Ask any start-up owner to list his or her top five concerns and you are likely to hear about funding. For a lot of business owners, funding is the number one concern. For right or wrong, putting a lot of effort into securing startup loans is part of getting a new venture off the ground. But it is not the only concern.
Funding is only one aspect of business, albeit a big one. Business owners have to think of other things too. They have to consider the products and services they sell. They have to develop a client base and support it with customer service. They have to think about short-term goals and the long-term future.
If you are working on a new start-up, relax. Succeeding in business is not as complicated as many people make it out to be. It is part hard work, part luck, and part intuition. But it’s not rocket science. Here are five tips you can utilise to make the most of your start-up loans:
1. Don’t Make Profit Your #1 Priority
As strange as it sounds, profit should not be your number one priority. Why? Because most start-ups do not start making a healthy profit for years. If you are only in it for the profit, you’re likely to give up before you even get started. Instead of chasing profit, chase a dream. Start-up loans are one of many tools for achieving that dream.
Chasing your dream will keep the passion alive even when the monthly accounting statement shows red. It will motivate you to keep going when profit is fleeting. You will eventually turn a healthy profit once your dream is realised.
2. Be prepared to fail
Start-up loans are no guarantee of business success. In fact, some of the most successful business owners in the world went through multiple failures before landing on the one success everyone knows them for.
Ever hear of Steve Jobs? He wasn’t always the successful CEO of Apple. He went through plenty of failures before turning Apple into the behemoth it now is. In fact, Jobs was forced out of Apple in 1985. He didn’t return until 1997.
Realise that you may have the soundest business plan on the world and still fail. Be prepared to create a second business plan, and then a third. It is quite possible you are going to fail multiple times before you succeed.
3. Commit to integrity
Customers are more savvy than a lot of business owners give them credit for. Moreover, one of the biggest things customers hate is a lack of integrity. Run your business without integrity and you are going to run it into the ground. No business will survive a lack of integrity even with an abundance of start-up loans.
What is integrity in the business world? It is taking care of your customers as though they were your own family members. Integrity is about being up front about pricing, owning the mistakes you’ve made, providing stellar customer service, etc.
Integrity also involves being socially responsible. It involves taking care of your workers. Integrity directs how your company spends money, how it earns money, and what it returns to the community above and beyond the services and products sold.
4. Be Willing to Grow and Evolve
Applications for start-up loans often involve questions about where you expect your company to be in the future. Lenders are not necessarily asking you to forecast the future, what they are really looking for is whether or not you’re willing to grow and evolve. If you want your business to succeed, growth and evolution are going to be part of your vocabulary.
5. Enjoy Yourself
Finally, all the start-up loans in the world will be worthless if you’re miserable. What’s the point in running your own business if you hate going to work every morning? You might just as well get a 9-to-5 job somewhere. No, doing something that you truly enjoy gives you a reason to keep doing it.
Hopefully, you have learned something from these tips. Now, go out there and get the start-up loans you’ve been thinking about. Just keep in mind what you have read in this post.
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Founder Dinis Guarda
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