If your New Year’s resolution is to launch a business, then this is for you. More and more people want to take control of their future by starting their own businesses, but starting a business isn’t easy. If you’re not prepared, your business won’t succeed. Luckily though, there are a number of tips you can adopt that will make the likelihood of your success that much greater.
Stop aiming for perfection
When launching a new business, it’s natural to want everything to go smoothly. But if you want to be triumphant, you must let go of your perfectionist tendencies. While you might think that being a perfectionist will be beneficial to your new endeavour by making you more motivated and pushing you to strive for success, that’s not always the case. In fact, as reported by Harvard Business Review, perfectionists have higher levels of stress, burnout, anxiety, and depression.
Stop aiming for perfection. When starting a new business, you’re bound to experience bumps in the road. If you expect them to happen, you’ll be better prepared. Mistakes don’t make you a failure—they help you learn and become a more successful entrepreneur when you overcome them.
Build a support system
Building a business is difficult and you can’t do it alone. And not just financially; having a support system in place when you dive into your new business venture will make all the difference. If you think you already have a support system—after all, your parents and your spouse are supportive of your business—that’s great. But you also need to surround yourself with people who understand what you’re going through. If you don’t have that type of support system yet, build it. Start networking with other local business owners in your area, or get online and join some LinkedIn or Facebook groups for entrepreneurs.
Think about the long term, not just day to day
Make sure to take some time each week to think about the long-term health of your business. Think about the goals you’ve set and how you’ll get there. Do you need to invest in marketing or employee development and training, for instance? Planning for the future will help ensure that your business is around for a long time.
Grow your skills
As a business owner, you never stop learning. You may be starting a business because you have a lot of knowledge and experience in a field, but running a successful business requires a wide variety of skills and expertise. So, as a new business owner, you’ll need to be a jack of all trades. Spend some time growing your expertise in marketing, writing, SEO, bookkeeping, sales, general management, etc., to develop a well-rounded entrepreneurial skillset.
Your biggest dream might be for your business to become a multimillion-dollar enterprise overnight, but that probably won’t be your reality—at least not immediately. Many new business owners try to do too much too soon because they think it’ll bring them success faster, but it won’t. Instead, start small and grow.
Starting small might mean bootstrapping your startup instead of trying to get a bunch of funding right out of the gate. It also might mean releasing one product or service first and getting some traction and experience, instead of trying to put out an entire catalogue of offerings. Starting small and giving your business time to grow will make things easier to manage.
Spread the Word
People don’t buy what they don’t know. Exposure, especially for a new business, is very key to generating sales. Traditional marketing/advertising and PR is effective but can oftentimes be expensive for startup business; tools such as social media are more cost-effective and sometimes more successful. Reach out to bloggers who cover your industry, find ways to tie your product or service to something newsworthy to create a buzz.
Your true motivational level, the amount of money you can risk, and what you’re willing to do to be successful. Sure, we all want to make millions of dollars. But what are you willing to give up to reach that goal? How many hours a week will you work on an ongoing basis? How far out of your comfort zone are you willing to stretch?
Choose the right business for you
The old formula—find a need and fill it—still works. It will always work. The key to success is finding needs that you can fill, that you want to fill, and that will produce enough income to build a profitable business. Be sure there really is a market for what you want to sell. One of the biggest mistakes startups make is to assume a lot of people will want to buy a particular product or service because the business owner likes the ideas or knows one or two people who want the product or service. Never assume there is a market. Talk to real potential prospects to find out if what you want to sell is something they’d be interested in buying, and what they’d pay for the product or service.
Research your competitors
To be successful, you need to research the competition and find out as much as possible about what they sell and how they sell it. Competitive research is something you should plan on doing on an ongoing basis, too.
Plan to succeed
If you’re not seeking investors or putting a huge sum of money into your business, you may not need an elaborate business plan, but you still do need a plan—one that specifies your goal, and then lays out at least a skeletal roadmap for how you’ll get to where you want to go. The plan will help you stay focused and headed in the right direction.