Almost everyone has a dream of owning a business someday, but it usually evaporates before it can materialize. The usual advice that you get from well-meaning friends tells you the same thing about what a risk it poses and the high likelihood of failure. While most businesses do fail, yours may succeed beyond your greatest hopes. No one has yet developed a perfect formula for starting a business, but ten original and thoughtful tips that you do not hear everywhere may help you approach it with confidence.
1. Welcome input from all sources.
Ideas for your new business can come from friends, family, strangers, and the thoughts of your mind. As you tell people about it, watch for their reaction. Notice their body language to see if they like it or want to say what you prefer to hear. Ask for advice from experts as well as successful business owners.
2. Prevent excuses from standing in your way.
You can tell that you genuinely want to own a business by refusing to allow excuses to derail your hopes. If they persist, examine each one and address the reasons as either realistic or unimportant. Everyone worries about the risks, but do not let excuses hold you back.
3. Face your fears of starting a business and overcome them.
Shyness can prevent you from publicly speaking about your new company, but it needs all the promotion that you can give it.
4. Find a need and fill it.
Instead of thinking of a product to sell, adjust your thoughts to focus on a problem that your business can solve. By thinking of something that your customers need as a solution to the issues that they face, you can discover a novel approach that leads to success for your business.
5. Focus on a single, simple concept for your new business.
Your enthusiasm for a new business may allow it to snowball into something that becomes too large. Instead of trying to do everything for all markets, try to do one thing for a specific segment of a market that you understand. As you fulfill promises to your customers and give them more than they expect, you can start to grow your business.
6. Face reality about the cost of starting a business.
Experts advise quadrupling your estimated cost of implementing your idea. At the least, you must pay for rent, utilities, phone service, computers, copier, supplies, insurance, benefits, training, labor, advertising, and promotion. While an accountant can advise you about deductible expenses, you must pay up front for the essentials of running a business.
7. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
Statistics show that half of all new businesses fail within a few years, but you can hope to defy the odds. However, you need to assess your living expenses to determine how much your business must provide. Think about what to do if your business idea does not work out.
8. Avoid acting like a flying trapeze artist.
Letting go of a sure thing and grabbing one that may or may not work out increases risk significantly. Keep your day job as you build the foundation for your new business.
9. Understand and respect the laws that keep you out of trouble.
Just as any criminal defense law firm offers guidance to people who face serious legal problems, you need advisers to help you set up your company. Developing a legal basis for your business may not rank high on your list of exciting things, but it can give you a foundation for trouble-free operation.
10. Respect the opportunity to learn.
Your passion for your new business can give you energy and drive, but you need to have a basis in fact about your its potential. Market research, industry experts, financial advisers, and lawyers can fill you in on aspects of the business that you need to understand.