Everyone has, at some point, dreamt of owning their own business. Whether it’s a small family restaurant or a large worldwide corporation, the need to have something you can call your own is deeply rooted in the human psyche. That being said, if it really were that easy, everybody would be an entrepreneur. Making it work requires a lot of dedication and planning, especially in the beginning stages, which is why many successful businessmen have credited their early training for their success. With that in mind, here are 6 tips you should definitely consider when laying the foundations of your future business:
1. Create a functional business plan
Aside from the fact that investors won’t take you seriously without one, having a business plan is beneficial because it allows you to hone in on your vision and goals for the company. It’s important to include the particular need that your company will be servicing, in addition to forecasting potential scenarios and marketing strategies. Also, don’t forget to put in your preferred company structure, as well as the values that you hope to imbue your business with when all is said and done.
2. Observe what the competition is doing
No business is ever founded in a vacuum. It’s likely that there are already some competitors out there in every possible field or niche, which is why it’s important to identify them before starting your own thing. The tricky part lies in analysing them objectively, seeing what you could potentially do better and how could you go about implementing a superior product or service. You should also find out as much as possible about how the market is doing in your particular area of interest. Every industry tends to go through the boom and bust business cycle, so it helps to know when it’s a good time to get in on the game.
3. Find your audience
In order to truly provide a great product you need to know what people want at that particular point in time. Keeping your ear on the ground is harder than it sounds, so make sure you do everything in your power to involve your future customers right from the get-go. Ask around, organise focus groups, run surveys over social media if you have to, just make sure that there are plenty of people out there who would be willing to part with their hard-earned money in order to benefit from your product or service.
4. Have a substantial online presence
5. Enlist collaborators and employees
Speaking of collaborators, any business will need them in order to truly start growing. Whether you require full-time employees or project-based freelancers, it’s important to remember that working with other people comes with its own set of challenges. This is where you’ll have to define your company’s culture and try to inspire other people with your vision, so that to them working for you won’t seem like just another job.
6. Plan for growth, but prepare for tomorrow
No company should start off thinking pessimistically, but good judgement requires that you at least consider all the possibilities. What happens if your company goes under? Do you have any contingency plans? What about success and all that entails? You’d be surprised to find out that many companies have trouble managing success, since founders are often reluctant to delegate attributes and may often find themselves swamped as their company continues to grow. Don’t let this happen to you. Always try to think a few steps ahead, but remember to stay flexible and be willing to change if the opportunity arises.
After all these suggestions and calls for precaution, you’d be forgiven if you thought that starting your own business only consists of doing joyless, back-breaking work. On the contrary, the early days of a company can be some of the most memorable and wondrous days of your life. That’s what chasing your dreams and turning them into reality is all about, after all.
About the author:
Kristina Jeftic is a freelance writer and a regular contributor to several blogs. With a Bachelor degree in English language and Literature, Kristina enjoys reading, researching and sharing unique articles.