Are you set to launch your genius business venture? It’s no secret that running a startup can be challenging. Approximately 20 percent of new businesses fail within the first year.
Budding entrepreneurs have to prepare themselves for the cold, harsh reality of building something from the ground up. CEO Chad Price of MAKO Medical Laboratories has learned this lesson firsthand. Back in 2014, along with his brother and friend, he launched the now-leading healthcare business. At the time, the three businessmen didn’t have a wealth of knowledge about the medical sector. However, after swiftly rolling up their sleeves and getting to work, they quickly turned the business idea into a national success.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the core things that entrepreneurs should know before launching their business. Based on the lessons that Chad Price and his team learned when starting the company, here is everything that you need to know.
The First Year Will Always Be Tough
You might have the perfect business idea. You might have noticed a gap in the market. You may even have the funding you need to get started. Whatever the scenario happens to be, it’s important to keep in mind that the first year will be tough. If it’s your first time starting a business, nothing can prepare you for what’s to come. As the MAKO Medical Laboratories team quickly found out, you have to learn hard lessons along the way.
“The early days were rough,” CEO Chad Price said in the interview. “We started with no experience in healthcare, no training, no background in science or labs, and realized after we started we were now in one of the most heavily-regulated industries in the country. We started with two goals—disrupt healthcare and use the revenue we create to fund the charities and causes we were all passionate about. The latter saved us.”
You Need to Manage Your Cash-Flow
Cash in king. Funding your business idea is an intricate puzzle. You may find angel investors, take out loans, or self-fund it. The choice is yours. Whatever path you decide to go down, it’s important that you manage your cash-flow well. Should you take your eye off the ball for a second, you could risk losing money faster than you might imagine.
“A group of us sold what we could, borrowed what we could, and put everything into the start of MAKO Medical,” explained MAKO Medical Laboratories CEO Chad Price in an interview. As he puts it, the team started with a relatively small and affordable offering before looking for opportunities to scale things up. “We rented a 3000 square-foot building, bought one piece of lab equipment, and hired one technician to help us run it.”
Plan for the Worst-Case Scenario
When you’re creating your business plan, you will analyze the possible obstacles. However, you do need to expect the unexpected here. The last thing you want is a string of bad luck ruining your chances to establish a successful business. While you might think that you have your finances in check, you also need to consider accidents and the like. Keeping some money aside for these instances will help you have the longevity you need.
“Everything that could go wrong—went wrong,” CEO of MAKO Medical Laboratories Chad Price admitted in an interview. “Equipment broke. Roof leaks. Water Leaks. Car accidents. Break-ins. Trailer being stolen. A/C going out. Twelve-hour days turned into 20-hour days. Christmas was a painting day and New Years was used to redo flooring.”
While the above obstacles sound difficult, it’s important to remember that there is a solution for every problem. Savvy entrepreneurs know what it takes to work around issues and overcome challenges. Working on your resilience levels and ensuring that you have contingency plans is the way forward. You should also make sure that your team is on the same page. Planning ahead takes a certain finesse, but it is worth the time and effort.
Market Research is Always a Must
Ahead of starting a business, you need to know that there is an audience out there. While there’s no foolproof method available, one way to go is to do extensive market research.
This was a core part of the plan at MAKO Medical Laboratories when the company started. The founders took the time to investigate similar referencing laboratories and learn from their mistakes. It was also vital to make sure that the business would gain enough clients from the offset. By partnering with local businesses and institutes, CEO Chad Price and his team were able to ensure that the company would have a solid client base.
The truth of the matter is that many entrepreneurs overlook this important step. You have to realize that establishing a company is not merely about having a genius idea. Spending time on market research will make a huge difference to the overall success of the company. You might want to pay a third-party research agency to gather the facts and information that you need. However, for many startups, that is not financially viable. In that case, you can get to work on this project yourself and learn as much as you can early on.
Establishing a Company Culture is Everything
Company culture matters. For the team at MAKO Medical Laboratories, that means giving back and helping the wider community. This is a core value that Chad Price and the co-founders instilled early in the business’ inception. Now that the company has grown and become a national leader, the ethos runs throughout every single department.
“We now own almost every piece of lab equipment that is on the market and have a medical team that would rival the best hospitals in the world. We recently placed #284 on the Inc. 5000. A proud moment for our team,” said CEO Chad Price in an interview. “What didn’t change? Our culture. Giving back and helping others is our primary focus.”