chance for success. Starting your own business is a fantastic, challenging and valuable experience. Of course, you need a plan to succeed! With this in mind, here are 14 steps to follow to give you the best
Don’t underestimate a business plan. Even if you know what you want to do and you’re not trying to find funding at the beginning, it is still well worth writing out a formal business plan, your forecasts, and marketing strategy as it is an effective way to hone your vision.
When writing your business plan, you should ask yourself these two questions:
Besides the business plan, you will also need to think about an exit strategy.
It’s essential to think about these things from the beginning as it could shape the business.
If you already have experience of running or owning a business, then that is fantastic and will help you on your way, however, depending on when that was, may mean that the market place could have changed significantly.
While your experience will certainly give you a leg up, you need to stay up to date, don’t dwell on what happened previously – good or bad. Look at the current market, your current customers’ needs and your current competitors.
You also need to get on board with how people now do business which means a lot of tech and a lot of social media.
Stay on top of your market and how it changes and ask yourself every day what you need to do.
Make sure the name you choose for your company is an available trademark and Internet domain name. You can check by doing a trademark search online through the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s website to make sure it’s up for grabs as failure to accurately obtain a trademark could put your new business at risk. It also will mean that any time and money you have invested in establishing your business name will probably go to waste if someone else already owns the trademark.
You also need to think about if you need a fictitious business name or DBA (doing business as) which allows you to do business under a name other than yours.
Make sure you’re fully aware of what regulations, licenses, and taxes you need to follow, obtain and pay for in your new business. It’s a great idea to do some research and then discuss it with a lawyer and accountant to confirm your understanding.
You will need to need to make sure that you are charging the right amount of tax for your service or product and that your company is selling and make sure you have the necessary licenses needed to run your new business.
It might seem like an easy option to hire people that you know already – and are presently friends with. Keep in mind, if you recruit friends you could create some awkward situations for yourself. Be sure to prioritize hiring someone you know is good at the job, because you have worked with them before – or because they have been recommended to you.
You should already have your business plan, so it’s now time to think about moving forward and thinking carefully about any initiatives you plan on launching.
It can be easy to get swept up with a load of new ideas at the start, so be careful that you don’t lose focus and regularly switch directions as this can impede this forward progress.
With each new idea that you have, take a step back and ask yourself how it fits into your company’s goal and vision, then create a plan for how you can make it happen.
Don’t overspend but don’t underspend either. Starting a business can be financially taxing, so you need to learn where and when to spend. In many companies, you often have to spend money to make money, so don’t forget that when it seems like you’re forking out for things but not seeing any return at the beginning. Don’t skimp on things your company needs and as mentioned before, make sure you keep up with technology too. There are loads of time-saving programs and apps, including free or relatively cheap ones, that can help you keep track of your spending. There are also other programs which could help save time in other aspects of your business, and while they might seem expensive upfront, technology is often well worth investing in.
Get the experts in where you need them, you can’t do everything, and no one expects you to. You are not a lawyer or an accountant so don’t put pressure on yourself to know more than you should. You’re an expert in your field, and that is enough, for everything else, ask someone else.
Even when starting up the business itself, no one expects you to know what to do if it’s your first time.
Hire an expert service such as Your Company Formations who can help with the formation process as well as help with setting up a Limited company online and provide other services which can complement your new business such as professional mail forwarding, meeting room and secretarial services.
Have you heard of the saying “Give a man a fish and it will feed him for a day, but teach a man to fish and it will feed him for a lifetime”? Jeff Bezos, advises that chasing quick cash won’t sustain you in the long-term, whereas focusing on the more substantial payoff at the end of the road will give your business more longevity.
Any company can do sales, marketing or provide quality assurance – but not all companies can maintain their talent.
Talent is what sets you apart from everyone else and investing in your employees is the way to do this meaning you need to give them the tools they need to develop, the guidance they need but still the freedom they require for their growth.
It is essential to know what’s important to you. Many people who start a business venture want to achieve a certain level of financial independence, but what is it that they want when they reach those financial goals?
Those who have the attitude that having money means they can buy more “things” to surround themselves with to feel superior to others will not be successful in life.
The entrepreneurs who can focus on how they can create wealth which can help others and solve problems have an attitude that can help them to obtain true happiness and be seen positively by their peers and partners.
There is so much to be thankful for if you look around you and those who are happy in both business and in life are those who are grateful for the world they live in. Successful entrepreneurs should never forget where they have come from and how they have got to where they are.
The people, the places and the things that have played a role in their lives have helped them to get to where they are today.
Your money and success aren’t any good if you’re not around to use it. It is stupid and reckless to live your life so dangerously that it would sacrifice your health. It’s not difficult to get caught up in the game of life and never think about the damage you to your body along the way. As an entrepreneur, your days are so full of work and juggling projects that are lunch breaks become small breaks just eating what you can in the day. Without your health, you can never truly achieve success. A leader needs to be strong, and not just in body, but you need to have a healthy mind too to persevere through the tough times and not only to achieve the success you’re looking for but to enjoy it as well.
Fear of failure is widespread but don’t let this stop you from succeeding. Remember that when going into your business, your path will be new and unknown and will undoubtedly be a little rocky. Try to avoid stress and don’t let fear prevent you from following your dreams. The sooner you fail, the closer you are to finding out what works, and while you can’t guarantee the outcome of any new business venture, by having a go, you’ll at least be one step closer to finding out.
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Hi I’m Karen Salmansohn, founder of NotSalmon. My mission is to offer you easy-to-understand insights and tools to empower you to bloom into your happiest, highest potential self. I use playful analogies, feisty humor, and stylish graphics to distill big ideas – going as far back as ancient wisdom from Aristotle, Buddhism and Darwin to the latest research studies from Cognitive Therapy, Neuro Linquistic Programming, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Quantum Physics, Nutritional Studies – and then some.