We’re all told to work on our businesses, and not just in them, but what should you be working on to improve your startup to it’s greatest potential?
1. Create a mission statement
What’s the goal of your startup?
Over the next few years everything will change a hundred times, so it’s important you have something that reminds you of exactly what you’re doing and why.
“Remain firm about your goals, but flexible about your methods” – William A. Donohue
2. Define your values (and share them!)
It is important to know what stance your company is going to take.
Are you big on taking care of the environment? Do you want an open and honest startup? What won’t you compromise on to make your company successful? Are you endeavouring to become a B-Corp?
3. What is your core business offering?
Different opportunities may appear, but be sure you know what your core offering is so you can focus on it.
Don’t be afraid to turn down opportunities that don’t suit you or where your startup currently is – you never want to be stretched so thin you can’t focus on improving.
4. Create brand style guidelines
“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer. – Seth Godin”
A logo is great but you need to go a step further.
Picking your company’s font, colours, tone and style may seem frivolous, but it’s important that you have a consistent image for your company across all its assets.
Read more: 5 Tips For Building A Great Visual Brand
5. Have a social media plan
This is where style guidelines come into effect.
Making sure your social media has a consistent appearance is important for brand recognition. Be sure to pick channels that are good for your company and focus on them, using your plan to get the most out of it and have measurable results.
6. Pitch training
It’s important to make sure everyone on your team knows how to pitch your brand story, how far you’ve come, and where you’ll improve in the future.
Even if they don’t work in sales, at some point they will talk about you – make sure they know what message you have. Once again, consistency of message affects branding.
7. Financial Strategy
It’s not the most fun part, but making sure you have a clear plan for your revenue stream and how you’re going to use it is important.
Consult an accountant if you can – it’s important for your startup to have a clear financial plan.
8. Set Goals
Startups need to set goals of every size, with marks along the path to making sure you’re still on track to improve your startup to where you want to be.
Goal setting also gives you things to celebrate along the way, so you can feel accomplished and proud of each milestone in your journey to improve your startup.
No matter how big or small you are, you can always expand your company’s profile by having partners who provide content, add benefits or are simply supporters of what you do.
It’s important to find partners that have shared values to your business .
10. Staff care plan
This goes for sole trader businesses too – all startups need a plan for how to take care of you and your staff.
Employee loyalty, happiness and support will go a long way to making your company successful so make sure you take care of them (or yourself).