February 1, 2023

Unitranche

Supportive Business Potential

5 Keys To Success In Launching A New Business In 2023

Vincent Tricarico is EVP for Twinlab Consolidated Corporation and NutraScience Labs and an expert in dietary supplement manufacturing.

If you want to start your own business in 2023, make sure that it is something you believe in and are passionate about pursuing. Hand-in-hand with that is possessing an understanding of why you are doing this.

Once you have that idea, consider: How are you going to be different? What is your service or product going to bring to the table in a better, less costly or more efficient way? If it is not cheaper—or not better than what is currently available for purchase on the market—then do not do it.

A hot-fudge sundae appeals to a lot of people, correct? But if you put filet mignon on top of an ice cream sundae, no one really likes it. This illustrates the importance of understanding who your solution caters to and then becoming laser-focused on that particular niche. That will be one of the most important keys to successfully launching a business in 2023. Here are five more.

1. You must have a solid business plan.

You will need to attract talent—people who can add value to what you want to accomplish. The way to do that is by ensuring your business plan is solid. Determine how you are going to market and how you will be innovating.

What are your goals for each of the first two years? You must also know what type of capital will be required to meet those goals. Also, know what your competition looks like and identify the ways in which you are better than they are.

Be smart about building your team and know what will attract the best talent. You will want to create a team that compliments what you are good at—and who are themselves great at doing what you do not want to do.

I cannot emphasize the importance of this enough. Possessing a thorough understanding of the roles and where you fit in as the leader will make your business more attractive for potential employees, lenders or investors you will need to lean on to make your dream a reality.

2. Expect ongoing supply chain issues in 2023.

Diversify your suppliers and vendors. Doing so can ensure your business does not come to a standstill if one supplier is delayed or cannot get you what you need. It all starts off with your vendor qualification process. What is their experience, what kind of capacity do they have and what sort of financial shape are they in?

Asking these questions is vital to the vendor vetting process and will help you strengthen your supply chain. Once you have what you feel are qualified vendors or suppliers in place, then I encourage you to spend time cultivating those relationships.

3. Plan for high fuel prices and energy costs.

If you are in a strong position, you can have financial flexibility for the unpredictability of business. But it’s important to identify what might go wrong in areas beyond your control. As much as we try to control our costs and business, if the world is currently paying $7 a gallon for diesel when it was $4 a gallon six months ago, there is nothing we can do about it. But having reserves and backup plans can help a great deal.

4. To attract and retain staff, be open-minded about work location.

Be open-minded about where you absolutely need specific positions to be physically located—while a warehouse associate will need to work on-site, a graphic designer may be able to work remotely most, if not all, days.

The pandemic has taught people to prioritize things differently. The importance of work-life balance was thrust to the forefront because businesses had to embrace remote work. Yet, work still had to get done. Employers needed to trust that they could send people home but still count on them to be productive.

In my business, we saw that several people who began working from home became more productive, and I would never want to interrupt that. Post-pandemic, we realize that we can give people the flexibility to leave at 2:00 on a Friday because they have completed all their work. Or, if somebody has an appointment on Wednesday morning, it would make their life easier if they could work from home after that.

We are a lot more aware of these things, and new businesses should understand the importance of work-life balance and try to support it wherever possible.

5. Take another look at how productivity or success is measured.

Do you assess your team’s success by watching them work at their desk and punching a clock or by the quality and timeliness of the projects and tasks given?

If you are starting a new business, you want to be clear about what you need in talent and structure, and then go out and find people who match what you are looking for.

Part of it goes back to the business plan. This is what ensures that, even if stranded on a desert island somewhere, you’ll know what the 10 to 15 numbers you need to see every week to ensure that the business is operating the way you need to.

Plus, you need to set clear expectations. You have to establish a cadence of when deliverables are due and when conversations about progress and challenges will occur.

Just keep in mind that the days of micromanaging are gone. Prospective employees are looking for leadership to provide guidance and be hands-off after that.

It’s never too early to start planning.

When your team is fully staffed, I advise you to keep them in the know and involve them in making decisions. If your people know more about the business and why what they are doing matters, you’ll find that they will be more engaged.

So, if you are considering starting a business in 2023, I encourage you to follow the five tips discussed in this article. Use it as your guide to building an engaged, aligned and productive team that seeks to deliver a best-in-class product or service.


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