After dreaming about it for years, it’s time to take the plunge. Now is the time to start your own business. Your idea is good, your plan is solid and your fire is lit — now all you have to do is put your nose to the grindstone and do what it takes to meet your entrepreneurial goals.
Here are a few tips to get you there:
1. Where to Hang Your Business Hat.
When launching a new business, you need to decide where you want to do all of the work. While you may dream of renting an industrial office space downtown, you probably don’t have the cash to make that happen—at least not at first. Many small businesses have been launched from a garage or home office; if this matches your financial situation a bit better, take an honest assessment of your property and determine if you have the space to set up a production line and/or a professional looking spot to meet with clients. You may also look into shared office spaces in your city — this can be a great option until your company is up and running and you can afford to rent that downtown location.
2. Learn from the Best.
To be a successful business owner, look to the best. Which company, in or outside of your industry, knows what they’re doing and does it well? What can you learn from their business model, marketing strategies or overall mistakes? For example, what made Amazon rise above its ecommerce marketplace competitors? How did Amway handle the “Amway, is it a scam?” rumors? How did the Dollar Shave Club go from a viral video to a billion dollar brand? What you learn by answering these questions may just set you up for success in your own endeavors.
3. Create a Business Plan.
To help make your entrepreneurial dreams a reality, you definitely need a business plan. Your business plan will act as a blueprint that will guide your company from the first start-up phase to the days when your company starts to take off. If you will need financial support from an institution like a bank or an investor, then a traditional business plan is the best way to go — it is a thorough plan that has a number of sections that can be easily presented to potential investors and financial institutions, and will provide them with the information they need to feel confident about supplying you with capital. If you feel you can launch your new company on your own, a simple and short business plan will still help you to stay focused and put your goals and ideas in one organized place.
4. Solicit Plenty of Feedback.
Sometimes, budding entrepreneurs can be so enamored with their amazing business idea, they may have unwittingly missed some key issues with their product or service. To prevent this from happening, consider letting people interact with your business idea. Find a group of unbiased people to try out the product or service first-hand and then ask them for their honest feedback. Rather than recruit your mom and best friends for this task, find some local business owners who you know and trust, as well as those brutally honest yet helpful acquaintances—you might learn about some glitches that you missed along the way. Once you have the feedback, thank them for their time and honesty and then slowly and deliberately read or listen to what they have to say. If you notice the same patterns in the feedback — for example, “It’s a great product but it seems kind of pricey” then it’s probably time to make some adjustments.
Achieve Your Goal.
Getting a new business off the ground is an exciting time. It also involves doing a lot of research and homework ahead of time that will help your official launching time to be as successful and smooth as possible. By following this advice, you will be well on your way to finally fulfilling your entrepreneurial dreams.