There is nothing as refreshing as seeing your ideas turn into reality. For many entrepreneurs, having people buy into their ideas in the form of products or services is a dream come true. While placing your ideas in the market is usually a struggle at first, making your business model sustainable needs even more heavy lifting.
Ideally, you need to make all stakeholders happy to remain in business for long. Lenders need to be paid on time, investors need to see yields, customers need a reason to trust your brand, employees need to feel appreciated, and regulatory bodies need you to comply with their requirements. With the right strategy, pleasing these stakeholders will be a walk in the park.
Here is how to please all stakeholders and improve your startup’s viability:
Focus On Compliance
Regulatory requirements are meant to standardize how businesses handle themselves. They govern everything, from privacy and data security to the code of conduct between companies. Failure to comply with the necessary regulations can make it tough for your business to be appealing to specific customers.
For instance, failure to comply with the HIPAA requirements means that security-conscious customers won’t want to do business with you. Even worse, you risk incurring hefty fines that are imposed on non-compliant companies. Since most of these regulations are designed with the interest of business in mind, there is a chance of also ruining your reputation.
In case your sensitive data were to get breached due to being non-compliant, your reputation will suffer as you might have to pay hefty fines. Take an agile approach to compliance. Embracing the culture of collaboration, and enhanced interdepartmental communication is a sure way to improve the chances of compliance success. Applying an agile approach to other business processes is also wise.
Focus on Keeping Business Data Secure
Focusing on data security can give you a competitive advantage in a world where 70% of customers would dessert a business that has undergone a security breach, according to Cutimes.com. Every stakeholder has a lot to lose if they interact with an unsecured company.
While customers might get exposed to identify theft, investors will share the loss that your business faces as a result of a breach. Ideally, staying steps ahead of emergent security threats in your industry is a necessity. You can do this by installing firewalls, training employees on security best practices, and focusing on cyber-security risk management.
Among the best ways to remain informed on the latest security threats and solutions would be to join circles of cyber-security professionals. This includes attending security webinars, security seminars, and keeping an eye out for cyber-security news. At the very least, ensuring that you have an adept team of IT professionals will increase the chances of remaining secure as a business.
Keep Investors Happy
While investors can help your business rise from the ground, they can also save your business if it needs extra funding. For instance, a restaurant might need funding during short, low seasons to cater to employee salaries. Ideally, creating a tenacious business model is among the best ways to capture the attention of most venture capitalists. You need to prove to them that your business is a venture worth investing in.
Build a skilled staff as this will prove that you can manage the funds they offer you. On the other hand, focus on marketing your product in the right manner. This includes understanding your target audience and refining your product to the point that it solves most of the customer’s pain points.
Lastly, craft your business model around the mentality of your ideal investor. If you want to attract an investor who is interested in the profitability of your business, build towards improving profitability.
Focus On Marketing/Branding
Your brand positioning will have a huge role to play when it comes to your business’ viability. Take the example of Netflix, which changed its brand positioning from a DVD business to a streaming service. Consider the thing that will move your customer the most when marketing your services. Ideally, focusing on the benefits that your product or service has to offer instead of the features throughout your marketing campaign is ideal.
People want to know how having a huge smartphone screen will help them, which will make them care about such a feature. Also, ensure consistency in how you market your business. Everything from brand message to brand colors should be the same throughout your websites, social media accounts, and office.
Lastly, interact with customers, both online and offline. Showing that your business cares for the experience you offer will help customers warm up to your business more. You should gather their feedback and respond to any criticism in a professional manner to fortify your brand.
Your Employees Are Your Biggest Asset
Your workforce has a huge role to play in the initial stages of your business, let alone in its viability. Being the people that clients and other stakeholders will interact with, they are at the frontline of your business’ success. Building a skilled workforce is essential for success.
The trick should be to try and keep employees happy. Remember, as long as they are pleased within their job, and they will commit to improving your business. It also becomes easy for them to approach you with issues that might maim your startup.
When recruiting, be sure to pick people who will be a cultural fit. The last thing you need as a startup is to have employees quarreling, especially when you have a small workforce. To improve team chemistry, take employees out for team building activities regularly.
Improve Your Customer Service
73% of customers would want to cling to a brand that offers stellar customer service. Train employees on how to treat customers, from how they talk to them to follow up on their requests. Something as simple as smiling at your customers might be enough to win them over. It might also pay to conduct market research to learn everything that makes your target audience tick.
You can conduct surveys and request feedback online. In case of a complaint or negative review, respond professionally, and make the necessary adjustments.
The good thing about building a viable business is that almost everything is within your control. It is the small decisions that will help build a great company. Focus on the areas above to watch your startup stand the test of time.