(That you haven’t heard a thousand times already)
Starting your own business is often a learn-as-you-go process. The better the decisions you make early on, the better chance you have for success. If you have an entrepreneurial idea, try these ten tips.
1. Address excuses
Countless people dream of becoming entrepreneurs, but they never do. They’re burdened with excuses and fears of failing. From money to time to responsibilities, you can make a million cases for not starting a business.
Excuses only slow you down from reaching your goals. If you really want to start a business, you need to address the reasons you think you can’t start a business and get rid of them. Find a solution to the issue rather than let it hold you back.
2. Absorb everything
Listen to what others have to say. When it comes to things that have to do with your goals, be a sponge. As you learn, start to work out the idea in your head. Write things down. Keep notes from all the resources you come across to develop a detailed plan.
Don’t ignore the power of advice from experts and veteran business owners. These people know first-hand what does and doesn’t work.
3. Be a solution
Rather than starting your idea with what to sell, think about what it will solve. It’s a lot easier to gain a solid customer base when your business is fixing a problem.
Home in on why you are opening your own business. Understanding your motives will help you create a brand and market your company. Know what problems your target customers face and how you can solve them.
4. Keep it simple
If you have a business idea be careful not to let your concept snowball into something overcomplicated. You could end up with an expensive, elaborate end-product that nobody wants to buy.
As a new business owner, try to start small and narrow your focus. Learn how to test your business idea. Create a simple, quality product or service. A successful business idea should fulfil promises to customers and exceed expectations.
5. Count the costs
Once you start to develop your business idea, add up how much it will cost. You will need to factor in every business expense necessary to launch and operate.
Come up with the most educated number you possibly can. Then, take whatever you think that amount is and at least double it. You’ll experience unexpected costs of running a business around every corner. It’s better to be over prepared than short on funds when bills start to roll in.
When you’re thinking of the cost to start a business, don’t forget about your personal budget. Look at how much money you need to live, including mortgage, food, utilities, etc.
6. Imagine yourself with zero money
Launching an unsuccessful business idea is a reality for many entrepreneurs. Over half of new businesses fail within the first five years of opening. How would you handle having no incoming money?
It’s a good idea to come up with a “just in case the worst outcome happens” plan. You might need to get a job. You might have to go without comforts that you’re used to. Figure out how you would get by if your business plan went south.
7. Earn while you build
If you want to start a small business, don’t quit your day job—yet. Launching a successful start-up is a process. Build your business in stages and gradually transition from employee to entrepreneur.
As a new business owner, it will take some time to earn a steady income. Keep your nine-to-five and work on the business during off hours so you can earn during those tough, first stages. Once you have a healthy inflow of cash from your company, you can tackle business ownership full time.
8. Speak up about your business
One challenge many business owners face is that they don’t know how to sell. It can be intimidating to share your business with the world, especially when you’re new. Speak confidently about your business. As a new business owner, you must be able to communicate.
9. Know the legal requirements for starting a small business
Starting a business is exciting. Laws are not. You need to understand the rules that come with opening a business. If you fail to follow government regulations, you could face steep penalties. Consider talking to an accountant as you set up your company.
10. Balance passion with wisdom
One of the most important ingredients in a successful business idea is passion. Passion will consistently drive you to improve your process so your business grows. Passion will move you forward, but knowledge will point you in the right direction.
Ask experts questions about launching a start-up. Reach out to professionals that can help you with certain areas of business, such as accountants and business advisors.
Get some help
For further advice on starting a new business please get in touch with one of our team.