Article by Michael Todd, Business Advisor, Western Sydney Business Centre

There is no set formula for start-up success but people must pay attention to the statistics and the advice you can grab and take advantage of. Let’s firstly not forget that this success consists of tons of hard work, some funding, a bit of luck, vision, and timing.

Thinking through success stories and failures, my advice for potential start-ups is:

Don’t go it alone. We are biased but it’s the most important. Access a business advisor, accountant, trusted friend or another contact you have that can assist you. This point also includes outsourcing. Don’t try and do everything yourself.

Know your audience. Who are you trying to reach? Who needs your product or information? Take the time to do market research and list out who you are selling to and where you can find them – both online and offline.

Just do it. Whilst timing is important, it is also something that you can’t always control. Timing the launch right when the market wants it is great. But don’t wait until everything is perfect because that time will never come. Plan and then be prepared to make changes along the way.

Make customers a high priority. Customer service is so important. Your customers keep you in business and they can do more than just buy from you – think referrals, advice, feedback.

Be different. You need to know the difference between you and your competitors.

Choose employees carefully. We know it is difficult to keep employees as you grow. However, employees that are looking for quick progression are the last people you want to hire at the start. You need people who are willing to see your vision and stick with you. Take your time through the hiring process.

Charge what you are worth and be clear. Don’t undervalue yourself firstly. You also must be clear not only with potential clients, but you must know for yourself what you need to earn to keep your business afloat.

You have to want it. Be prepared to do whatever it takes to make success happen.