You’ve decided to start your own business, great! Now what? There is a multitude of tasks and stresses awaiting you on this exciting but nerve wracking adventure you have set out on. So, how did I narrow this list down to only 5 things? By importance. These are the top 5 things you must possess in order to get your business going.
Starting a business is not a simple 9-5 job. This new career path will have you working at all hours of the day and night, including weekdays and weekends. Your business is something you’ve decided to invest in and build from the ground up. The sooner you realize that you will have to sacrifice some of your free time in order to get your business up and running, the sooner you can see your vision come to fruition. Expect your mind to be active 24/7, and embrace the creativity that goes along with your new business, at all hours of the day!
This is your time! There will be difficult roads ahead as well as easy roads ahead, but the key is to stay motivated no matter what happens. Your motivation will inspire your employees to help you achieve the goals you’ve set out. Make sure to take some time for you to relax and regroup so the tasks ahead don’t seem so daunting. Create a fun and safe environment for your employees. This will push them to work harder and enjoy the work they are doing. The more focus you put on your venture the better. If you have too many “fallback positions” then when roadblocks occur, you may have less motivation to break through them. True entrepreneurs can find their way around most anything in their way and remain motivated!
How many times have we gone shopping with the intent of only spending a certain amount of money, only to go over that amount without thinking twice? Not budgeting correctly could ruin your business! Write out a specific, detail oriented budget with amounts, dates, and subjects and then stick to that budget. Your company will come out stronger because of it. As far as cash, have a 6-month cash forecast going into every month so you not only know if you will have cash to fund the business, but you will also thoroughly understand the cash trends. Since at least 60% of businesses fail because of a lack of cash, this is critically important!
What are your short-term goals for your business? Long-term goals? How do you plan on achieving these goals? Before you start building up the majority of your business, have a plan on how you’d like to proceed moving forward. Create a SWOT analysis (strength, weaknesses, opportunities, threats), and learn about what your company’s different components are compared with other companies. Have a “defendable” differentiator in the marketplace and make sure your business plan clearly indicates how you will build this differentiator and monetize it.
I cannot stress the importance of this enough. Brand yourself! You need to become recognizable to customers who need your services. People associate visually stimulating logos, websites, and marketing materials as an extension of your credibility. Spend time and resources on your brand. With high competition, it is important to stand out for the better. Build up your social media and respond to inquiries and comments in a timely, efficient manner. It is harder to change a bad reputation than to lose a good reputation.
Overall, this new adventure in your life should be an exciting one. It will be challenging and will test the perseverance of you and your team but the outcome, should you follow these 5 tips, will be worth it. Go out there and start your dream!