Perhaps you have come up with an idea so wonderful that it makes the invention of the Post-it note seem trivial by comparison. Even though your new idea has you seeing dollar signs, it won’t become a reality until it enters the marketplace, which is why you have to start thinking about starting up a business. Unfortunately, there is no shortcut for the amount work required to make your business successful, though you can increase your likelihood of staying afloat by having the following things:
No matter how great your idea, no business gets off the ground without the funding to back it, which is why you need to find investors who are willing to lend you a hand if you can’t cover the costs yourself. Equity investors such as venture capital firms are more likely to support your start-up endeavors compared to bank lenders, which require hard proof that your business is capable of repaying a loan. You might also have family or friends willing to invest in your idea, but don’t take advantage of their goodwill by failing to show them a detailed financial plan.
Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to creating a strong start-up business. While a business degree may help you understand basics such as successful management techniques and accounting practices, you may also need to do a hefty amount of research on your own. This includes but is not limited to thoroughly scoping out potential markets as well as examining the competition. After all, a good general never charges blindly into an enemy force but first deploys scouts to identify strengths and weaknesses.
3. A Business Plan
Successful businesses start with a good plan before anything else. While you don’t have to draft one the size of War and Peace, you will need to create at least a basic outline of how your business will operate. This includes information regarding your target market along with estimates of the expenses you will most likely incur. Since most start-ups operate in the red for roughly three years before turning a profit, you will also need to design procedures that will enable you to keep your business afloat during these lean times.
4. Professional Services
Probably the last thing you feel like doing is spending some of your precious resources on a lawyer and an accountant, but these professionals are essential in keeping the law from knocking on your door. A good accountant will not only prepare your taxes and set up your accounts, but will also save you money by identifying ways to make tax laws work in your favor. A lawyer, of course, can provide the necessary paperwork that protects your business from thieves and lawsuits. In short, you will save in the long run by having these two professionals by your side.
5. A Marketing Strategy
This might seem like a no-brainer, but when you think about all the time needed to stay visible in today’s marketplace, you will understand why some businesses spend millions on advertising. While it’s unlikely that you have access to a budget this size, there are plenty of ways to effectively market your start-up without spending a fortune. One way to do this is through social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Not only are these affordable, but they can also give your business a personality. Keeping your profiles regularly updated will suck a great deal of time out of your already busy schedule, however, which is why you should consider hiring a social media manager to handle them.
One thing that the world’s successful entrepreneurs have in common is passion. Not only do they believe firmly in the worth of their endeavors, but they are also willing to pour every ounce of their strength into reaching their dreams. While this doesn’t mean you should neglect family and friends, you may have a hard time getting your customers to believe in your great idea if you demonstrate little faith in it. Keeping this passion alive even during times of financial and personal hardship should help your business bear fruit.
These are only some of the things you need to start a successful small business. There are plenty of successful entrepreneurs out there who may behappy to share some of their secrets with you, but ultimately a lot of what makes a business work is trial and error. You may have to be creative when unforeseen problems arise (and they will) as well as have the wisdom to know when to let go of a plan that no longer works. If your idea is truly great enough to share with the world however, then starting a business could be the best decision you ever make
About the Author: Holly Ward, an independent writer and tax preparer, writes about finance and business. Some of her most recent articles have been focused on business degrees college programs and business networking tips.
- 5 Realities of Being an Entrepreneur (inc.com)
- 15 Worst Excuses Not to Be an Entrepreneur (inc.com)
- How to be a successful entrepreneur – making sure your business succeeds (premierlinedirect.co.uk)
- Serial Entrepreneur Ingrid Vanderveldt Shares Her Secrets to Success (thedailymuse.com)
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