How to Ensure a Successful Startup

America’s got startup talent. The desire to go out on their own has always been a major part of the pioneering spirit that sent men and women out into the wilderness, to climb mountains and cross deserts, so they start a new life, create a new dream. Often they succeeded — and less often they failed in their efforts to build a strong and lasting startup. Today Americans are still eager to pioneer new ideas and concepts — the number of business startups continues to grow as regular, well-paying jobs with good benefits dry up like a waterhole in Death Valley. Call it the Gig Economy if you want, but business startups are always going to be a big part of the American Dream.

Here are several suggestions from those who have blazed their own startup trail on how to succeed:

Love what you’re doing

“Never invest your time, money, and talent in someone else’s dream. Don’t let a sense of obligation or family loyalty or indecisiveness trap you in a strategy that you can’t love.” Contributed by financial firm LoanStar.

If you don’t know what you really want, then admit to yourself that you’re not ready to go out on a limb with your own business startup. Once you discover your personal passion you’ll have the first and most important key to success — because it not only takes commitment and hard work to make a success of any new enterprise, it takes something close to a mania, or an obsession. How can you possibly lose anything of real importance if you’re engaged in the one thing that brings you more joy than anything else? Even if the startup eventually goes bust, you can honestly tell yourself you’ve had a great ride so far.

Hire the talent

It takes a good bit of realistic humility to admit that you may not be the world’s foremost expert on whatever your business startup is producing and selling. You like good food, so you open a restaurant. So far so good — but unless you employ an excellent cooking staff and a great wait staff your startup is not going to go places. It will stall out and eventually fail. So be humble enough, and smart enough, to hire the best talent available for your new enterprise.

Have a clear and simple marketing strategy

Before you purchase any inventory or contract for any services, make sure to have a concise marketing strategy in place. Have it written down so you can refer to it when other challenges begin to obscure your vision of how you want to market your startup. This is when you need the input of as many people as possible. While the final decision will be yours as to how to market your product, you should hear from all sides on the issue and then pick out what sounds like the best and most promising strategies to implement.

And remember that outside advertising and marketing agencies always have their own agenda when it comes to what media platforms they recommend. So decide for yourself prior to committing to any outside source where you want your marketing dollars spent — social media, television, billboards. Whatever. That will keep you in ultimate control of your marketing budget.

Adam Hansen