To start a successful business, ample care and consideration must be dedicated to the planning process, ideally before the business is made official. The most successful entrepreneurs are those that put their heart and soul into their business while trying to navigate the balance of life outside work hours.
Here are six very important considerations to keep in mind when starting a business.
Formal Business Planning
Some ideas work very well in theory, but not so well in practice. While you may come up with what seems like an incredible business opportunity, sometimes the stars don’t align when you do the math– which is why doing the math first is so important.
Putting together a formal business plan not only helps you structure the business, but it helps identify potential barriers before you make a significant investment of time and money. Business planning asks you to take a detailed look at your expenses and the competitive marketplace so that you can adjust your strategy accordingly.
Prototyping and Product Proof
Like the business itself, a product that may sound great in theory may be challenging to implement in practice. For this reason, prototyping is essential. Consider this: you are the inventor of the salad spinner, a great device that allows the average person to wash lettuce and dry it instantly. This device solves an irritating problem in the average middle-class home.
Through prototyping, you discover that your current design is bulky and difficult to clean through a focus group. Additionally, the cost of manufacturing is too high based on the price point you want, so it’s back to the drawing board. Had you gone on to mass produce these items and have them fail, you’d lose far more time and money than you did prototyping. The key takeaway: prototyping is essential for new businesses. Consequently, it’s worth investing in a prototyping service like 3ERP to help you during the product proof stage of your business.
Discipline, Drive, and Self-Care
That elusive work-life balance becomes even more hard to attain for business owners. To be successful in running a business, you must be confident that you have the drive to push through challenging times, the discipline to get the job done and ignore life’s many distractions, and the self-care practices to prevent burn-out.
Consider how you can improve upon your time management skills and the boundaries you will set as a business owner. Setting business hours for yourself and removing distractions to ensure high-priority tasks are completed are two strategies for finding your groove as an entrepreneur.
Investor Relations and Financing
Before you can get your business up and running, you need to consider how you will finance it. Some choose to pursue loans from the bank or government grants while others look to investors and venture capitalists.
Outline the money you will require to get started and stay afloat for the time it takes your business to become profitable. Then, put together a strategy of who you will approach for financing and what you can offer in return.
It’s not enough to think “I’ll post my business on social media and the people will flock to me.” While there are lots of powerful marketing tools available, none of them will accomplish the momentous task of generating leads and converting them into followers without a marketing strategy in place.
For a new business, marketing should make up a minimum of 5% of the budget. Plan the expense wisely, and find the best way to connect with your audience before investing in this area.
Build Your Team
When you’re starting a business, money is important, but people matter more. In the early days, your business may be a one-person show. Still, it’s important to have a team. Find a group of peers with whom you can interact and network, such as a local Chamber of Commerce or a specialized mastermind group. Consider working with a business coach to help instill a sense of accountability and act as a sounding board.
Employees, investors, and contractors are all a part of the team as well. Make conscious decisions when bringing someone aboard and take the time to ensure that their values and vision align with your own.
Starting a business isn’t just about having a good idea that can make you money. It’s about pursuing a passion and building something from nothing. Reflect and be sure that this is the path for you.
Author bio: Steven Kazinsky writes for Altitude Branding, an expert advice blog that looks everything branding for businesses.