7 Tips for Starting a Successful Business
1. Create a Plan of Attack
To be successful at anything you need to be fully aware of the steps necessary to reach success. Put together a list of things you MUST get done. As you complete each item, check it off your list. This will ensure that you’re tackling and completing all the essential tasks, and whenever possible, delegate.
2. Keep Detailed Records
All successful businesses keep detailed records. By keeping detailed records, you’ll know where the business stands financially and what potential challenges you could be facing. Just knowing this gives you time to create strategies to overcome the obstacles that can prevent you from being successful and growing your business.
3. Study Your Competitors, Learn from Them
Life is too short and time is money. In business, you must identify your competition, learn what’s working for them, what isn’t, how you can improve on their products or services and then use that knowledge to your advantage. Remember to look for competitors in other parts of the world — they too have ideas that may be new to your audience. Having a competitive edge is important if you want to stop competitors from poaching your clients.
4. Carve a Niche, Get Rich
Whether you’re creating a product or a service, realistically you can’t serve everyone in the world. Instead, focus on a specific audience. Perhaps based on geography, gender, age groups, income, language, or perhaps a combination of many traits. The point is to target an audience that is underserved and to become the best in that space. This will give your business a competitive advantage and makes marketing much simpler. Most importantly, if you rule this space, it’s hard for competitors to duplicate you.
5. Evaluate Risk vs Reward
Have a new idea for a product or service in your business? Ask yourself, what’s the worst that can happen? If the worst-case scenario is something you can live with, then move forward. This knowledge will allow you to take the kinds of calculated risks that can create big success and avoid massive pitfalls.
6. Be Creative & Innovate
In business, I’ve discovered that my consulting agency resembles the dating industry. As such, I am constantly looking for new and innovative ideas within that industry — from speed-networking to fast-pitches…these ideas came from the dating universe. To be successful, recognize that you don’t know everything and be open to new ways of doing things. Even when those ideas come from unlikely sources.
7. The Hard Work is Just Beginning
The lead-up to starting a business is definitely hard work, but once the doors officially open, the heavy lifting is just beginning. In many cases, you won’t make a profit for many weeks or months, and you’ll be doing the work of many employees — but that’s the price many of us pay for the chance of hitting it big.
Remember, starting and running a successful business is definitely rewarding, but challenging. You are CEO and sweeper, secretary and bookkeeper, and success will not come overnight. So keep a long-term view of things, do your absolute best every day, and in addition to keeping family and clients happy — keep yourself happy. If you’re not happy and having fun, go get a job.
In your experience, are there other general areas that a startup entrepreneur should focus on? If so, please share them in the comment section. Let’s simplify the path for the next wave of entrepreneurs.