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I do not intend to be cruel or come off that way but there are certain things you must get out of the way. For instance, you can become an entrepreneur but you cannot sit around and hope things will work out for the best.
Having been around the block and starting our company from the ground up, I realized some scenarios along the way. People tend to start a business because they think it will earn them the big bucks, however, you need to spend money in order to earn money and some people tend to be stingy. People will also start a business in order not to work anymore long dreaded hours; unfortunately, those hours still stick with you. You have to be ready to endure the ups and downs that come along with starting a business. With the right guidance and the right knowledge you can make that dream come true, even in todays world.
Here are some tips that I hope helps you along the journey of entrepreneurship and turns that brilliant idea into a successful business:
1. Research, Study, Prepare – Do not just dive head first into a business without realizing what it is you actually want to do with your ideas. Some people decide that selling a product is easy and you don’t have to know a thing about it, just sell, when in fact this is a plan for failure. First, research if anyone else has done it. Second, study up on what you are getting into and make sure you know your stuff and consider getting expert advice. Lastly, prepare yourself for the road ahead and make sure you have all the essential tools that you will need. For example, people, money, a place for business etc...
2. Make sure your idea is what people want – You may think your idea is the greatest thing since rock and roll but make sure people will absolutely want it. Nothing is more heart breaking than having an idea but no revenue.
3. Do not involve your friends – It may sound fun to get your friends involved with the business but it comes with a lot more risks than you think and eventually winds up a rollercoaster ride. The risks involve becoming less productive, you end up talking like your friends – not business partners and you can easily demolish your friendship along the way.
4. Find a reliable partner – Having a friend to help in the business is a bad idea but having a professionally reliable partner is a good decision. Having a partner will take some of the daily stress off your shoulders whilst improving your ideas.
5. Slow and steady wins the race – This is a cliché quote and by now, you should already know what it means, but did you also know that it’s true! Starting out slow in a business is a good thing because you get to take your time and focus on the important tasks rather than rushing through it and making mistakes.
6. Start out professional – You want to make an exceptional first impression on your clients and in order to do so you must have a place for clients to come and meet you. You also need to have a phone set up so clients can reach you, a website in order to have an online presence and business cards ready to hand out at all times.
7. Have a business plan written up - A business plan can help you out tremendously, the main purpose for a business plan is to avoid any loses if your business does not succeed.
8. Check your finances and learn them – Having an accountant/bookkeeper/lawyer is essential to your business but even with having one you should be able to understand some of those things yourself. Make sure you have enough money going into the business and if things do go wrong you will not be in a heaping pile of debt. Check out Quick Books for a useful organization tool for your business finances -http://quickbooks.intuit.com/
9. Get customers and start the cash flow – In order to gain customers you need to be able to connect with people and be a leader. Attend conferences or local start up meetings in order to get your idea/ideas heard. The only way to get media exposure and press coverage is to find someone who likes your idea. Additionally, do not wait for customers to come to you once your business is up and running, go out, start Online marketing, and line them up beforehand. You will not have a business if you do not have any customers, so make sure to gain leads before your business is afloat. Maybe even give customers a freebie just to sample what you are able to give them.
10. Accept that learning equals earning – Everyone has said it “Starting a business is not easy” and if you have not run one before than you certainly do not know how to start one. In order to start earning money you need to learn from your mistakes and grow from them, maybe even hire a professional coach to mentor you. Once you have an idea of what is dragging you down then you can start earning money.
There is no magical formula to a successful business, just information that you may not know about yet. This is just a handful of things that every entrepreneur has learned on their journey and there are a dozen more out there from other startup businesses. Startup mode is one of the most stressful times but talking, learning and discovering with yourself or other people can help prioritize your ideas and help plan for the future of your business.
Here is to being successful!