1) Do what you love
If you are going to dedicate your time, money, blood, sweat and tears to your business you need to make sure that you love it and believe in it wholeheartedly. Starting a business from scratch is undoubtedly tough and at the beginning you may have to work long hours for no reward. If you truly love what you do this will be endurable (and even fun!) If you don’t, it will be pretty miserable.
2) Do your research
Before you set off all guns blazing, make sure you have thoroughly researched the market you are entering. Is there a place in there for your business? It’s a good idea to identify what makes your business different and special. Who are your customers? Have you conducted any market research? Who are your competitors? What sets you apart from them?
3) Identify your strengths and weaknesses
You might be able to sell ice to the eskimos but run a mile at the sight of a spreadsheet. We all have our individual strengths and it’s important to recognise these and do what we’re good at. It’s just as important to recognise where we need help, especially when it comes to the success of a new business. So if you need the assistance of an accountant for example, hire one. Or if you need training on something like internet marketing, take a course. It’ll be worth it.
4) Write a business plan
A well-written business plan is an absolute must when starting a new business. It will help you work out the feasability of your business and identify areas that need further development. It will also give you a framework around which you can measure your progress. Perhaps most importantly, a good business plan will help you secure funding.
5) Get funding
The investment market is certainly tough at the moment, but it’s not impossible. There are many avenues for finance, from credit cards to angel investors. A well-written business plan is imperative to securing the best funding for your business. Be careful not to overborrow, try not to expose your personal assets and keep a careful eye on your spending.
When a business is new, word-of-mouth is key. Get out there and tell people about your business; get them interested in it. Networking events are a good place to start. You may meet like-minded entrepreneurs and learn something from their experiences. Identify other businesses that you may have synergy with and work out ways of working together.
7) Don’t be afraid of failing
Samuel Beckett famously wrote: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
Failing isn’t a disaster. It’s an opportunity to learn. If you make mistakes, learn from them and keep going. Any successful entrepreneur will be able to recount you with many stories of times they failed along the way. Stay determined. Stay focussed. Keep going.
April 27th, 2012 by Ruby Karatziola