A survey by Wakefield Research revealed that 60% of Americans would rather jump out of a plane (read skydive) than start their own businesses! It gets worse if you want to quit your 5-9 job to venture out on your own.
You imagine putting all your effort, thoughts, and hard-earned finances into a project, only for it to crash—and burn. Some people say that the only way to conquer your fear of starting a business is by starting—but it’s not that easy. You have to start right.
While many resources give a list of tips on starting a business, few actually detail what makes for a successful business. Could that be the reason for the consistent business failure rates we have been seeing?
Well, here are five essential tips that you need to start your business and increase its chances of turning into a cash cow.
1. Check Your Level of Commitment
It takes some serious sweat and blood, coupled with an abnormal level of guts to build an exemplary business. To stay dedicated, choose a business idea that you LOVE.
A business is like a baby. You have to nurture it slowly, giving it time to get on its feet. In the initial stages, you must be hands-on with every detail of your business. Don’t let people who do not share the vision of your venture run it as you relax away in the Bahamas. Again, if you plan to survive on the proceeds of your business from the word go, you’ll choke it to death.
2. Find a Need and Set Yourself Apart
Make something that will sell, not something that “you think will sell”.
You must identify a gap in the market. Much as this statement is a cliché, it is the bedrock of business success. When you are starting a business, there’s always the big elephant in the room; the fact that every idea is taken! What remains is to set yourself apart, which requires investment in critical thinking and market research.
Start by listening to your potential customers’ pain points. Visit your prospective competitor’s social media platforms, website, or Q&A forums and find out people’s what people are saying about existing products. You can even ask the questions yourself. Use the feedback to plan how you’ll develop a unique product. The fun part of knowing what people want is that you will have a ready market to sell to when you finally launch your business.
3. Yes, You Need a Business Plan
The magic of writing down your goals? You are more likely to achieve them. Forget about the controversies surrounding business plans. Science proves that having a plan helps you grow faster. According to a survey of 65 family firms, the majority of those that grew faster had detailed business plans.
You will be working among established businesses that understand the ins and outs of the market. Without a plan, you will have to rely on guesswork to make important business decisions. That is no way to compete.
4. Protect Your Resources
Theft of business funds has been the downfall of many businesses today. While larger businesses may survive, theft of funds will likely bring your small business to its knees. You hire employees in good faith. What will you do when you suddenly realize that they have been sucking your business funds dry?
First, know how to think like a fraudster by closing loopholes that open your business to theft. There are several ways employees can steal from your business. They could bill excessive amounts to customers, forge checks, take cash deposits, use your business credit card for personal use, name it. Identify potential places where money can leak and take precautionary measures.
In case of theft and embezzlement, hire a lawyer to help you recover lost money.
5. You Don’t Need to Figure it All Out
If you want to investigate every last aspect of a business in detail, you’ll probably never start.
Do you have the basics in place—a healthy passion and commitment, a unique idea, and a clear business plan? You are good to go.
Sometimes, you can’t complete the puzzle until you get started. While at it, it’s easier to figure out what’s missing.
Not figuring it all out is great because it keeps you from being robotic. Make a habit of staying attentive to your customers’ needs and leave room to accommodate their ever-changing wants.
It’s Time to Start Your Business
If the idea of starting a business has been freaking you out, you are not alone. Starting a business is tough! But if you let the fear of starting a business control you, it will rob you of an opportunity to make money while doing something that makes you want to get up in the morning. With these useful tips, what is to keep you from establishing the business of your dreams?
Businessman with briefcase ready to run -DepositPhotos