND
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”– Dale Carnegie
Well, maybe you can live alone but not all people can. And your company certainly can’t. It is standing firm not solely because of you. It stands as firm as it is because of the people working with you and the external people who actually adores your company or wants to give it a try – whatever product or service you might offer.
Have you thoroughly seen the needs and have sought the opinions of your employees? Well, say you’re a tech startup and you’re planning to expand your business into the online platform since it has really taken a huge part of this era, as a startup you don’t expand right away. You’ve got to have employees with you, who’s going to work with you into achieving that goal. As a startup, build your internal communication and relationship at first to have that solid base and ground in building the second or third floor of your company or else it would just crash and bring you down instead.
For startups example, know yourself well first, try to list them – the things you would want to have and don’t, things you like and hate. Set rules and guidelines and keep up with it, then make it your company’s internal policy aside from the standards based from previous companies or organizations, because not all of them work the same way as it does.
You and your co-workers should know better what strategies or things works best for you and you make that happen. Once the rules are strong and are implemented, consider your team be it small or a group of 200 to a thousand people, a family. As mentioned before, strong relationship is a good foundation, which means no matter how strong the current is, you won’t be easily destroyed. Build a house of bricks and not a house of straws so that when the big bad wolf comes you will not be blown away at one go or be shaken a bit (Story reference from: Little Red Riding Hood).
Being a family involves experiencing difficulties and having fights. It is of course, your role to supervise and give tasks but maybe you’re missing an important piece. You have to delegate the task to the right person and you’re only able to do that if you know the people you work with well. If you give a task to someone who’s not capable of executing the desired results then that’s going to have a domino effect with the rest of the workload, that would cause delay and that would also disturb the employees working well.
As I’ve read through some articles, one said, companies hire people so fast but fire them so slow. If you don’t choose the right persons to work with you then that is going to fire back at you so fast and could lead from one cause to another.
Look, I’m not saying all companies should acquire these standards, there are some that would really like to keep business to business transactions but again it wouldn’t hurt to try.
And if you haven’t built that much internal relationship and communication, it’s never too late. You won’t be able to achieve success without the people who lifted you all the way.
MONEY IS NOT FROM MONEY
“There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” -Sam Walton
Here’s a misconception: money is not the one who paid your services. It was only used to compensate for your product or service. Got that?
Then, who did? Certainly not you but others. Your customers. Your consumers. As the famous quote goes, “It’s not you, it’s me”, yes them, not you.
If raising your figures is really your concern, there’s one solution for that: raise your value, be valuable. Show people that you and your company is something worth spending time, money and effort at. For example, given the tech startup that wants to venture the online world, no matter how established you are when entering a new field or platform, you are a startup, a rookie, hence, you are venturing into an online startup. How do you gain followers or viewers? How do you gain people’s patronage? Well, first because of your product maybe, but eventually if you want an increase, you must level up your value per se.
Instead of focusing on how to trade everything for money, you might want to focus on the factors that give out the money you’ve been wanting. Focus on upgrading every time which will lead you back to your long-term goals as set in your strategies. If you want an increase in the number of figures, you should not be being doing the same thing you did in gaining the last number you had. Of course, there should be an effort exerted to gain the extra number.
It’s like being successful on your first release of products, say a set of lipsticks, you do not expect the sales to grow if you’re going to release the exact lipsticks or with just the addition of a minor packaging. It should be something new, the audience raves for the new, the latest and the trending hence why many people dive into the online platform and have their online startup of any business-like material they have to offer.
Aside from that, entrepreneurs overlook their customers as a factor in expanding. At the end of each and every day, it is all because of the people who avails and at some point, adores the products or services you offer. It is because of them that you were able to reach you first few digits. Yes, the same digits you would want to increase by now.
Another point – ever wonder what are those feedbacks, reviews and comments are for? They are there in the hopes of the customer to be heard. Granting that her request was heard, she would definitely be a regular then. Never think that people buy because of you, because they know you or something like that. For the most part, people buy your services because of them. Have you really tried looking into the customer or consumer’s need and not base your next plans on the trend? But then again, who makes the trend? People does. That makes your customers your number one priority.
Either they’ve been wanting them or they want their difficulty or pain to end. Being in any industry I think is like studying, you learn as you go and it would not hurt to twitch a thing or two from time to time for betterment.
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” -Bill Gates
Now, these mistakes may have been pretty obvious but they were not when you have not read it first. They are very basic mistakes but people do make them because companies or entrepreneurs tend to overlook a lot of things over time due to the other more important things they do, they always have their hands full. But these few reminders would not hurt, I think.
Being successful doesn’t mean stopping where you are now and maintaining that. Being successful is trying to improve an improvement, the world doesn’t stop on changing its standards and its rules and so you should.
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