Thousands of people dream about starting a business every single day, yet only a very small percentage will ever turn their dream into a true reality.
If you follow these 5 important tips then your business idea can get running and off the ground quicker than you might think. Not only that, it can also succeed and become a sustainable venture for many years to come. Follow these important tips to help you begin your journey into the world of business successfully.
- Get your head out of the clouds
The first important lesson when considering a new business venture is to be realistic. Whether you want to open a shop or an online alternative venture you must be realistic and honest with yourself at all times along the way. Without a realistic approach you are more than likely to fail without a huge amount of fortune which is out of your own control. Far too many businesses fail in their first 3 years simply due to unwarranted expectations piled on themselves with a lack of due-diligence. Business owners expect their business to flourish instantly rather than having the patience to steadily expand their brand and company. This is often because we always see the results of success but never the hard work it takes to get there.
You need to ask some serious questions before you start your business. Do other people like it, not just me? Will it work? Does it have sustainable potential? How much money do I need to get it started? What are the business risks? How much do i need to earn to survive? What are the barriers to entry? What are the logistics involved? You must consider these questions carefully. If the responses are positive and genuinely achievable within your own living circumstances and environment, then you should go for it. But make sure not to lie to yourself and let emotional attachment take over. This is always a hard blend to balance when you are so involved and close to the idea.
- Market research
You must carry out a lot of market research before you start your first business. You do not have to pay a company to do it for you, you can do it yourself. Find out who your target customers are and ask them if they would be interested in your product or service. Avoid asking friends or family relatives as they are likely to tell you what you want to hear, as opposed to some truthful and honest feedback. Or if you know someone who will deliver the hard-hitting truths that you need to learn and progress.
Study your competitors, and create your ideal customer profile or profiles, based on key demographics. Social media is an insane opportunity to conduct market research for little to no cost. You can read different insights and discover trends. You can also spot the vanity from the real with a bit of simple digging. This is key to knowing the true reflection of a brand, product or service.
- Don’t borrow money from a bank (If Possible)
Unless you are absolutely 100% certain you have the next big thing and you need to take a direct shortcut for large investments, avoid the banks when it comes to early funding options. Try and instead utilizing borrowing methods such as friends and family who believe in your idea and more importantly will give you a more realistic rate and time to return on the investment. Be sensible and make sure you limit the risks and the amount you borrow. It is all about trial and error. Qualifying each stage bit by bit before committing to the next.
Creating a business plan outlining the scale of your efforts, where the money is going and why will bring assurances that you can feasibly use this money wisely and create a success.
Remember the option of bootstrapping. Why not work and build this as a side project alongside a job which you have. Your job may even interline with the idea and allow you to keep earning and learning, making contacts, developing skills, identifying new tools and techniques.
- Avoid flash cars and fancy offices
When I started my first business I spent the first 3 years operating from my cellar. This was great as it allowed me to operate with very low overheads. There are so many business which start up and suddenly after a short term growth spurt, the owners are buying expensive cars and luxurious offices when they really should be re cycling that revenue into stronger marketing, lead generation tools or a better product.
You do not need to show off your early success by spending the money on expensive, irrelevant, flashy things. Who are you really trying to impress? Be smart, invest that capital back in to the business and allow yourself to grow again. Once you have sustained this over 4-5 years and are comfortable, you can look to enjoy a deserved luxury, but don’t be too keen to jump at showing off what you have right now, and not preparing instead for the longer haul and safety of the business.
- Be patient
Don’t rush your business. It must be an enjoyable experience. You must love what you do and therefore why are you rushing to finish. Where do you want to end up? If you are happy doing what you are, then you are already winning the game of life as you are happy waking up each day. When I first started my business I wanted it to be huge as soon as possible; this as a mistake. I have now been going for 7 years and it is a successful venture and very profitable. I put the success to eventually realizing that all good things come to those who wait. Be patient, be meticulous and be very careful who you work with! Enjoy the process and you will love the results.