“Don’t worry about being successful but work towards being significant and the success will naturally follow.” -Oprah Winfrey
Starting a business is both exciting and terrifying. Even if a lifelong dream finally comes true, there are still plenty of checkboxes you’ll need to tick before you feel confident that you can make it work.
The statistics speak for themselves: 20% of small businesses fail in their first year, 30% fail in their second year, 50% fail after five years in business. So how can you prevent your start-up from joining this list of statistics?
To help you along your entrepreneurial journey, we’ve compiled a “Checklist for Starting a Business” – a list of a few things to keep in mind when starting your own business.
1. Do you have an entrepreneurial profile?
Being an entrepreneur and an entrepreneur are different things. The expression entrepreneur brings together the set of behaviours that enhance the condition of this entrepreneur to act efficiently towards business goals.
A successful entrepreneur needs to have a leadership profile, know how to deal with many risks that involve independent action, be persistent and obtain useful information and knowledge at any stage of his business.
2. What motivates you?
Running a brand, no matter how small, takes a ton of dedication. Not only will you need to put down a significant financial investment but also emotional.
Do you know what drives you to undertake your business idea? Is this idea in line with your personality, preferences, tastes, and lifestyle? Will this idea provide you with the realization of a dream? Reflect on these issues and assess whether this possible new activity is really what motivates you and brings you passion from a professional point of view. It is not enough to just think about money, a business is much more than that.
3. What will be the investments for opening a business?
Think about it, no one who starts a business expects to lose money, do they? The amount, which is called initial capital, is necessary because a lot can happen (differently) than expected. This reserve will be a guard against any unforeseen events that may come forward after you start the business.
Therefore, it is crucial to do the calculations of what the initial investment value is and what the reserve value is. At the beginning of a business, it is quite common to spend on renovations, buying items for stock, machines, hiring, advertising, among others. Do good financial planning, and this estimate will certainly be useful to you in the future.
4. Know that your routine will change
Contrary to what many people think, an entrepreneur does not have an easy life. To think that you will work less and don’t have a boss is a very recurring mistake among beginners. This is because the routine of running a business involves many activities and interests that must be dealt with daily.
Prepare yourself to work hard, and plan your way to success.
5. Care about the management of your business from the beginning
Managing a business alone is not an easy task as it requires the entrepreneur to have varied attitudes and knowledge, such as in finance, sales, marketing, processes, customer service, negotiation, among many others. Identify the areas where you have the most difficulty and look for training. Online courses, webinars and training can help you develop skills that you’re lacking.
6. Research well
You want to make sure you understand the industry you’ll be involved in so you can dominate it. No business lives off improvisation. That’s why, even before opening a business, it is essential to gather information to assess the company’s viability and to reduce risks. Conduct intensive research about your potential consumers, suppliers, and competitor markets.
7. It is essential to have an action plan
Having good ideas is not enough to have a successful business. To turn goals into reality, an entrepreneur needs to have a fool-proof plan. Having a written plan with your projected results and personal goals is the best way to stay on track.
The definition of an action plan with goals and objectives will help you to identify the resources, time, and money that will be necessary to be successful, and above all, it will be important guides not to distractions take over your company.
8. Don’t wait for customers
You can come up with the most revolutionary product ever, but you won’t get anywhere if there isn’t a market for it. Focus on niches.
You can be very good at what you do, but if you do not know how to communicate and win buyers, your quality will be worthless before starting a business. It is essential to study how the company will promote its products/services, and how it will relate to future consumers.
To do this, study the profile of the public, characteristics, and how they buy today. Also, understand what your competitors are doing and whether there are opportunities to stand out.
9. Be different
The market is very dynamic and competitive. Consumers have countless alternatives to choose from, and you don’t want to be just one more, do you? Reflect on what will be your competitive advantages? What will make you different from the others? It is not enough to think that your company is better. It is necessary to publicize it and convince customers of it. If they do not see value in your products and services, your business is unlikely to succeed.