by Sabine Ghali, Director at Buttonwood Property Management
It can be hard to come to terms with the fact that your startup business – the one you put so much time and energy into building – isn’t working. It can be even harder to come up figuring out what exactly is preventing your success.
There are times in business when you simply have to let a project die and move on to the next one, but you shouldn’t take that dramatic of a step until you try out these 5 ideas for bringing life back into your startup.
#1: Realign Your Audience.
It can be tempting to create and market a product to everyone, but the hardest thing to do as a business is to market to such a general audience.
Even if you have dreams of your product someday becoming a name known in every household, your business needs to find a more specific niche audience in order to succeed. Rethink your target audience, and revamp your marketing plans towards their specific wants and needs.
#2: Take On Less To Make More.
Is your startup in a service-oriented field?
In this type of industry, it’s easy to become consumed with the idea that you need to bring in more clients to make more money. But if you start juggling too many clients and don’t have the systems in place to efficiently provide your service to them all, you’ll be doing more harm than good.
Focus on giving great experiences to fewer clients until you regain your footing and re-establish your processes. Then, scale your growth in a more sustainable way.
#3: Get Stingy.
While much advice out there recommends that startups fundraise and spend capital to boost their business’s marketability, you cannot always spend in the startup world. If you’re fighting off the risk of closing up your dream startup, it’s time to get stingy.
Think more about exactly what the money must be spent on versus where it is more of a luxury than a necessity. Cut back in those superfluous regions as much as possible, and you can extend the time that you have to turn your business around.
For now, only put money into what absolutely must be done and your immediate goals.
#4: Delegate Efficiently.
When things start to go downhill, you need to stop trying to fix it yourself.
For someone who is focused on building their dream business, that can be very difficult, but the fact of the matter is that you are not the best person to do every single job.
Instead, focus on handling two things:
- Whatever it is that you ARE great at
- Delegating everything else to another employee
You have various employees or consultants working with you that are great at what they do. Why should you be trying to do something okay when they excel at it?
Delegating tasks to the appropriate parties (and this includes sometimes paying an outside consultant to do the work) will make more efficient use of your time and money. When the end seems near in a startup, hyper-focused delegation becomes even more important than ever before.
#5: Stop Being Too Tolerant.
Startup culture can be incredibly intense. Whether you’re working with your actual family or your startup team has simply become like family, it can be easy to begin letting bad behavior and individuals lacking in productivity remain part of the business.
It’s common for fresh CEOs to have a hard time with this issue. Nobody wants to be seen as a bad boss, but trust us when we say that you’ll be seen as an even worse boss if you let the slackers hang around while others do all of the heavy-lifting.
Even if it can be tough to do so, you need to crack down on issues like these that are hurting the company’s overall productivity. The sooner you address the issues, the better. When you have limited time and resources in your failing startup, productive practices should be the #1 priority.
Your Business Might Succeed.
Or, it might not. Whether you keep working on your failing startup or you move onto your next venture, using these essential business practices will ensure that you regroup and set-up a scalable business model that has a better chance for success.
Building a business is always a risk, but these five tips can help you to focus on lowering your personal risk throughout the process.
Sabine Ghali is Director at Buttonwood Property Management, a property management company in Toronto offering both residential and commercial property management services. She is an entrepreneur at heart who endeavors to help investors create real estate wealth over time in the Greater Toronto Area. Sabine has been in the Real Estate industry since 2012 and won numerous awards.