How to Be Smart When Starting a Business

The world of business is characterized by a varying degree of highs and lows. Even if you have gathered enough pieces of advice from successful entrepreneurs, carried out in-depth research about your market or industry, or even visited some websites for a checklist of what you require to start a business, your chances of success aren’t guaranteed.

Though it is important that you arm yourself with adequate knowledge before hitting the ground running, it is more important that you get acquainted with tips that can help your business succeed. Remember that you will be investing your energy, time, and money. I have gathered the following tips to help you succeed in your business-starting goal, irrespective of the business type.

Do Your Research Well

It is important that you carry out adequate research before deciding to start a business. One of the most important aspects is market research. It involves identifying your target customer base, that is, those that will be buying your product or service as well as understanding their needs, preferences, and behaviors. In fact, you should already have a brand as well as followers that are ready to patronize you when you eventually start your business.

The research also extends to conducting a competitive analysis. With this, you are able to understand opportunities and limitations that exist within your industry and market while also differentiating your products or services from the competition.

After the market research, you can then consider naming your business. You should also know all relevant rules and regulations to ascertain your responsibilities, which may include getting your business registered, joining related industry or professional associations to get new information within the market, procedures in getting VAT or Professional Indemnity Insurance, if necessary, among others.

8 tips for how to work from home, from NPR’s Life Kit.

Start Your Business While You Are Still Working

One of the most essential resources you need before starting a business is startup capital. Do you plan to borrow some money or do you have other means of getting the required funds? It is common for people to resign from their current nine-to-five job to enable them to focus on their business. This isn’t a good idea. Usually, businesses struggle to make tons of money, especially at the early stage of operation.

This is because the starting stage often gulps a huge amount of money. For example, the cost of setting up a physical shop (or building an online store), getting your business registered, acquisition of necessary legal documents, hiring an accountant or financial advisor, to name a few startup fees. Besides, there could be a time when you will have to invest more money in your business and if you already resigned your job, you may not have the required financial backup for your business while also keeping up with your monthly expenses. You may also not qualify for a loan if you choose to go in that direction.

The best approach to this is to build your business gradually. Once you have built a decent number of clients that are consistent in paying you enough money for your survival and that of your business, you can transition from being an employee to a self-employed individual.

Be Passionate About the Business

It might be difficult to sustain one’s interest on a long term basis, especially if one engages in an activity that one doesn’t love or enjoy doing. The same thing applies to business. If you don’t love the business you are doing, how can you be motivated to continuously commit your entire money, time, and energy into it? Always ask yourself if you feel excited anytime you think of the business. Is it worth every sacrifice you make? If your answer is “no,” then it isn’t the right business for you.

If you identify a need or gap and your product or service successfully fills it, it is expected that it will produce good results, serving as good motivation. Of course, you don’t have to love every aspect of your business as you can always get some of it done by someone else. The goal is to get every necessary work done and keep the business moving. While passion keeps you focused, financial knowledge and good decisions keep your business on track.

Keep Your Idea Simple

Successful entrepreneurs often keep their business idea simple to avoid ending up with an elaborate end-product that prospective consumers may not be able to afford. As a new business starter, narrow your focus by creating a simple good or service without compromising its quality.

What are your customers’ needs and expectations? How can you fulfill the needs and exceed their expectations? If you are able to offer a product or service that does justice to the questions, your business tends to succeed. Get rid of features that cost you money and can make your product or service expensive. You are a small business and not yet a large corporation. You have a better chance to grow as long as your offerings appeal to the masses.

Adopt a Support System

It is almost impossible for businesses to succeed without a support system. You may want to run a business solo to prevent your idea from being stolen. Some may not even try to consider the idea of seeking help at all. When starting a business, you will need the support of a friend or family member, for instance, to help fine-tune your business idea. Their pieces of advice may go a long way in helping you attain speedy growth.

Another support system to consider is an experienced mentor within your industry. Such an individual is usually experienced and has a wealth of wisdom to share. They would know about possible challenges you may face and how to overcome them. They can also provide you with more effective marketing strategies as well as open your eyes to growth opportunities.

Also, professional help from lawyers, financial planners, and accountants could help your business attain long-term success. For instance, you may need to write up a contract and you are not a lawyer. You may also lack the expertise to perform accounting or bookkeeping tasks. If you try to do things and you lack the required expertise, you may end up wasting more time and even money in the long term. By employing their services, you save on time, thus enabling you to concentrate on other significant aspects of your business.

Key Takeaway

According to various research results, including those from the US Bureau of Statistics, an average of 20% of new businesses fail within the first two years of operation. While 25% fail within the first 10 years, only 25% make it to a period of 15 years and above. To fall within the range of those that make it far in business, it is important that you prepare your mind with the helpful tips provided here.

It should be noted that there is no rule of thumb about the right way to start a business; however, there are some tips that can put you on the track to success. These include, among others, conducting adequate (market) research, starting your business while you are still employed, being passionate about your business, keeping your business idea as simple as possible, and adopting a support system.

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