Setting up a business is a real challenge. 80% of companies close their doors within 18 months of their creation. So you have to analyze things step by step and break down what you are going to do.
1. Simulate how your project works on paper
It’s called a business plan! The purpose of a business plan is to allow you to simulate the operations of your company on paper to see all the problems that you are likely to have beforehand. In this way, you make sure you are able to control your costs and determine if your project is profitable. This provides visibility BEFORE starting your business.
2. Talk to at least a few dozen prospects before you start
To create one’s business is to be willing to serve others (by being paid). This involves getting started with seeking advice from the people whose problems you want to solve. The majority of entrepreneurs who fail always begin with the same premise:
- “I have an idea”
- “I think that”
- “I want to put together a product that…”
This approach is bound to fail in the long run and should be avoided if you plan on starting your own business due to the simple fact that this approach is not customer-centric. A customer-centric approach is the one your customers dictate the measure. It’s up to your customers to tell you what they want and what they are willing to pay for. Once you talk to your potential customers and find out the real problem they are facing, you would be able to have a better idea of how and what to serve them. Starting a business without conducting a survey is an irrational approach. Getting some concrete basis by conducting surveys allows you to proceed smoothly and execute the idea with some substantial evidence that the idea would work. Most of the time, novice entrepreneurs try to avoid this step, to realize after all the efforts they have made to mount their products do not solve a real market problem.
3. Surround yourself with experienced entrepreneurs
Starting your own business and making it successful is not an easy task. It is a skill that is acquired by being in the field and learning gradually as you move along. The key is to learn from people who have already achieved what you are trying to. Experienced entrepreneurs have traveled the road that newbies are trying to cover, which means that they are aware of the difficulties and hardships one encounters on the way. Being in the company of experienced entrepreneurs can give your career a kickstart and allow you to progress faster by avoiding the mistakes made by others.
Another advantage which aspiring entrepreneurs often overlook is that the experience of successful businessmen can help them refine their idea and turn it into a finer project. You can go on the same path as your mentors without making the same mistakes they did. This saves a lot of time and effort from being wasted and allows you to channelize your energy towards achieving the goal.
Being in the company of experienced entrepreneurs can make it easy for you to start your own business. It can even save a lot of your money from being wasted because you might learn new and efficient ways to perform tasks and eventually save yourself the money to invest it somewhere else.
4. Focus on the value you bring to others
Best businesses are the ones that bring value to the lives of their customers; this is something you need to be very clear about when starting your own business. Your customers or potential clients would be more than happy to pay you if you satisfy a need of theirs. The key to finding out the ways you can add value to your potential customers. The reason why businesses become successful is that they identify the need, fulfill them, and charge a premium for doing it. The lesson for aspiring entrepreneurs here is that before starting a new business, you should be clear on the question; what value does my business bring to the lives of others?
This raises another question of utmost importance, how to know what would be of value to others?
One method is to interview enough potential customers to find out why they are willing to spend money. You must ask yourself these essential questions:
- What value do your customers get from your product?
- How do you measure this value?
- How your product will improve the lives of your customers
- What are the priorities – personal and professional – of your clients?
- How will your product help your customers meet these priorities?
You must focus on others and help them to progress. This is the only way to start a business and make it really live. Remember, a happy business is one that has satisfied clients.
5. The key is to develop sales; the rest is incidental
One of the primary concerns of young entrepreneurs who want to start a business should be to generate sales first. Before starting your own business, you have to be in contact with your prospects and propose your solution to help them progress. This must take 90% of your time at the beginning of the activity.
Once the business is running – things change. Then the role of the entrepreneur is to build processes and make sure to develop the overall structure. But “first things first.” First, grow sales! Everything else is incidental when you start your business.
6. Agree to take measured risks and correct your mistakes step by step
When planning on starting your own business, you need to think about risks, but measured risks. At every step of the long journey as an entrepreneur, it must be remembered that you would encounter uncertain situations that would occur out of the blue. Being an entrepreneur is not an easy task; the journey is full of risks. If you decide to walk down the road of entrepreneurship, then you should be willing to face the risks that come along.
The key to success is to pave the way through the tough situations you encounter in the journey. Before you plan on starting your own business, you must know that being an entrepreneur is not a profession; rather, it is a journey that allows you to grow as a person. There is no fixed route that would lead you to success; rather, it is the choices you make that would make you successful. You should be willing to take risks and face them boldly.
That is one quality that is of immense importance and would pay off in the long run. Making mistakes isn’t unnatural. Everyone does it. The decision you need to make as an entrepreneur is that whether you want to get stuck at it or do something to solve it and move ahead towards success. Agree to take risks and grow yourself as an individual and your business along the way by correcting the mistakes you make as you progress each step.
7. Your job is to find practical solutions
The job of an entrepreneur is to find practical solutions. And that’s the primary reason you should be starting your own business. With every problem you encounter, you need to find a practical solution that works for your business. Here is an example: you have an idea to create a meeting application on the iPhone.
The wrong way to do it is to start by making the application. First, it is necessary to determine your target market and know what the needs of your customers are.
For that, you have two options: you can go to the streets and stop all people between 25 and 30 years and ask them about their needs in terms of meetings. If they are satisfied, and if not, what would help them the most and which would be most convenient for them? It will take you one to two weeks to have reliable results.
But one can be 10x more efficient, reducing that time to 2 days by using Facebook advertising by doing a targeted survey. This is one important aspect you need to be mindful of when you start a new business. Remember, time is as essential as a resource as money when it comes to starting your own business. Using efficient methods will help you to make progress quickly and allow you to perform better.
The right approach can give quick results for your business. Developing something only on the basis of instinctive knowledge has a really slim chance to make a significant difference in the market, whereas, if you provide people with what they need, you will capture the market easily, and your business will flourish faster than expected.