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6 Essentials for Your Startup to Break Out of the Pack How quickly you achieve success depends on a number of factors, and not all of them are under your control.

By AJ Agrawal

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Startups are in a notoriously weak and vulnerable position because the slightest change to your industry could send you into a tailspin. Breaking free from the pack is no easy task. It requires skill, determination and more than a little luck.

This guide will help coach you on how to break free from the pack in order to achieve the success you crave.

1. Stayed focused.

You should always concentrate on producing something meaningful that sells. The reason so many startups fail is because they give up -- they lose focus. They become distracted by other aspects of the business. When you are spread thin, you tend to find yourself accomplishing nothing at all.

Related: 5 Tips to Help You Overcome Startup Struggles

2. Stop trying to do everything by yourself.

When you try to do everything by yourself, you are setting yourself up for failure. You cannot put 100 percent into every little aspect of your business. It's impossible to do this when there are only 24 hours in a day. You are not a robot.

You must maintain a healthy work-life balance to avoid burnout. Hire a personal assistant to help you. If you can't afford an actual employee, consider a virtual assistant. That way, you only pay for work completed without all the employee benefits and taxes.

Related: Hiring a Virtual Assistant Grew My Business, And Changed My Life

3. Hire a PEO.

PEO stands for Professional Employer Organization. Think of these as the guardian angels of small businesses. They deal with all the administrative entanglements and help you get back on your feet again. You handle making decisions while the PEO deals with administrative tasks like benefits and payroll.

It will even make you a more attractive place to work. You can offer benefits, like tax withholdings, when you use a PEO. And, you'll never run into any problems with the IRS and state tax commissions because they will pursue the PEO, not you. Statistics say that companies using a PEO are at least 14 percent more attractive to employers.

4. Make sure you use the cloud.

Forget about wasting time and effort on hiring a personal IT team to keep everything updated. Use the cloud instead. A great option for startups is Google. They have an entire suite of office software that's free. You can use Google Drive, Google Docs and Google Hangouts to collaborate and access your files from absolutely anywhere in the world.

5. Forget about expensive sales reps.

Some startups believe that if they blow most of their budget on an expensive sales rep, they will instantly bring in lots of customers. You should instead think about hiring hungry individuals who want to prove themselves with a real company.

People who buy into your brand are going to go the extra mile, and that passion is going to shine through when they are talking to members of the general public. It may require a lot of effort now, but these skills are enduring and will continue to benefit your business long into the future.

Related: Finding Employee Brand Evangelists

6. Do you have unique talent?

If you need to break free from the pack and your product or service is struggling to get off the ground, you may want to consider using your unique talent to provide a quick income fix while building relationships with larger companies.

Some startups have made fortunes providing unique talent to huge companies and brands. One thing that even corporations need is talent with unique skills. If you happen to have that on your team, feel free to diversify.

This is especially useful if you believe you aren't yet using your team to its fullest potential. Typically, a corporation would rather hire the services of a small business than try to train in-house.

The last word.

Breaking free from the pack is difficult to do on the strength of your product or service alone. Understand that every aspect of your business must be aligned to ensure that you run at 100 percent all the time.

How quickly you achieve success depends on a number of factors, and not all of them are under your control. Make sure that you have a business plan, a fluid budget and a clear idea as to the status of your business at any given time.

How will you achieve success with your startup?

AJ Agrawal

Founder of Verma Media

AJ Agrawal is the founder of Verma Media, a marketing agency that focuses on emerging tech, like blockchain and AI, and on cannabis companies.

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