Whether working from home as a freelancer or embarking on a stationary business, starting your own business can be incredibly rewarding. You make your dream a reality and become your own boss. And who doesn’t want that? If you’re going to take the plunge, it will take a lot of time, energy and money to do it. It is not easy, but the rewards of owning a business can be limitless for as long as you put in much hard work.
Read on and learn from these ten essential tips on how you can be successful in your first business venture.
- Follow your passion.
You will devote much time, effort, and money to turning your best idea into a successful business enterprise. It is essential that you enjoy what you do, be it doing software development, running a food business, or offering financial advice. Be passionate about what you do; if you don’t love any aspect of your business and are not thrilled about it, chances are you won’t get anywhere.If you venture into something significant to you, it will give you the right motivation to give your best even when things do not turn out as expected. If software development is what you do best and it gives you satisfaction, then go for it. You’re on to a good start if there is excitement in what you do and you know that it is worth your money, time and effort.
- Come up with research-based decisions.
Now that you have set your mind on what type of business you want to get into, it’s time to sit down and do your research. You need to educate yourself and be knowledgeable on the products and services that the particular industry provides. When you start a SaaS company, for example, you need to know how to market, program, design, convert, land and all other relevant aspects of the sector.
- Make a thorough analysis to see if this type of business would be profitable.
- Consider who would be your market, your most practical suppliers, what platform is the most viable.
- Find ways on how you can leverage technology for your branding and marketing strategies.
- Networking is also an excellent venue to gain insights and valuable tips from industry insiders. It is a good source of the latest information in the market and will keep you abreast of how the competition is doing.
- There are many free resources that new business owners can use, great sources of information, help and networking opportunities. Some of these resources are general; others are targeted at specific types of entrepreneurs.
- Develop a business plan.
Having a business plan is essential in establishing your business and can provide you with valuable information. It enables you to understand operational and financial objectives and provides a crucial budget and marketing strategy.The main reason for a business plan is to help you put your time and money into something that can be successful. A vital business tip is to set up a company that offers a solution to a problem. Try to ask a failed entrepreneur what problem he set out to solve, and he will likely have no answer because the problem he sought to solve is vague. If you have a clear idea of what problem you want to address, it would be easy to communicate to your target market the best way to help them.
- Be financially ready.
Lending institutions are a good source of your much-needed capital. However, if you are a newcomer without a proven track record, borrowing is not a breeze. Having substantial savings is the easiest way, and you can augment it by talking to potential investors. Ensure that your finances can back you up, at least for the first couple of years of operations.
- Have a short-term plan.
The first year of operations is generally for putting things in proper perspective, crafting your company’s mission and vision, working on documentation and licensing requirements, to testing the waters. Focus first on what is practically doable in your first year, then slowly expand your goals once you hit the ground.A perfect example is Amazon. This company started just selling books before becoming the multinational technology giant that it is now.
- Have a long-term plan
So you survived your first year, but you don’t stop there. A business is a going concern entity; you need to have a 5-year or a 10-year plan to back up your short-term goals. You have to set your goals beyond your initial year. Where do you envision your business to be in the long term? Figure it out and plan your steps on how you intend to get there. Periodic review and updating of your goals and operational plans are great tools to sustain your success as an entrepreneur
- Motivate your staff.
A well-motivated and highly productive workforce is a vital key to your success as a business owner. Recruiting and hiring qualified employees is a tough job for employers. Evaluate your applicant’s credentials carefully and conduct interviews in such a way that you get to see red flags on his work attitude. Always hire someone because of his qualifications, not because you are merely related by consanguinity or affinity.Employee retention is as necessary as hiring. Keeping your employees contented and happy is the secret to a productive team. Cultivate in your employees a sense of ownership to share your passion for the business’s success.
- Always be aware of the competition.
Your competitor is a company offering the same product or service for the same target market as your company. There will always be stiff competition on who remains at the top. To be ahead of the game, evaluate your competition. How much do they sell their products and services? How is their customer service? What are their branding strategies? Knowing the details would allow you to compete fairly. Find out their weakness and make this your strength.
- Know your legal obligations.
Before you start your business, know your statutory obligations. Ensure you comply with licensing and registration requirements, state and federal taxation, indemnity insurance, and other legal responsibilities. You may avail of the services of professional accountants to help you out in this aspect.
- Just do it!
Your goal as an entrepreneur is to help your potential customers solve a problem and earn a profit doing it. There are risks and challenges along the way, but these are worth taking for the kind of life you choose to have: being your boss, being financially independent, and having the opportunity to help.
Have you heard of the affliction called analysis paralysis? It is an inability to act due to over-thinking a problem. Do not be a perfectionist, or you may never take off. As Nike says, Just do it!