Without the basic ingredients, startup companies can fall flat. Keep these in mind to navigate the pitfalls of starting out with a small business.

Vision is everything

Believe in your vision and follow what you’re passionate about. Entrepreneurs need to be optimistic to overcome challenges – like the grim odds of startup success. How can you expect clients, investors and employees to believe in your vision if you don’t champion it yourself? While it might feel as though certain obstacles are out of your hands, how well the startup can recover from setbacks is entirely up to you.

Hire the right kind of people

So, you know a guy who knows a guy? It might sound like a good idea to hire someone because you know them, you’ve got history, maybe even worked together before. But have a long think before going down this path, because it can be tough to let friends go if the new arrangement doesn’t work out. Focus on making hiring decisions based on acquiring certain skill sets to suit your business needs.

During the hiring process, don’t overlook applicants just because they haven’t got the best qualifications. The most important thing is the candidate is passionate about the industry you’re operating in, make sure they’ll fit in well within the company. Basic skills are certainly important, but anything more advanced can be learnt (and tailored to your business) on the job.

To find the best kind of talented applicants for your company, forming a personal connection from the get-go of the hiring process is crucial. But if you don’t have the time to go through a pile of resumes or LinkedIn profiles, what can you do? Try asking candidates to send in a short video message answering a question you would otherwise have asked during the interview, along with a resume. How does she speak? If he has trouble expressing himself in the video, ask yourself why. This might give you some idea of how the applicant could fit within your company’s culture.

Entering an already saturated market? Stand out.

There’s always room for one more. Small business doesn’t have to work in a field devoid of competition to succeed, but it’s important to dig out a space for yourself amongst the big names in the market. Coles and Woolworths have become the monopolized face of Australian supermarkets, but independent sellers still manage to make a living – usually by filling a niche in the market, like adopting a specialty in organic and locally made produce. Take this idea to the situation in your industry and see how your startup can fill a void without attracting competition from the giants.

Words by Emma Nobel
Follow her on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/emmanobel

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