Starting a new business is a wonderful way to follow your passions and get a service or product you believe in out into the world. People of all ages and generations around the world start businesses to pursue these purposes. In fact, there are about 400 million entrepreneurs across the globe. This means that 400 million people have started a business, or two, or three, from the ground-up. However, not all of these 400 million entrepreneurs have been successful.
While the idea of starting a business is exciting, the actual practice of doing it is difficult. There are about a million things that can go wrong at any step in the process of getting a new business off of the ground. However, there are many tips for starting a new business that can help ensure that your endeavor is successful. Let’s take a look at these important tips for starting a new business that will succeed.
Be Employed While You Start a Business
The road to forming a new business is a rocky one. You’ll face many ups and downs. And, more likely than not, it will be quite a while before your new business actually makes any profits. This means that you shouldn’t expect your fledgling business to give you a paycheck for a long time. However, not having fund in your pocket while you’re starting a new business can spell disaster for your business as well as your personal finances.
To avoid this unfortunate outcome, follow one of the key tips for starting a new business and start the business while you are still employed. Keeping your job will give you a steady stream of income to keep your personal finances afloat while also giving your new business a small padding of funding. You may feel quite a bit of stress trying to juggle your existing job and a blooming business, but the struggle will pay off when you can rely on the finances from your job to help you through the beginning stages of your business.
Have a Support System
As we’ve said, starting a business is hard. There is nothing easy about this ambitious process. If you try to start a business without some form of support, you will be putting all of the pressure and stress on your own shoulders. And shoulders can break.
Try to find a form of experienced guidance while you’re starting your business, such as a mentor or a business start-up program. These are invaluable resources that can provide advice when you hit roadblocks or need a boost as you face a new obstacle. If you don’t have access to experienced guidance, turn to a friend or family member. Even if they have no experience in business and can’t offer any tips for starting a new business, they can lend a sympathetic ear and serve as a bouncing board for your ideas. Sometimes, having a person that you can just speak to out loud about a problem will help you come to the solution you needed all along.
In order for your new business to be successful, you need to be passionate about it. This doesn’t mean you have to love whatever your business is about. In fact, full infatuation with what your business is about can cause you to turn a blind eye to existing issues or make decisions based on love, not logic.
You do need to be fired about your business. This passion often comes not from the subject of your business, but a conviction that the services or products you’re providing will help people. For instance, if you want to start a commercial roofing company because you believe you know of a system to install roofs faster and quicker, you don’t need to love roofs or construction. You need a passion for that system and how it will help your future clients save time and money. You also need to find passion in starting and running a business, since that will be what your role is in the company. You’re going to give a lot of your time and energy to starting and running this business and without passion, you may feel like your time and energy has been wasted.
Write a Business Plan
Any good entrepreneur knows that writing a business plan is one of the most essential tips for starting a new business. It should also be one of the first things you do when you start thinking of the business you want to form. By creating a business plan, you will better understand your operational and financial goals, build crucial marketing strategies, and determine how you can manage your budget.
When you can pinpoint this valuable information, you can better evaluate whether or not your business is going to be successful. This can help you avoid pouring your money and time into a business that doesn’t have a chance to succeed. Creating a business plan early on will also save you from having to whip one up when you go to apply for loans or marketing funding. In general, any formal institution or partner who might help you with your business is going to want an official business plan to prove that you’ve thought it through and that it has a chance of being successful.
While implementing some of these other tips for starting a new business, you’ll probably already be doing a good bit of research. However, to succeed in your new business, you really need to do some in-depth research on the industry you’re going to get yourself involved in. For instance, if you want to start a company that sells kitchen equipment, you need to do the necessary research to find out the standard operations in the kitchen equipment industry, what your future competitors are doing, and what the needs of the industry’s clients are. Starting your new business without this research will result in you going into an industry blind, which can quickly lead to failure.
Of course, “doing research” is a broad suggestion and one can go down many different avenues in order to do research. One of the best ways of getting to know your industry is to join related industry or professional associations. By joining these associations, you can get to know businesses or professionals who already have experience in the industry you’re trying to break into. These associations are often filled with helpful resources as well that can teach you a lot about the industry if you feel like you’re in the dark.
Plan Your Finances Well
This is probably one of the tips for starting a new business that almost every entrepreneur knows, but a list of tips for starting a new business just wouldn’t be complete without it. Get your money lined up. Without solid funding, a business will almost surely fail.
The first step in lining up your money is saving enough to start the business and keep it going for a little bit. If you followed the first tip in this list, you will also have a steady stream of income that can help your business. It’s important to have enough to start your business with because traditional lenders aren’t always inclined to give a small business loan to a new business that doesn’t have a proven track record. Lenders like to see a healthy financial background, a robust client base, and the assurance that you will be able to pay back the loan. This means that you may have to rely on your saved funds to keep the business going until you build up enough credibility to be approved for a loan.
Another avenue for new businesses is to get money from investors. Investors tend to like a new business with new ideas slightly more than a traditional lender does and may be willing to take a risk if they think your business is worth it. However, you have to make it worth it. This is where your business plan will be an essential tool, as it can help convince a wary investor that your business will succeed and that you are savvy enough to lead it to that success.
It is also wise to form financial fall-back plans early on. The investors you thought would jump at your idea might not find it all that enticing or the lender you thought would approve a loan might think that you need a stronger financial profile. By working out a fall-back plan before you pursue any financial opportunities, you won’t be left without any idea of how to get funding when you need it most.
Get Professional Help
A trap that many entrepreneurs fall into is thinking that they have to know everything about running a business and do it perfectly all on their own. They think that asking for help is a sign of weakness. However, this line of thinking couldn’t be more false.
Asking for help shows that you recognize that you’re not super-human and that your ego isn’t so inflated that you think you can do a job that someone else is trained for. You wouldn’t try to run the ins and outs of your apartment building because you aren’t a property manager. The property manager has been trained to manage complaints, get supervisors to fix problems, and ensure that residents are happy. In terms of your business, you may not have the knowledge and expertise of an accountant or bookkeeper. Pretending like you do is only going to cost you time — and probably a significant amount of money — in the long run.
Don’t hesitate to hire an account or bookkeeper to manage your business’s finances. If you need to write up a contract and aren’t versed in law, hire a business attorney. By working with a professional, you can rest assured that they are doing the job correctly and can get the best results for your business possible.
As the person starting your business and putting all of the moving pieces together, everything you do is going to reflect on the reputation and credibility of your business. Everything about you and the way in which you do business needs to communicate to people that you are a professional running a serious business. You don’t want to be seen as a an inexperienced player who is making things up as you go along. No one will trust your position as an entrepreneur or leader and they won’t trust your business.
One aspect of being professional is how you conduct yourself within your business and with partners and clients outside of your business. If you have a small group of people working to get your business off of the ground, make sure that you put some focus on good communication techniques. Conflicts in the workplace can arise quickly and unexpectedly, but they almost always result from a lack of healthy communication. If you set a professional tone with how you personally communicate, your employees will pick up on that professionalism and carry it into how they communicate as well. Whether you have a physical workplace or you’ve set up a virtual office for remote work, professional communication is important.
Another aspect of being professional is how you represent your business. This representation comes in all of the marketing that you’ll do, from your overall brand’s image to the commercial signage display you design. Anything that has your business’s name on it needs to be professional, just as you as an individual need to be professional. Be sure that you have professional business cards, a business email address and professional signature, and a business phone. All of these details add up to the sum image of your business.
By applying these tips for starting a new business, you will be well on your way to forming a successful enterprise. Of course, there are many other tips for starting a new business out there and you should glean as much information and help from them as you can before you launch your business. Remember to do this research, ask for help when you need to, and plan thoughtfully and you will have done a good job setting yourself up for success.