Tired of taking orders from someone else? Ready to strike out on your own? You’re in good company. According to Business.com, a new business is started in the U.S. every minute. But before you put the “We’re Open” sign in the window, here are some tips on starting a new business.
Tip 1: Plan to Succeed
To borrow from an old expression, “businesses don’t plan to fail; they fail to plan.” One of the first steps in starting a new business is to have a written business plan. You’ll need it to acquire start-up funding. It helps identify where you to want to end up, how you’re going to get there, and what you’ll offer. It also describes what you’re up against out in the marketplace. Here’s a free resource from the Small Business Administration that will get you started.
Tip 2: Start. Adjust. Start Again.
It’s good to start with a plan but don’t wait until it’s perfect. It will never be. Start with small steps and see how it goes. You will want to establish specific measurements and checkpoints. They’ll tell you when to stop and adjust – while there’s still time to act. Then you can start again. For example, you may decide to reach new customers using sponsored ads on Facebook. You select the parameters and set your budget. The reporting lets you monitor progress and make adjustments. Over time, you’ll hone in on the right combination.
Tip 3: Keep Your Eye on the Prize
Once you get started, it’s easy to get off course. A new opportunity comes along and you hate to miss out on the next big thing. But resist the temptation (at least for a little while). Look back at your business plan first. It’s your map to see if you’re still on course. Does the new opportunity fit with your mission? Will it help you achieve your ultimate goal? What resources can you free up to support it? Answering questions like this will help you determine if it’s a good fit.
Tip 4: Consult with Whizzes
Few people can do it all. So stick with the part of the business that you’re most passionate about. Then assemble the right team to help you with the rest. For example, accountants can provide the financial information you need to make good choices on how to spend your resources. Take advantage of networking opportunities, like the local chamber of commerce, to connect with other small business owners. Chances are, they’ve encountered the same problem you’re facing now and can help you solve it.
Tip 5: Invest in Yourself
Sure, it takes money to start a business. But be prepared to make an emotional investment too. That means having a way to cope with the ups and downs. For some, that comes from supportive family and friends. It can also mean eating healthy and exercising. It’s not unusual for owners to put in far more that the 40-hour workweek at first. So you want the ability to tap into your emotional reserves.
Hang on to that enthusiasm if you’re thinking about starting a new business. These handy tips can help get your new venture off to a great start.