4 Steps to Starting Your First Business
Launching and running a company, no matter how small or automated, is likely to be one of the most challenging undertakings you will ever take on. There are several important things to keep in mind as you move forward with your plan to become a business owner. For instance, market research, the resources you need to succeed (time, money, patience) and how comfortable you are with failure, are just a few aspects you need to think about ahead of time.
According to the Small Business Administration, less than half of all U.S. businesses make it beyond the 5-year mark. So, forgetting even the smallest thing can be disastrous enough to end your dreams prematurely. Don’t be a statistic. Prepare yourself with these four steps:
If you are new to business, it may make sense to start off with something that is low risk and ready made to get ready for riskier ventures. Amway, Mary Kay and AdvoCare are popular companies that require little-to-no business experience or overhead to get started. These companies have proven to be extremely profitable for many people and offer a work-from-home flexibility that appeals to stay at home parents. These companies also work with their new business owners to give them the best possible start. You may be so successful that you won’t want to move on to another venture, or it’s possible you may be able to fund your next project with your earnings (such as a retail store). Either way, the lessons you’ll learn about business will be invaluable, and you’ll get a good idea of your business acumen.
There are two documents that should be completed as soon as you complete your market research: a business plan and a mission statement. Don’t take them lightly. Business consultant and managing partner of Calx Group Scott Miles says, “If a client can’t produce their business plan and mission statement to me, I know they didn’t do any preparation before they launched their business. These are the types of business owners that aren’t business owners for long.” Failure to plan is hoping things are going to work out for you. And, hope isn’t a winning business strategy.
Market research is another important aspect that can make or break a new business as it allows you to gather data about your customers, possible competition in the marketplace and the need for your service or product. In short, you will learn about the viability of your business. In the process, you should be able to identify sales opportunities, industry trends and the risks associated with your business.
Think of your business as a house you are building. You wouldn’t build a house without blueprints, and you shouldn’t start your business without doing the prep work that is required to be successful. A few questions that you need to ask yourself before doing anything else is whether you can get funding, if you’re the right person to run this business, and if you’re ready for failure, if that should occur. These questions will be answered in your business plan, but you also should do some soul searching. Running a business is a commitment that should be taken seriously. You’ll endure long hours and many stressful situations on your entrepreneurial road.
Ready for more support? Check out the Retail Minded Resource Guide here! It’s FREE… and it’s packed with fantastic resources to help you jump-start your new business.
Photo Credit: Image provided by Social Monsters with permission to use.