Make a business plan. Hire the right people. Look for financing. You’ve probably heard all of that before, in dozens or hundreds of articles on how to run a successful startup. You might think there is nothing new out there to learn, but if you do think that, you are only scraping the surface. The tips below may be less familiar than the conventional wisdom, but they are no less valuable.
Organize Your Personal Finances
Many people assume that their personal finances are unconnected to their business. They may be so committed to this view that they lurch into trying to launch a startup despite debts, a credit score that’s tanked and finances that are frankly a mess. It is important to get your finances in order prior to launching your business for a few reasons.
First, it can help ensure that if you need someone to inject some cash into the business to get it through a period of slow cash flow, you can be that person. Second, it will make you look more responsible if you do encounter any investors or lenders who want to take a look at your personal finances. Reducing your monthly expenses can put you in a better position. You can cut your spending, but you can also look at ways to reduce less obvious costs as well. You might be able to refinance your student loans. With a new loan, you may have lower monthly payments.
A lot of advice about succeeding in the business world is focused on preparing for many different challenges and possibilities, and this is important. However, what is even more important than having structures in place to deal with uncertainty is to simply become comfortable with the concept itself. No one can plan for every eventuality, and accepting this and being confident that you can roll with whatever comes your way will leave you in a better position to navigate challenges.
If you think about most successful businesses, one thing you will notice that they have in common is a willingness to pivot. This isn’t just about changing and growing within narrow parameters. It can mean everything from employee schedule management, to switching to a focus on an entirely new product or service. If you get too attached to whatever you are delivering, that can leave you unprepared when there are sudden changes in the market or what customers want. Like embracing uncertainty, a willingness to be flexible can mean you’re ready for what happens next.
Prioritizing is important both in achieving a work life balance and in running your business. When you prioritize, you are able to be ruthless about what is and isn’t working within our business. It also helps you decide what you may need to delegate and what you can continue working on yourself. Sometimes, delegation can mean handing off something that you enjoy but simply don’t have time for any longer. Of course, you’ll need to balance that necessity against your own satisfaction. While your business has to be profitable, it also has to be something that you are ultimately content with.