SaaS entrepreneur and technology expert Hammad Akbar discusses his top tips for new start-ups.
Starting a new business can be scary – there’s no two ways about it. As a start-up, day-to-day business can be hard work and steady income can often be a problem, but that’s what a new business is all about. It’s a risk, but it’s worth it
With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of my top 10 tips for new start-ups. 10 pieces of advice which could help turn your new start-up into a long term success.
So what are you waiting for, get stuck in.
Love what you do
This one’s pretty self-explanatory, but possibly the most important of all.
If you’re not obsessed with your work or aren’t in love with what you do, then it’s time to rethink your business strategy.
Building your own company, from the ground up, is incredibly hard work, and if you’re not that into it, then you’re going to struggle.
Having a drive and a passion for what you do will help you in all sorts of ways.
Make sure you hire people as passionate and hard working as yourself, especially if you’re a new start-up.
Be very careful who you hire in the early stages of your business, as these employees may well be with you for a long time.
Hire people you think will love working with you and your company.
Get paid on time
For a new business, getting paid is everything. So make it your business to ensure you’re not only getting paid, but on time too.
Ask clients to pay up front and stick to the rates you’ve established. You might be a new business, but doing work for months without getting paid isn’t something you should be doing.
So, you’re a new start-up – money is tight and you’re still hiring. Make things easier for yourself, and keep your offices as simple as possible.
Go open plan, and don’t get sucked into extra meeting space and fancy office rooms. You’ll keep overheads down and help to build a stronger and more involved team
Don’t buy stuff you don’t need
Do you really need a 10 foot neon logo on your office wall? Will 10,000 stickers with your face on them really help your company in the long run? Answer: probably not.
In any new business, there’s always a temptation to get carried away and do something a bit silly. But try and be vigilant.
If you’re a new start-up, be as tight as possible when it comes to swag and unnecessary merch – just remember to organise a Christmas party. Or things could get ugly.
Make your job fun for others
This ties in nicely to the point above. Sure, we don’t want to encourage unnecessary spending in your first few years of business – no personalised mouse mats or 60” flat screens, but sometimes it does help to flash some cash when it comes to your employees.
You want your employees to love their work and their workplace, so don’t be afraid to encourage some team bonding every now and then. Get lunch every once in a while, organise nights out and make people feel welcome.
Do your own PR
Marketing, marketing, marketing. That old chestnut. How to market your business? Well, I’m not going to go into that now – head over to my Marketing section for more on that – but one thing I will say now is, if you’re a new start-up, do your own PR.
Sure, marketing and PR are very important when it comes to making a name for yourself, but in your first few years as a company, you don’t want to be forking out thousands of pounds or dollars for a PR agency. That’s just silly.
Put in a few extra hours, and do the outreach yourself.
Sure, you’ve started your own business. You’re the boss, the big hot shot – you know everything you need to know. You don’t need help, right? Wrong! Help is incredible, and you should never stop asking for it.
Advice is a great, great thing in business, and most of the time it’s completely free, so never turn it down if you can. Talk to your peers, talk to other business owners, even talk to your parents, and keep learning for as long as possible. And, in time, pay it forward.
I hope you’ve picked up something from my list of start-up tips. Let me know if I missed anything out in the comment section below.