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We go to the gym to strengthen our bodies. As we stretch our muscles to their max, they tear, stretch, and heal. This makes them even stronger than they were before. Moreover, without this essential exercise, muscles stay stagnant or even atrophy from lack of use. Similarly, you can work on your business to make your startup stronger.
As a matter of fact, startup owners must work on their businesses regularly. They must stretch and grow their way to success. Without tender care and strengthening exercises, they risk running themselves out of business.
If you’re committed to making your startup stronger, take these strengthening tips. Make them into habits for a successful business.
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1. Tackle Internal Challenges
Stop worrying about what’s going on outside your business. Instead, start focusing on what’s happening within.
“The greatest challenges organizations face do not originate from an external threats. Rather, they stem from internal sources,” warns the leadership team from the consulting firm Ridgeline Partners. “Internal misalignments and resistance ultimately lead to a failure to meet tactical and strategic objectives. In some instances, internal challenges are very clearly linked to identifiable causes. While others, unfortunately, are less obvious to pinpoint.”
They also point out the top five internal challenges most businesses face:
- Execution Failure
- Role and Procedure Confusion
- Leadership and team conflict
- Opportunistic prioritization
- Lack of Accountability
Evaluate your team’s performance in each of these categories. As you find internal problems, address them fully. When your team is working well from the inside, you’ll stand up to many external challenges. What’s more, your team will be making your startup stronger.
2. Make Cash Flow a Priority
Cash flow problems are one of the top three reasons businesses fail. Whether they fail to establish a strong cash flow, or they make mistakes with managing it, many business owners find themselves floundering as a result.
“The key is to make sure there is little or no gap between when you pay for labor and stock inventory and when you actually get paid,” says Brad Sugars, businessman and contributor to Entrepreneur. “Ideally, you’ll find ways to get money up front, and your cash gap will never be an issue.”
If you aren’t seeing consistent cash flow now, stop and find it. Consistent cash flow is essential to making your startup stronger. Establish better cash flow by creating a private label, for example. Or you could develop programs that require a monthly fee, or restructure your marketing campaigns. Once your cash arrives, manage it carefully.
3. Challenge Yourself
Startups that see a challenge and run the other way will never stretch and grow. On the other hand, those that meet challenges head on can emerge victorious. Make your startup stronger by stepping outside of your comfort zone.
“To ensure you and your business develop and grow, you have to take on challenges that throw you out of your depth,” encourages Stephen Moore, founder of the online publication The Mission. “In that chaotic environment of the new and unknown, you will find yourself. Your business will find new passions, new beliefs, and new strengths.”
That being said, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Making promises to clients and customers that you can’t keep will put you in a bad spot. Stretch yourself, but don’t do it in a way that will compromise the reputation of your business.
4. Let Yourself Think
In the chaos of starting a business, you’re probably constantly moving from one busy task to another. Therefore, you rarely have a moment to stop and think. The perpetual movement is what keeps your business going, of course. However, the lack of creative thinking can take its toll.
Take a few more breaks throughout the day. Go for a walk, stand in the shower an extra five minutes, sip some coffee, or chat with friends.
“It is in those more calming moments, during the chatter or discussion, that your brain cogs start to turn again,” Moore says. “You start to refocus on your work. Everything becomes clearer. Solutions to problems suddenly appear out of nowhere.”
5. Be Unique in Sales and Marketing
Sales and marketing tactics must be constantly evolving, attempting to draw in new customers with each interaction. You know better than anyone that nothing really happens until the sale is final. Therefore, every interaction up to that point is crucial.
Using the same marketing tactics you’ve always employed will get old. Therefore, make your startup stronger and more dynamic by trying unique tactics. Sometimes they’ll be successful, and sometimes they’ll be a flop. However, the journey will teach you valuable lessons about effective marketing.
This might require hiring someone new to take charge of the operation.
“A startup needs a talented chief marketing executive (CME) to ensure that its marketing strategy can meet the company’s goals,” says AJ Agrawal of Startup Grind. “A CME, also known as a chief marketing officer (CMO), should be innovative in his or her approach, able to capitalize on the unique features of the brand and take advantage of the competition’s weaknesses—without bashing the competition.”
Make Your Startup Stronger with These Techniques
Reorganizing your internal priorities, challenging yourself, establishing cash flow, making time to think things through, and focusing on marketing will take your business to new heights. Once you’ve lifted these heavyweights, move on to the next challenges for a strong and healthy business.