Updated: Oct 4, 2022
What do you need to start a business? There are multiple websites, including ours, that have checklists to remind you of the many tasks you should perform when starting your own business. Although such checklists are very useful in helping entrepreneurs start a business, they are simply to-do lists since they don’t provide you with any tips about what makes a business successful.
Sadly, you don’t necessarily succeed in business just by completing a list of tasks. Nor will your business be a success just because you think it’s a good idea. What then makes or breaks a company? What determines if it will be a success or not? Here are some tips for starting a successful business.
Guide for entrepreneurs starting a business
1. Ask yourself how much you’re willing to do to be successful
Sure, we all want to make millions of dollars. But what are you ready 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? How far will your family stretch with you? To be successful, keep your business plan in line with your personal and family goals and resources.
2. Choosing the right business for yourself
The age-old formula of finding a need and filling it still works. It will always work. The key to success is finding needs that you can and want to serve and ensure that this need will produce enough income for you to build a profitable business.
3. Make sure there is a market for what you’re selling
One of the most prominent mistakes startups make is to assume many people will want to buy a particular product or service because the business owner likes the idea or knows one or two people interested in the products. Try a survey to get more honest opinions!
To minimize your risks for loss, never assume there is a market. Research the idea and talk to real and potential prospects (who aren’t family and friends) to find out if what you want to sell is something they’d be interested in buying and, if so, what they’d pay for the product or service.
4. Research your competitors
No matter what type of business you are starting or running, you will have competitors. Even if there is no other business offering exactly what you plan to sell, there is very likely to be other products or services your target customers are using to satisfy their need. 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. If there aren’t any other competitors, it’s possible there isn’t a market or a real need for what you want to sell.
5. Plan for success
Suppose you’re not seeking investors or putting a considerable sum of money into your business. In that case, you may not need an elaborate business plan, but you still do need a plan – one that details your goals and then lays out at least a skeletal roadmap for how you’ll get to where you want to go. The plan will change as you progress and learn more about your customers and competition, but it will still help you stay focused and headed in the right direction.
6. Know the operational needs
Most people who think about starting a business focus on what they want to sell and who they want to sell. What they often don’t consider is how the business will operate. For instance, if you’re selling items, how will they be delivered? How much will customer support be needed to answer questions about the product or respond to people whose shipments haven’t arrived?
Will you need to accept credit cards? Will you invoice customers? Who will follow up to make sure you’re paid? Who will build and maintain your website and social media presence? Will you be able to use a virtual assistant for such tasks, or will you have to hire employees? Even if you’re starting a small personal service business, these are issues you should consider and plan for.
7. Start on a small scale before going all out
Some people believe that entrepreneurs are risk-takers. But for the most part, successful entrepreneurs don’t like walking blindfold on a limb. Instead, they take controlled risks. They test an idea on a small scale, then build on what works well, tweak what shows promise, and discard the disasters.
8. Don’t procrastinate
Some people advise would-be business owners to not move forward with their business until they have investigated every last detail of the business they want to start and are absolutely sure it’s all going to work and be profitable. The problem with that approach is that it leads to procrastination. No one ever really has all the pieces in place – even after they’ve started their business.
Yes, you need to research the market, have a rudimentary plan in place, do things like getting a tax id (if needed), register with local officials, etc. But if you try to make everything perfect before you launch, you may never get around to starting your business at all.
9. Don’t fixate on mistakes
The difference between successful people and everyone else is that successful people learn from their mistakes and move on. They don’t dwell on failure, blame the economy, curse their bad luck, or blame other people for their fate. If the path to their goal is blocked, they look for an alternate path or sometimes choose a different, more attainable goal.
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So, what are you waiting for? Call us at +1(818) 666-2955 or write to us today.