Every startup business goes through bad patches. As a company in Thailand grows, different problems and opportunities demand different solutions – what worked a year ago might now be not the best approach today. Recognizing and overcoming the common pitfalls associated with growth is essential if a business is to continue to grow and thrive. Crucially, entrepreneurs need to ensure that the steps they take today will not create additional problems in the future. However, keeping a small business afloat in difficult economic times is challenging. Whether failing to properly plan or simply a lack of sales, they are all equally devastating.
Unfortunately, there is no one-plan-fits-all solution. Every small business is different, and each carries its own risks and rewards. These differences make copying another company’s turnaround strategy to the letter unrealistic. Still, there are some general strategies business owners can follow to help them stop taking on water and start bailing themselves out. Sure, theoretical advice is nice, but when entrepreneurs are struggling to keep their business going, they want real help from skills and experienced startup consultants.
To survive, there are some rules which matter more than others. Most who manage and own large businesses, who, at one time, were struggling in their own start-ups, will inform startup entrepreneurs that there are some steps and strategies they need to hang on to, to reach their goals.
Assess the Damage
The first thing entrepreneurs need to do when their business in Thailand is in trouble is to find out exactly how much trouble. They can’t tackle a problem until they are willing to face it head-on. Apart from seeking professional advice from a business startup advisor, entrepreneurs must also learn to identify the areas where the business is failing. It’s easy to overlook the signs as they develop because they are busy with their day-to-day running of the business, but if entrepreneurs look hard enough, they should be able to spot discrepancies leading up to the problems.
Talk to Customers/Clients
Customers/Clients are arguably the most important aspect of a business. Without them, entrepreneurs wouldn’t be bringing in the revenue to keep their doors open. It’s important to get as much feedback from customers as much as possible. What were they pleased with? What could the business have done differently? If entrepreneurs aren’t collecting information from their customers, they have no idea how to successfully move forward. Perhaps, entrepreneurs can ask their customers to take part in a survey and offer a nice prize to one lucky partaker as a reward. They can also do a quick sit down with long-time customers and have an open conversation to gather in-depth information about their business and about any unmet needs they might have to them could fulfill.
Manage Finances Properly
One of the main reasons startup businesses go out of business quickly is that owners fail to manage their money well. If their business is going through a rough patch, it’s a good idea to create weekly budgets, instead of monthly and annually. When it comes to the cash flow, entrepreneurs should be tracking down to a fine art. If they do end up struggling with money and they have debtors to pay back, they should make sure that their debtors are aware of their current situation. One of the many ways entrepreneurs can avoid conflict is to contact their debtors and explain the situation to them – this will put them in a good light, and they’re more likely to work out a payment deal than come after the business.
When a business starts to fail to bring in profits, it’s a clear indication that things are going wrong. However, it doesn’t mean it is the end. If entrepreneurs need to get back on their feet to invest in the business to offer what their customers are looking for, it is time to reduce expenses. It could be anything from cutting extraneous employee expenses to reducing office space and even lowering costs on office supplies or the cost of shipping or other services that the company routinely buys. Every little bit helps when it comes to reducing business costs, so don’t be afraid to be tight pocketed.
Don’t Stop Marketing
Many startup businesses are tempted to cut their marketing budget to save cash. This is a mistake. When entrepreneurs turn their back on advertising, they are pretty much giving up on their business. They are saying that they can’t afford to bring in new clients, which spells disaster for the future of their company. Even if they don’t have the budget for marketing, there are many ways they can advertise to save small businesses, such as:
Review Current Strategies
Entrepreneurs must understand that the way they think about their failures is the key to their success. After entrepreneurs re-evaluate their company in Thailand, chances are they have found where they went wrong and are ready to redefine and rethink their strategy – it is a great step in reviving their failing business. There are times that a failing company might be doing everything right – having the right product, identifying the right customer base, right pricing but their marketing is not able to convince customers to buy their products. The right way out for this is for entrepreneurs to evaluate the right marketing mix for their customers with the right message and pitch.
Meet With Employees
It’s time for entrepreneurs to set a company meeting. They need to admit that there are things wrong with the business and discuss how management plans would help fix them. Entrepreneurs should provide their employees with relevant parts of the business plan and ask for their ideas. Remember, when it comes to drafting a plan, two heads are better than one.
Learn From Previous Mistakes
One of the many reasons why a business is failing is because entrepreneurs still have more to learn. They should learn from their mistakes, sit down, and reflect. Understanding what caused their business to get into the current state and being open about the mistakes they have made is a crucial factor in saving their business. After some re-evaluation, entrepreneurs must pick themselves back up and move on. They should not be so hard on themselves because they did not do it on purpose.
When entrepreneurs know that their business is on its last legs, they need to be proactive. They should not sit back and wait for things to happen before they take action. Entrepreneurs must take actions that are not only preventative but can also fix glaring problems. There’s no better feeling for startup entrepreneurs than when they can turn something around for the better. Moreover, entrepreneurs should never let go of their passion for the business. As long as they still have passion in them, they will always look for ways to keep their business alive. Passion is what made them start their business in the first place, and it will help them to keep going. Passion may not always come with the voice of reason, but it may be the fuel they need to reignite that fire.
Source: Asian Correspondent
Many people find it challenging to deal with corporate workplace rules, company internal politics, and regulations. They are thinking about working on their own project and in their own way. They desire to have full control over their time and goals. Unfortunately, for most people, venturing into a startup business may only stay just a dream. But thanks to startup consulting firms, aspiring entrepreneurs can now launch their company in the country without any hassles and worries.
However, the question will remain – “Do you have what it takes to start your business?” Many people believe that starting a business in Thailand is easier than it seems when in reality, launching a brand can be daunting and exhausting. Having a brilliant idea is not enough. Being a successful entrepreneur requires outside-the-box thinking and larger-than-life ideas. Anyone can come up with a new idea but build a successful business.
You Know Your WHY
Opening a business in Thailand is not a walk-in-the-park journey. Before starting a company in the country, entrepreneurs must be crystal clear about their reasons, intentions, and motivations behind such decisions. When they know their whys, they are motivated and determined to succeed no matter what may come their way.
You Are Passionate About Your New Venture
Passion is a huge driver for success. Although it’s not enough, passion is still crucial when starting a business. Does your idea fire you up? Do you lie awake at night thinking about it? For entrepreneurs, it is important to have something they are excited about and truly passionate about what they do and will do everything possible to turn their vision into a product or service for the rest of the world to enjoy.
Your Idea Uses Your Skills and Experience
Starting a company from scratch can be a tough call. Thus, many startup entrepreneurs would prefer hiring skilled and experienced startup specialists to help them guide and build their business from the ground up to survive in the local market. However, aspiring entrepreneurs should keep in mind that starting a business that requires skills and experience they completely lack could be adding a layer of stress and risk too much.
You Have a Plan
It is crucial to create a comprehensive business plan detailing how entrepreneurs intend to source financing, who their target market is, how they plan to market their business, and what their competition looks like. Additionally, it is also important to decide whether they would like to go ahead with a bricks-and-mortar business or whether they would prefer to embrace the e-commerce side of things, serving customers from far and wide as opposed to just locally. In the end, planning is guessing, and it won’t turn out to be how they planned, but thinking about the details gives them a better understanding of how the future of their business could look like.
Your Product or Idea Has a Market
Entrepreneurs can create a great business by combining what they love with what other people are willing to pay. Figuring out who their target market is may be part of their business plan, but knowing there’s a demand they can supply is a sure-fire way to know that now may be the right time to start a business. They just have to make sure they’ve done their research and consulted with startup consultants who are knowledgeable about the local market, products, or services on the supply side.
You’re Committed to Doing Whatever It Takes
Starting a business is not for those who are not committed. Generally, most entrepreneurs who decide to start their own business tend to overestimate their own abilities. They think they have what it takes to succeed in business until they actually do it. If entrepreneurs are truly committed to doing whatever it takes to succeed, they might have what it takes to start their own business.
You Have a Good Business Team
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Helen Keller.
To succeed in the business industry, entrepreneurs must have a team of loyal, dedicated, and talented people that not only can but actually enjoy working for business growth. Startup entrepreneurs can seek help from a reliable consultancy firm to aid them with legal assistance.
You Have a Passion for Creating a Product or Service the Market Doesn’t Provide.
Aspiring entrepreneurs seek solutions to the problems. They have their eureka moment or the motivation to fulfill something when they realize that a specific product or service isn’t currently available.
You’re Not Afraid to Fail
Failure is an inevitable part of life that also builds character and makes us stronger. But venturing into the business industry is not for the faint of heart. Fear of failure can be a crippling factor in a business. It’s something many entrepreneurs feel to some degree, but if it is not confronted, it can paralyze them to succeed.
You’re Aware of the Risks
Most people like to play a safe game. But when starting and running a business, entrepreneurs must know that it involves many risks. They could lose their entire seed capital (which most likely comes out of their own pocket). They might end up spending much less time with their family and friends, and they might even criticize them for what they are doing. Entrepreneurs must keep in mind that their business may require a long phase of hard work to make it a success. If they are aware of these risks and are ready to face them, it’s a good sign that they might be ready to start their own business. Just give it a try!
At the end of the day, it is the entrepreneurs’ passion and drive to start a new business that will take them to new business heights. All of the other things mentioned here can be learned and built upon, but if they don’t have the desire to start a successful business and really give it their all, then there’s no point in even starting. This is not something that can be learned, it’s something that is simply instilled in all successful entrepreneurs.
Moreover, aspiring entrepreneurs should not be discouraged if the first few phases of starting their own business don’t turn out to be what they expected. Entrepreneurship is a volatile world, but as long as they stay committed to improving their ideas and continue to work hard, they will always have a chance to succeed. They should trust in their selves; otherwise, they run the risk of failing before their business even gets off the ground.
Source: Asian Correspondent
Everything tends to move fast in the dynamic world of startups. As a company in Thailand grows, the challenges that go with managing a startup business are inevitable. Thus, building a strong team is necessary to thrive in the local market. Entrepreneurs must keep in mind that the future of their business lies in the people they work with. However, there is no such perfect employee, a perfect team, a perfect manager, or a perfect partner, and hiring the wrong people prove to be disastrous in the long run. But there are a few keys to great management that bring out the best in everyone.
Building a successful team is about more than partnering with a skilled and experienced startup consultant and finding a group of people with the right mix of professional skills. Studies have shown that skills and experiences alone were not enough to make a team thrive. While skills and experience broaden the team’s resource pool, help people identify opportunities, and are positively related to team effectiveness, a team should also consider certain factors to truly thrive.
Establishing Positions and Responsibilities
Oftentimes, startup employees may not have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities due to a lack of organizational structure. Roles and responsibilities provide structure and allow entrepreneurs and employees to focus. Roles define the job functions within a team and responsibilities define the activities that a member is accountable for. Before hiring people, entrepreneurs must understand their roles in the startup. Who should be the technical lead? Who will handle the sales & marketing side of the business? They must first establish the foundation and structure of their inner circle.
Consider each other’s skill set, strengths, and weaknesses to ensure that everyone understands what they can bring to the table. When entrepreneurs have decided on their roles and responsibilities, then it is time to gather the rest of the team. Depending on their startup business needs, some of the positions they can open are project managers, sales and marketing specialists, finance officers, and so on. Keep in mind that a strong team is extremely clear about who is responsible for what.
Hiring the Right People
The type of people entrepreneurs hire can ultimately make or break their business in Thailand. A startup team with diverse skills and experience is essential to its growth in the long haul. Ideally, entrepreneurs want each member to have the right balance between hard skills (talents and abilities that pertains to a specific field) and soft skills (interpersonal skills that help people get along with each other and collaborate.) When choosing candidates, entrepreneurs must weigh if they can thrive in a fast-paced environment and learn quickly as they go along. They sure want someone who can get the job done and are a perfect fit for their startup’s culture.
Sharing the Vision With the Team
It starts with a vision. Entrepreneurs must know that sharing their vision with their team is crucial. It gives the team members a common goal and a sense of purpose. If the ultimate goal is to be a leading company in Thailand, then entrepreneurs must share it with their current and future employees. Make them see the big picture. When they know where they are going, they are more motivated and will work harder. Entrepreneurs must be candid about their vision with the candidates they interview. It’s great to be honest about this since not everyone likes to work in a big corporate setting. By sharing the vision with them, entrepreneurs can attract the best candidates with the same goals. Additionally, having an on-going discussion about future goals with the team helps everyone stay on the same page and prepare for changes when necessary. Entrepreneurs must also ensure that their vision clearly states what they want and why they want it. They should make their team feel like a part of the vision.
Offering Training or Mentorship
If entrepreneurs want their teams to succeed, they have to invest in them – and training and mentoring are some of the best investments they can make in their startup company. Employees can benefit when they undergo training to sharpen their skills. Although not all startup companies have enough budget for expensive training programs, there are still other ways to learn for free. Entrepreneurs can encourage their team members to take free online courses or network with great mentors in their startup community. By motivating them to improve themselves, entrepreneurs have helped them contribute to the success of their vision and reach their career goals.
Provide Feedback on Performance
Training and mentoring may enhance the skills of the employees, but what puts them on an accelerated path to excellence is regular constructive feedback. Having a feedback system plays a significant role in assessing an employee’s performance. By providing performance reviews regularly, entrepreneurs can help employees see how they are doing and the areas they need to improve on. However, a lot of entrepreneurs have a problem with communicating their feedback to their employees, which results in offending employees, discouraging them, or worse, making them leave the company. If entrepreneurs think that giving constructive criticism is not their forte, then they have to learn to do so. They can’t build a successful startup company in Thailand if they inadvertently keep on putting off their employees.
Oftentimes, expanding the office space would be the last thing entrepreneurs would do, especially when they are just starting their business in Thailand, due to the limited resources and funding. Some startup entrepreneurs start their business in someone’s basement to save on rent and other operating costs. While this setup is good at the beginning, sooner or later, entrepreneurs need to plan for the future and prepare for a proper expansion to accommodate the growth of their startup. One way they can do this is to try looking for vacant offices within their location and see if they can negotiate the terms that will allow them to rent the space as needed while avoiding the need for expensive relocations.
Entrepreneurs Must Get Ready to Scale Up Their Startup Team!
Having great and responsible team members is crucial for a startup business‘ success, but being able to lead the team successfully and to create a comfortable and nurturing work environment is the responsibility of a startup team leader. When it comes to building a strong team, entrepreneurs need the all-stars to get their business off the ground. There’s no secret formula for winning teams. They are built over time and assembled from the ground up, and entrepreneurs simply can’t afford to hire the wrong people. Remember, the backbone of a company’s success is the people who work behind it.
Source: Asian Correspondent