All of the points mentioned below are subjective to each individual company as each one is different. However, everyone needs a place to start and these are a few guidelines to try and help you out.
Keep costs low
If you don’t have an investor you must keep costs as low as possible. Look into free software you can use to help run your business such as Google drive to store files or Bitbucket for your code. You’re going to make mistakes, that’s human nature, but you need to learn from them and try to keep the cost of the mistake as low as possible.
Always staying flexible allows you to be dynamic and adapt to emerging market trends. Also, be flexible with your methods and keep an open mind when it comes to managing tasks or even employees.
Build an intuitive and smart team
Your team is your most important asset, you need to have a group of people who are smart, passionate and intuitive. They don’t have to be experts, or have a Ph.D., but as long as they are willing to learn that is the most important trait.
Start with a solid plan
It sounds so silly, but you need to know what you are doing. Start with a solid business plan, what will your business do, how will it do it and what do you want to achieve. Keep in mind your short-term and long-term goals and how you will conquer these.
In our opinion this is pretty obvious, you need to be passionate about your business if you want to succeed, otherwise, you’re spending all of your time working on something you don’t really care about. Why would you do that?
Start networking ASAP
This sounds like the last thing you want to do but networking is a vital part of getting your brand and your product noticed. Find companies and other entrepreneurs with similar interests to you and your business.
Act small, dream big
This needs very little explanation, but if you make small steps towards your end goal and aim big, then you are much more likely to succeed. The reality is you can achieve anything you put your mind to.
No market or making it too niche
It’s a huge red flag when we see entrepreneurs with a product idea that’s really just for them. Marketing for just them is too niche. It’s important to find out what people really value. The key? You must talk to your potential customers.
Stay laser focused
Focus on what you want and make it a reality. If you take your eye off the ball your goals could end up being dreams instead of reality.
Be hard-core honest
It’s always hard to hear criticism but it’s even harder, to be honest with yourself. If you know something isn’t working and you have tried time and time again to fix it then you have to try something new. I know that scrapping an idea or project you’ve been working on for weeks/months/years is heartbreaking, but in the end, you need something that’s going to work and make a profit.
Maintain a good work/life balance
It’s hard with a startup company to not want to be there all the time, it needs to be nurtured and fed so it can grow into something beautiful and something you end up being proud of. But, if you are not careful you will burn out, you need some time to wind down and relax, go see a movie, take a walk, just be with your own thoughts for a while and do something you enjoy.
Stay ahead of everyone else & Change with the times
This should be a no-brainer right? It is vital that you keep up to date with the latest trends in your field. There may be a new feature that everyone is talking about, and if you don’t know about it, you’re already behind. Think about it, there may be a thousand people have the same type of company as you but they seem to stick to the same old things, in order to make money and progress with the times you need to stay current and new.
Pick a great name for your company
You need a name that people can trust and a name that is going to tell them who you are as a team. The best idea is to brainstorm with others until you come up with a name that just rolls off the tongue.
Hire great people
The most important process in your company will be who you hire, without great people your company will not have the ability to advance and as a result, you will likely be amongst the 9 out of 10 startups that fail. If you have never done recruitment before this can be a daunting task, having to write job posts, pay for advertisements and then decide from the numerous CV’s that land on your desk which one is most suited to your company and its values.
I hope these tips help you and offer some guidance on running a successful start-up company, but remember, it is hard work!