If you’re starting a business, chances are you’ve done quite a bit of research on ways to encourage success. Extensive research is an important part of starting a company so you know what to expect and have the best chance of making it profitable. You should research the market and industry to ensure your idea is potentially profitable, and you should have a detailed financial plan for both the business and your personal cash flow. You can also read stories of other startups that found success to learn what to do and be encouraged about your own chances.
Research such as this is an important part of preparing to start your own company. However, it’s also worth taking the time to look at companies and founders who didn’t necessarily follow the conventional wisdom but charted their own path to success. These stories can help you learn to think in new ways and find unique paths for your own business. While unconventional thinking doesn’t always work, there are many potential benefits to trying new things. Your company could end up being the inspiration for other entrepreneurs in the future.
Allow Your Principles to Guide You
In a world where many voices tell you to value “smart” or “strategic” decisions above all else, choosing to follow your principles can be regarded as foolish. However, there are examples of people who stayed true to what they valued despite the fact that it pushed against the status quo. The most important advantage of sticking to your principles is internal satisfaction and a sense of right. However, there can be tangible benefits as well. There are numerous examples of a company succeeding due to the founder’s refusal to back down from his beliefs and values.
Building a business based on your values and principles helps you maintain passion for your industry and your company during times of hardship. It can also help you find other like-minded people who may want to partner with you or invest in your company. In many circumstances, sticking to your values and principles rather than embracing conventional wisdom may be viewed as a negative. But remaining true to yourself is better in the long run, and may inspire great success for your company.
Don’t Sacrifice the Small Steps for the Big Picture
You probably have grand plans for your business and an idea of what “success” looks like to you. Maybe it’s a certain profit margin, or your brand being profiled in a magazine. Perhaps you consider success when your product is picked up by a national retail chain. Whatever your idea of success is, it’s important to keep striving towards it. However, you shouldn’t be so caught up in the big picture that you discount smaller victories. It’s important to keep the larger goal in mind, but not at the expense of ignoring smaller projects.
One thing that can help is organizing your thoughts. Whether that means journaling, or blogging or using another visualization method, physically keeping track of your goals and victories can help you remain focused. Another option is to spend the majority of your resources on a smaller goal that is fairly easy to achieve. You can use that success to not only fuel your drive to continue reaching for bigger things but to actually fund larger projects.
Look for Advertising Opportunities in New Places
When you think about advertising and brand awareness you probably consider things such as logo merchandise, social media profiles and internet advertising strategies. While these are all good ideas that can drastically increase your brand awareness, there may be some other avenues that could have great results. For example, you may want to consider marketing your product directly to consumers through an e-commerce setup rather than waiting for a traditional retail path to become profitable.
HamptonCreek is a good example of a non-standard approach to brand awareness. They chose to increase their market share by starting in the food distribution industry rather than the traditional wholesale and retail route. They branded their products that were sold in cafeterias even though the practice is frowned upon by some. Their willingness to choose a different path gave them the resources to branch out into new products and markets.
There’s an endless stream of advice available about how to succeed in business and make your startup company profitable. Sometimes, it’s worthwhile to take a step back from the conventional wisdom and choose a different path. Basing your decisions on your principles and future goals is a good idea, along with appreciating the smaller victories. You can also take a non-standard approach to advertising and brand awareness.