What is the difference between successful entrepreneurs and the ones that fail when they launch a business?
The simple fact that you’ve found or stumbled upon a great business idea is not enough to guarantee that your business is sustainable. Actually, statistics show that the overwhelming majority of startups fail within their first year. So how can you increase your chances of success?
There are no magic tricks that can make you a successful entrepreneur but here are 10 tips that will take you one step closer to a thriving business.
1. Do what you like
Once you decide to open your own business you will have to invest a lot more time and energy to make sure that it will pan out. That is why it is important that you enjoy what you do and to receive satisfaction from the activity you undertake.
2. Start your business while you’re still employed
Given the fact that you can’t live without money and that your company will (probably) not be profitable in the first few months, it’s better to launch a start-up while you’re employed and still have a steady revenue stream. This will guarantee some comfort and help you focus on the vital aspects related to the business development and not just on securing enough cash flow for its own survival. Once the business begins to bring in profit and take more and more of your time, you can then quit.
3. Don’t start the journey alone
The existence of a support system not only in the start-up phase of the business, but also during the development stage is extremely important. Try and find support from family members and consult with them before making a decision. Ideally, you should find a mentor that will offer you his or her experience.
4. Start finding clients
Don’t wait for the company to launch and then and only then to start finding clients. They are (or at least they should be) the focal point of any business. Moreover, they are the ones who decide whether your company will succeed or fail. Take part in as many networking events as possible. Gather contacts! Offer samples of your product/service. When we talk about marketing, there is no such thing as starting too early.
5. Write your business plan
The main motivation to write your business plan before you get the show on the road is that of spending less time and money during the development stage. Moreover, the business plan will help you clarify the business concept, offering you as well a general map which will help you invest your resources better to ensure the growth of your business. You don’t need to create a detailed or dense business plan. Focus on the essential elements of the plan that will help you during the development stage of your company. Not sure where to start, visit My Business Plan section.
6. Do a market research
Once you lay the groundwork of the business plan you will have to do a market research. Still, this is just the beginning. To raise the success probability you need to become an expert in your particular field, to know everything there is to know about the products and/or services you supply. For example, you could become a part of the professional associations pertaining to the field.
7. Use professionals
An entrepreneur isn’t and shouldn’t be a one-man-show. One simply cannot be an expert in all fields. Nor should one aim to be. Therefore, learn to work with professionals from those fields where you are having difficulties in understanding: legal, marketing, business consulting, etc.
If you decide you don’t need one, you risk losing both your time and money while trying to learn all the things the specialist should take care of. Just use a professional any time you encounter a problem you cannot fix.
8. Ensure you have a minimum capital
Before you go ahead and launch your start-up make sure you have enough money. Save some money, borrow some from friends and family or even pitch your business idea to potential investors. Also, create a financial back-up loan. Learn to create a budget for your business. Don’t expect that once you start your business you will be able to receive the funds you need from a bank, because in most cases they are not willing to offer funding for start-ups.
Related: Starting a business with no capital
9. Show a great deal of professionalism from the get-go
You, as a small business owner, are the best marketing agent for you company. Therefore, everything you do and communicate must inspire professionalism. That means everything: dress code, attitude, business cards and behavior. All these aspects must be spotless and inspire trust among potential clients and fellow workers.
10. Set your legal and financial affairs in order
Maybe the least exciting activity of an entrepreneur is that which concerns the legal and financial aspects. However, they are essential to the success of a business, but also for the entrepreneur’s peace of mind. Moreover, it is far more difficult and expensive to try and fix mistakes previously made. Use your consultant or accountant for this stage.
Related: How to find the right accountant
While the 10 rules presented above will not guarantee a 100% success rate, they will help you launch your start-up easily and with less stress.