An alarming number of new businesses collapse in the first year of operation, and many of the survivors do not live to see their fifth birthday. Try to follow the suggestions in this article if you do not want your venture to join the long list of failed businesses.
1. If you can, start your business when you are still employed.
This idea will not help someone made redundant without notice, but it will probably be a long time before your new business actually a makes profit, let alone enough to support you and your family. Being employed while you’re starting a business means very long hours but also a guaranteed income to live on.
2. Get clients or customers first.
Many startup businesses find a former employer is a good first client. In any case, do not wait until your venture is launched to find customers for whatever you decide to offer. Your business will never survive without income. You must start marketing early. Join some networking groups and make contacts.
3. Do not try to do everything yourself.
You will need help while you are starting your own business. If you are still employed, a work colleague could give support or be someone to listen sympathetically to problems. Your family may be your best supporters, but you will need to manage their concerns, which might be based on unjustified worries. If you can find someone who has succeeded himself or herself, it would be great if they could be your mentor.
4. Write a business plan.
The main reason for doing a business plan first when you are thinking of starting a business is that it can help you avoid sinking your time and money into an idea that will not succeed. The plan will change and evolve over time but will be an essential framework.
5. Be an expert on your business.
Your business plan will be a start but when you are starting a new venture you will have to become an expert. Many businessmen will tell you they mistakes in their first year, but they will have done most things right or they would not have survived. You will become an expert on your industry, products and services, sooner or later – so make it sooner and give yourself a chance.
6. Get professional advice.
Starting a business, does not mean you have to be an expert on everything. Get the legal and tax issues right the first time. It is much more difficult and expensive to cure a problem later. Be sure to get business and tax registrations right from the very beginning.
7. Sort out your finances.
Especially in times of financial turbulence investment capital is not easy to find for new businesses. Lenders are suspicions of unproven ideas, especially from new ventures that do not have good track record. Save up if you have to, and only approach potential investors and lenders when you have a convincing story to tell.
8. Start seriously and professionally.
Everything about you and the way you run your business needs to let people know that you are a professional running a serious operation. That means getting all the peripheral services right such as professional business cards, a business phone and a business email address, and treating people in a professional, courteous manner.
9. Enjoy your business.
You are going to devote a lot of time and energy to starting your own business and building it into a successful enterprise, so it is vital you enjoy and value what you do, whether it be running a sports shop, selling properties or providing bookkeeping services.
Setting up your new venture with these points in mind will make forming your business a smoother, less stressful and more productive process, and will go a long way towards ensuring the business you start lasts and thrives for years to come.