Starting your first small business isn’t something you should do lightly. 30 percent of new businesses fail within the first year and within the decade 66 percent will have failed. This should not, however, put you off. Plenty of businesses do succeed too - it’s just a matter of building a solid foundation for your company to sit upon. How do you do that? By doing the following:
Building up a new business is hard work. You’ll put in more hours than you ever imagined possible and there will always be more work waiting for you in the morning. If you can’t handle that, chances are you won’t survive. People like Frank DiTommaso, Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos were so successful because they knew what hard work was and they weren’t afraid to do what it took. Can you say the same?
You’d be surprised just how many entrepreneurs try to get a business off the ground without doing any market research at all! Market research is vital not only to ensure that your idea has legs and that there could be a place in the market for you but also as a tool for convincing banks and investors to finance your startup - it really isn’t something that can be skipped.
Knowing you have a market on its own isn’t enough. You also need to understand your market so you can, well, market to them. There are so many successful companies out there that aren’t necessarily the cheapest or the best at what they do, but they’re killing it because they understand who their customers are, what they want and how to market to them. That’s something you need to be able to do too.
If you want anyone to pay attention to your business, you need to develop a powerful brand message. Customers need to be able to look at your company and understand immediately what you offer and why it will be so valuable to them. With so many competitors, if your business isn’t saying something that makes people stop and pay attention, it’ll sink without a trace.
Having access to someone who has done it all before and done it successfully is, in effect giving yourself a shortcut. An experienced entrepreneur will be able to advise you against doing something risky or encourage you to take measures likely to pay off, with the benefit of tier knowledge. You will benefit from their mistakes and make a few less errors as a result of your contact with them. They may even introduce you to some useful people along the way too. Good mentors are worth their weight in gold.
In the end, a business is all about the numbers and if you don’t know what your startup costs will be, how much you’re likely to make in the first year or what your cash flow situation is likely to be, you’re heading for failure. Do the math, check it and check it again and only then should you think about setting up business.
You got this!