You’ve got a great business idea you’ve been dreaming about for the past few weeks, months, or even years. But the timing never seems right for bringing your vision to life. Sound familiar?
For most of us, there is no perfect time to start a business – and knowing when to make that jump from idea to reality can be tricky. Starting your own business in Vietnam or any other country is a daunting prospect and, to see your idea become a profitable reality, you have to be prepared.
To help you get started, we asked three business owners to share their tips for success – and what they would avoid – when starting a business.
- Treat staff with respect, empower them to lead and acknowledge their contributions.
- Diversify your offering to tap into multiple revenue streams.
- Be open to learning and honing your approach as you grow.
- Make cashflow management a priority from day one.
Do: Invest in the right people to help you grow
People are the backbone of every great business. When you’re first starting out, it’s especially important to invest in staff with the right skills and attitude to support your business growth. And, although you may still be working out how to sustain a profit, it’s crucial to recognize and reward a job well done.
“You may not have the resources to give out big salaries or awesome job perks, but your people are literally the number one asset you’ll have,” says the first business founder.
“They will drive the business to places you would have never thought to go, or could not have gone on your own — so treat them with respect, empower them to lead the areas they are responsible for and acknowledge the contribution they make.”
Don’t: Put all your eggs in one basket
To maintain a business, it’s a good idea to build an offering that appeals to a diverse customer base. For example, you could offer a range of products rather than offering a single product or find multiple distributors for a product.
Head chef and owner of other business says selling products to other vendors was the ticket to sustainable revenue for his business.
“We have diversified our business by making small goods for other restaurants, cafes and venues,” he says. “We were making them just for ourselves then other people started asking for them. We got a license as a meat processing plant and can now make and sell to anyone.”
Do: Take a leap of faith
If you’re still waiting for the right time to get the ball rolling, keep in mind that many successful businesses started by taking a chance. For another business owner, taking a leap of faith – while being prepared – is key to bringing a business idea to fruition.
“I’ve met so many people with so many good ideas and the talent to make them a reality, but they never did anything because it wasn’t the perfect time,” he says. “I’m not saying don’t prepare for what you’re about to undertake, but there will never be ‘a perfect time’ — at the end of the day, you just need to start.”
Don’t: Expect perfection from day one
Running a business means making tough calls and sometimes getting it wrong. With that in mind, the third business owner says instead of striving for perfection from day one, be open to learning and honing your approach as you grow.
“In some instances, you’re better off just perfecting what you need in the short term, and then getting a better understanding of what you’re going to need in the long term as you actually operate and grow,” he says.
“One thing I would do differently is to not try to set up everything perfectly for the long term. I purchased two 40-foot containers of 750ml bottles for the US market on day one in order to get a better cost per unit. Those bottles are still sitting in storage.”
Don’t: Rely on what’s ‘trendy’
Trends come and go, but a truly unique business offering is built for longevity. That’s why it’s key to focus on innovation as the foundation of your business.
Restaurant trends are constantly changing, but you shoud try to stay away from them as they are usually not enduring, you try to be as creative as possible while staying true to your brand to keep it fun and fresh for your staff and customers.
Ultimately, it’s most important to do something you’re genuinely passionate about: “Don’t do something because it’s trendy. Make sure you are doing it because you love it, and play the long game.”
Do: Make cashflow a priority
When starting a business, income doesn’t always come before expenses — and vice versa. That’s why, it’s important to remember that “money in the bank account belongs to a lot of people” — not just you.
On a day-to-day basis, you should use tools provided by a bank, saying the information it provides has been “insightful and useful” for growing his business.
Do: Start building momentum early
When you’ve invested so much time and energy in getting a business off the ground, it can be nerve-wracking to reveal it to the public. But generating buzz is key to success, so it’s important to start early.
Every business owner learnt that lesson the hard way.
Sometime they held back on letting people know in case the build was delayed, It then took a long time to build momentum.
Don’t be afraid to share your business idea with the world: “Get it out there and start building hype.”
By Westpac/ Edited by Vietnam Insider staff