Starting a new business can be extremely exciting step for entrepreneurs, but often there is so much literature and information out there it becomes difficult to have know what exactly is the most important aspects of being an entrepreneur or business owner.
What are the most important things (maximum 3) that entrepreneurs should remember when starting a new venture?
While I’m sure many entrepreneurs start businesses during economic down times, and it is certainly true that blue ocean companies are emerging that are offering products and services that were never heard of before, you still have to have some entrepreneurial qualities to succeed as an entrepreneur. Simply being unemployed with time on your hands does not qualify most people to be entrepreneurs. It also isn’t always enough to be a talented mechanic or a good cook. If you don’t have the business side and the financial side down, take some classes and get it before you start your own business.
Three things that I think are really important:
- Take the time to create a written plan and strategy before you start your business, and keep it updated as things change. If right now you can’t envision and describe your business in six months, 12 months, three years down the road, your idea may not be well thought out enough to make the leap. Get the help of a consultant with expertise in business planning. A small investment up front can save you a lot of money in the long run.
- Expect everything to take longer than you thought it would, and it will probably cost more than you think too. Plan for that time and those expenses accordingly. Many people give up on their ventures not because the ideas were bad or they weren’t realizing success or appreciation, but because they didn’t have the financial resources to make it during the start up phase.
- Closely related to number two is: budget for marketing. You can invest years of time and thousands or even millions of dollars into developing the best software in the world, or you can open an incredible restaurant with wonderful food and ambiance, but if you don’t invest in creative marketing and PR, who is going to know?
Thanks to Connie Holubar, OutreachPR!
Other Great Responses!
The primary success factors in any economy remain the same: (1) Market research: Make sure that there is an accessible and profitable market for your product or service. Also, assess prices, finances, and marketing strategies of competitors. (2) Develop a basic business plan. Try to keep it to 5-10 pages; have a clear description of the product/service and its benefits; do a detailed financial plan; and layout a 6-12 month marketing/sales program. (3) Prepare a realistic timeline and project plan. Generally, it takes 3-4 times as much work as estimated early in the process.
Thanks to Daniel I. Shostak, Strategic Affairs Forecasting LLC!
Related Post: Most Important Part of Business
(1) Conserve cash. Don't spend money on anything unless it's critical. (2) Get to revenue ASAP. Don't spend any longer developing version 1 of the product than you absolutely have to. (3) Work like a madman. Your effort, and only your effort, will determine
Thanks to Mike Scanlin, Born To Sell!
Your 3 keys to starting a success business are: value, confidence and commitment. Your business’ success is based on more than the unique product or service you are bringing to market but is also founded the value, confidence and commitment you hold of yourself. Jumping into the entrepreneurial pool requires you to be uber passionate and the reason for this is your passion is supported by your confidence. And it is your confidence that will keep you motivated to staying committed to being successful and empowering you to bring the best value to your customers.
Thanks to Karen Kleinwort, Therapy in Transition!
Thanks to Tasha L. Mayberry, Social Media 22!
In times like today, new entrepreneurs need to understand that opening your own business means taking risks. It means having to deal with supply line issues, hiring and training the right people, and working potentially without a paycheck. The bigger the business, the office space or the product line, the bigger the risk. Especially in an economy like today, the best tool when taking risks like this is to be educated. Do the research on your industry, create a solid business plan and ask for advice. But if you don’t take the risk, you’ll never reap the rewards!
Thanks to Rob Basso, Basso on Business!
Related Post: 15 Critical Business Survival Strategies
This is truly an exciting time to be in business for yourself. I believe many individuals are also choosing to make the jump because all the big companies that we thought were “safe” turned out not to be so. In being an entrepreneur you go through a lot of ups and downs, but in a financial climate such as this the downs are even harder. One major thing I see them forget, is that you can’t do everything. This has always been a problem with entrepreneurs, but even more so in the poor economy. They want to cut costs and think they can do just as good of a job, and maybe they can. But the reality is if they don’t have enough time to work with clients, then they won’t have enough time to grow.
Thanks to Amanda Mock, My Virtual Little Helper Inc.!
(1) Build a venture around something you really enjoy. Your clients will see your enthusiasm for what you are offering. You will never get bored or tired of your venture and every day you will be enthused to wake up and move your new business forward. The most successful businesses have owners who love what they do so much that they don't care if they make a dime and would do it without making anything. Like in real estate investments where the old saying holds, “Location, Location, Location,” for entrepreneurs, it's “Do what you love, the money will follow.” (2) Spend as little money as possible in the beginning. There are so many resources now to create your own simple graphics and web sites – do that yourself to start and then put aside money as you grow to bring in the professionals as needed. Find a way that you don't have to buy inventory and learn to drop/ship from a supplier. Put in your own sweat equity and barter for what you need whether it be painting, a store front, a logo, graphic design – find other start ups that want to barter as well. With a cash outlay of as little as possible you'll be in the black that much sooner. (3) Build on your family and friends network. So many small businesses get advice and resources from a network they already have. Use email to reach out to everyone you know and tell them what you're doing. Own your venture and don't be afraid to ask for help. Everyone likes a start up and wants to be a part of the success. So talk with everyone you know about what you doing, what you need to be successful and how they can help. And don't forget to say thank-you when they come through or even for just giving you their advice.
Thanks to Holly Hurd, Venture Mom!