Five Tips To Enable Your Start-Up For Long-Term Success

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |New Start-up|Five Tips To Enable Your Start-Up For Long-Term SuccessStarting a new business is very challenging. Just as you begin to make progress, a fresh new challenge awaits you around the corner. Getting caught up in the difficulties of the short-term running of a business can be detrimental to long-term success.

Many start-up owners don’t realize the task that faces them when establishing a business. In most cases, the reasons for starting a venture are due to personal circumstances and work preferences. Too often, owners or management are short-sighted, leading to quick failure. 90% of new start-ups fail, and less than half of business last longer than five years.

Your start-up doesn’t have to contribute to the above statistics. By taking some strategic actions in the early stages, you can give your company a strong chance at survival. If you’ve launched a new business and are eager for success, here are five tips to enable your start-up for prosperity in the long-term.

1.Create a business plan and stick to it

Business plans are key to long term success, particularly for start-ups. In fact, research has shown that companies that operated using a business plan were almost twice as likely to experience growth and success than those that didn’t.

A business plan should be the first course of action. It outlines the goals and strategies of the start-up. It also includes detailed market information, competitor analysis, logistics, operations, and financial projections.

Your business plan should be referred to when making key decisions, and it must be adapted if circumstances change.

2. Source funding

Depending on the type of business that you’re running, you may need significant revenue to get it off the ground. If you have employees, they need to be paid regularly, meaning healthy cash-flow is a necessity. While you may have the financial means to operate on a monthly basis, don’t neglect the importance of cash flow. 82% of businesses fail due to cash flow problems.

3. Professional financial advice

Calculating financial projections, dissecting accounts, and managing cash flow can become extremely overwhelming very quickly. Many start-up owners don’t have experience in this field, making the financial side of the business even more stressful.

Considering U.S. banking history, you should seriously consider hiring a professional financial advisor to guide you through important financial processes. This can save you in the long-term and can prevent unnecessary losses due to inexperience.

4. Establish a clear target market

Having a clear idea of who your customers are is an absolute must for start-ups. It’s essential to know your audience, their interests, and what they seek in a product or service. Marketing plans and strategies should be customer-focused and targeted ads should be a key feature.

Never settle when it comes to your customer base. Always seek to expand through lead generation and various marketing techniques.

5. Be data-driven

Through website analysis and social media insights, a modern business generates a lot of data. This data should be thoroughly analyzed to gain a deeper understanding of customers and the market.

Look to analytics to guide your start-up with executive decision making. Analyzing the right information can lead to significant long term success.

How To Choose A Niche For Your Writing Business

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article | How To Choose A Niche For Your Writing BusinessIf you run a writing business of any kind or are thinking of starting one, then one of the main things you’re going to need to have in place before you even go any further is to pick your niche.

Many writers struggle with the process of choosing a niche because they think it’s going to be overwhelming and will also limit them in terms of work, but this couldn’t be further from the truth, and in fact, having a niche to fall back in is only going to bring you more opportunities with better clients, so in this post we’re going to share with you just how to choose a niche for your writing business.

Look at your passions and interests:

If you run a business, then of course you’re doing it because you want to make a difference, but you’re also doing it because you want to work on something every day that you’re truly passionate about, and so this should be the very first step when it comes to picking your niche. For example, are you a passionate traveler and love to share your experiences or just write about travel in general? Then you could start a travel writing business, a blog or just aim to work with clients within the travel industry.

Look at your experience:

Although having passion for what you do is great, it’s often not going to be enough in and of itself, so having a look back over your experience is also a good place to start looking. For example, do you have a background the in the building or construction industry where you could write about things like Telehandlers? You may think this isn’t valuable, but this is the beauty of having a niche – as it gives you the edge over the competition.

Look at your skills and talents:

Even if you don’t have a lot of hands-on experience in a specific industry, you may be especially skilled or talented in a certain area, so instead of going for something industry specific when choosing your niche, you could choose a certain type of writing, such as marketing copy, websites, or even ebooks to niche yourself that way.

Look at what’s profitable:

If you’re running a business – no matter what industry it’s in, you need to be making money in it, otherwise it’s not even a business, so this should be a priority when it comes to choosing your niche. As much as having passion, skills, and experience is a great thing, you also need to be realistic and look for the places in the market where good money can be made, so when picking your niche, you should really be considering all of these things to make sure you can tick at least something off in each area and be able to identify a niche that works overall.

We hope you found this post helpful and that now it won’t feel so crazy overwhelming to go and pick a niche for yourself to run your business with. Picking a niche doesn’t mean you’re going to be stuck with it forever, but it’s something you should definitely identify to start with.

The Ins & Outs of Launching A Virtual Business

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Virtual Business|The Ins & Outs of Launching A Virtual BusinessThe chances are that in the last few months, thanks to the pandemic, you’ve probably heard a whole lot about virtual businesses. You may have heard how these kinds of non-physical businesses have helped the people behind them to survive the first wave of the pandemic, and offer a fantastic business opportunity. You may even be thinking about starting a remote business of your own, and taking a leap of faith into an industry that you’ve been wanting to join for a while.

You might be excited at the prospect of launching a virtual business, but that doesn’t mean that you can simply dive straight in and launch one instantly. You need to be smart about this – the fact is that launching a business means taking the time to really think the idea and concepts through. The fact is that before you dive in and start setting up a business, you need to take the time to understand what’s involved in running a business virtually and what it takes to see success.

What is a virtual business in its entirety? Simply put, it’s a business that is run without a dedicated physical office space – usually, the business is run from home or from a co-working space. Remote businesses are always a popular option as they offer far lower overheads than physical businesses and thus, are a great way for small businesses to begin trading.

That being said, it’s important to understand that just because the cost of launching a virtual business is lower, that doesn’t mean that it’s as simple as you might think. The fact is that there’s a lot that you need to consider when it comes to starting any business, however a virtual one comes with a lot of ins and outs that you need to think about.

Wondering what these are? Have a read of the tips and advice below, and implement them in how you approach your virtual business.

Organise your budget

There’s a common misconception that when it comes to launching a virtual venture that you don’t need a budget. However, this isn’t true – in order to launch a business, you need to have a carefully throughout budget in place. Even if you’re thinking of running the business entirely from home – instead of from a co-working space – you will need a budget to work with. The fact is that there are certain costs that every business needs to cover.

For instance, you will need a high spec computer or laptop or both. You will need to pay for a website domain and the design – which we will discuss in more detail below. You will need to think about insurance costs. You will need to cover the cost of communication tools that you – and your team members, if you have any – will need to use. The cost of launching a virtual business will be lower than launching a physical one but it still comes with costs and requires a budget, and it’s important to remember that.

Get your website designed

If you’re someone who is confident on their computer, then you may feel like you want to try and design your own website to cut costs and reduce overheads. However, what it’s important to bear in mind here is that for a virtual business, the website is, in essence, the business – it’s the first place the potential customers will go and it will act as your business’s virtual HQ. So you need to really consider whether you’re in the right position to create your own website or whether you should outsource the task.

Should you decide to hire an expert to create your website for you, make sure that you take the time beforehand to consider what you want your website to be like. Spend some time looking at competitor sites and list the pros and cons that each one offers, and consider what you could do to enhance your website and its design further.

Ensure that you have adequate support IT place

One mistake that you don’t want to make when it comes to launching your virtual business, it’s failing to have adequate IT support in place from the get-go. You might know a little about IT but the fact is that when you’re running a business you need to make sure that you have professional help on hand as and when you need it.

The thing is, you cannot afford for your website or software to go down for long periods of time, because downtime like this can be seriously detrimental to your business’s success. That’s why investing in IT support through a well-known and experienced company is so important, ensuring that whatever happens, you have all of the help and support that you need and can get any issues fixed in a fast and efficient way.

Focus on marketing

It’s also vital that you take marketing seriously regarding your business. A lot of new business owners make the mistake of thinking that marketing isn’t required for their business’s success, however the fact is that this couldn’t be further from the truth. If no one knows about your business, how can it be a success?

If you want to give your new venture the very best chance of achieving success, it’s vital that you make marketing a priority from the get-go. Set aside a monthly marketing budget, outsource the task to an expert, and put an overarching marketing strategy in place that’s designed to drive traffic to your website and help to convert leads. Make sure that you source a marketer that knows what they’re doing and has the ability to create huge growth for your business’s audience.

The fact is that launching a virtual business is easier than launching a physical one in many ways, as there’s a lot less that you need to do. However, that being said, making a success out of a virtual business can be far harder than making a success out of a traditional business.

Reasons to Hire a Financial Coach for Your Startup Business

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article | Reasons to Hire a Financial Coach for Your Startup Business

In today’s market and economy, starting a new business can be an exciting but risky thing to do, especially since many starting businesses are sprouting almost everywhere. Fortunately, there are financial coaches who can help you establish your business, not just in terms of finances, but also in fixing issues related to personal development and business growth.

Financial coaches also know your business’ field and its best interest, which are required for you to develop and grow your business. Hiring a financial coach can give you advantages over your competitors and will give you a great headstart in dominating the market.

What Is a Financial Coach?

To emphasize what a financial coach is and what they bring on the table, a financial coach is someone capable of helping you handle and learn necessary money management skills. Of course, that is only skimming the top as financial coaches have a lot of tricks up their sleeves that are important in growing a business.

Their specialty in money-making and managing skills is a great help if you are having difficulties managing your money or business in general. Whether you are making a mess out of financing in your startup business or are struggling with debt, a financial coach can help you alleviate your immediate or recurring problems. They can help you make decisions that will make your business go in the right direction.

Simply put, a financial coach’s primary goal is to empower your critical thinking and money management skills in both a personal or business setting. Here are some great benefits you will get when hiring a financial coach.

Learning How to Set Goals

Ask yourself: what do you want to achieve with your business the next year or more? If you don’t have a clear answer to that question, you will have a hard time formulating a plan and taking the right steps. For many small and startup business owners, it can be hard to develop realistic, practical, and measurable goals, especially in terms of financing. That is why it is beneficial to hire a financial coach business expert.

Financial coaches, especially those who have knowledge in business, can collaborate with you to set realistic goals that can be attained in practice. They stand by the acronym SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. With these values in mind, formulating financial goals that can be attained through practical means will be easy.

Sustainable Support

Financial coaches do not only support you through your journey, but they also see you through the end of your goals.

There are two common scenarios once a new company experiences little significant success: they either stabilize without much growth or implode because of the demand and workload. Financial coaches make sure that your business can handle its finances while growing smoothly and steadily.

Financing Insight

Of course, financial coaches will not be called such if they don’t help you with your finances. As a business owner, you are responsible for a lot of things, including finances. That said, it will be a struggle for you to balance these things. With a financial coach, you will worry less about your finances.

One of the things financial coaches are good at is creating a significant financial picture. In simpler terms, this is a visualization of your business money flow, gains, losses, and potential currently and in the future. This will teach you to monitor your gains, allocate your profits to the right place, and monitor the flow of cash while they advise you on what things you should do and prioritize.

Understanding in Market Trends

Since financial advisors are experts when it comes to financial matters, expect that they have excellent and a deep understanding of market trends. Having a financial advisor on your side means that he/she will help you to get the right information as to how to run your business according to what’s in demand or the current trend in the market.

Also, given a financial advisor’s knowledge and skills, he/she can comprehensively answer all of your financial questions. This will help you understand how to conquer the market by taking advantage of the current trends.

Takeaway

Whether you are looking for financial help or only looking to learn new insights and money management skills, or even looking for support and guidance, a financial coach can help you with that, along with critical thinking, prioritization, and decision making. Not only that, but the lessons you’ll learn with your financial coach can be helpful to your company in the future. As a business owner, your focus should be on improving your business and yourself as a whole.


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Lauren CordellLauren Cordell is a writer with a passion for business and finance. She likes to write just about anything related to growing business and making money. When not busy working, Lauren spends her time reading her favorite novels.

How to Run a Successful Video Game Development Company


If you grew up as a gamer or are still an active player, they you may have dreamed of being a game developer one day. Or maybe you saw the success of a seemingly simple game like Angry Birds and thought you’d have a go at it. Truth is, starting a game company is more than a pipe dream and definitely possible if you have the know-how and determination to do so. Here are a few tips on how to establish a successful gaming company.

Gather Extensive Knowledge

Before you even start thinking of establishing your company, make sure that you gather as much knowledge as you can about the industry first. Read as many news stories, analyst reports, sales numbers, magazines, target research and market analysis as you can. Be sure to also read up on the type of gaming equipment on the market, either to buy them for your company, or know what you’re up against. One product that we recommend checking out would have to be the gaming laptop from Razer’s site (https://www.razer.com/gaming-laptops) which is steadily gaining popularity in the market. Once you have all this information, you can identify your target market and on what platform you will develop games, may it be home gaming consoles, portable devices or browser based social games.

Try to Get a Competitive Edge

The best way to get a competitive edge is by hiring better. What separates gaming companies is not just funding and marketing skills, but the quality of their teams. Try to hire for creativity, problem solving, hunger, intelligence and most importantly, passion, and make it clear in your game designer job descriptions. The most successful teams hire people with a genuine interest in gaming, people who are avid gaming fans and gamers themselves. This allows them to create games with the player in mind first.

Once you’ve built your team, make sure you communicate your core principles to them, the principles that make your company unique and aren’t altered by market forces, platforms or competitive influences. Then make sure these principles permeate every part of their work.

Find the Right Partners

You’ll most likely have to seek financial aid or a partnership if you’re just getting started in the industry. This is why it is important that you partner up with people who also have a deep passion and understanding of the gaming industry. You have to go with someone who understands the gaming development process, believes in you and your vision and is ready to support you every step of the way.

You should also seek partnership from more experienced mentors that could educate you on some of the aspects of the industry you may lack expertise in.

Create the Gaming Company You’ve Always Wanted

What separates brands like Apple and Google is their culture. Both have very different ways of working and company cultures to other brands in their sector, and that’s what sets them apart and makes them so successful. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through when creating a company culture and focus on the aspects you value the most.

Building a successful gaming company can be done if you know what you’re doing, and you have the drive and knowledge necessary to make it. If you follow the tips in this article, you’ll be one step closer to building a successful game development team.