Business world is full of fairy tales of entrepreneurs who ignored the odds, took the leap of fate and became overnight billionaires. Unfortunately, these stories are usually just fairy tales, and although we can always count at least several dozens of such examples, just remember that they make nothing more than a single drop in the ocean of entrepreneurs starting a business each year. Don’t start worrying yet. Your start up can be a success; if you’re not prone to recklessness and reliance on sheer luck, which are not the best foundations on which to start a business, away. So, what should those foundations be?
Foundations for Starting a Business
It may sound like a no brainer, but you would be surprised to know just how many businesses end up being dead on arrival because their owners overestimated their ability to run them, most notably the amount of time they have on disposal. Starting a business is a full-time commitment, and even if you devote yourself entirely to this task you will need to master multitasking and, even more important, prioritizing business tasks in order to stay afloat.
Every brand is undergoing through constant changes, many of which are caused by the way that brand is being perceived by its audience. That, however, does not mean that you should leave the job of branding entirely to you audience, or that branding is something that should be postponed for some better times. The moment you enter the business arena you should already have a fully fleshed-out identity, logo, slogan, mascot, ideology and all the other elements that make a good brand.
Creating a business plan may sound like a tedious homework, but, to put it simply, if you do not know what your goals are and you do not know how to reach them, the chances that you are going to succeed will be very low. Be sure then to write your short-term and long-term goals and the measures you are going to take to achieve them. You will not only get a great road-map that will guide you through your business’s infancy, you will also get to experience how it is like to run a business, and are you really “into it”.
Although it can be considered as a part of your overall plan, budget is such a tremendous beast that it requires special attention. Essentially, if you want to successfully tackle this issue, you will first need to be fully aware of your income, and the costs you will have along the way. Be aware, people usually fail to realistically asses the latter ones. Here are few things you should pay attention to.
- Accounting software
- Business cards and similar promotional material
- Mailing supplies and postage
- Security software, and alarm monitoring for your premises
Also, remember that you have to spend money to make money, so do not let your budget be too conservative. Just put the money in the places where you can expect to see returns.
Hiring quality staff members is very important, and not only because those people will decide your business’s fate in its early years. They will also make your “inner circle” and take the key positions once the business grows. So, be very careful while you are hiring, and do not be satisfied with anything but excellent. Considering the fact that you are still far from fame this will not be that easy, but outsourcing some of the positions until the right candidates appear or nourishing talented prospects may solve the problem. Just do not fall in the usual trap and hire your friends for key positions.
Have a Backup Plan
There is a great quote saying that “the master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.” If you want to rise above being a beginner, you can expect to fail, and fail a lot. What is important, though, is to be be prepared for when you start falling to the ground. Create as much safety nets as you can, always go with more modest expectations, do not put too much of your resources in single initiative, and you will make sure that you will be able to survive the landing and immediately jump back into action.
Running and/or starting a business has never been easy. In today’s highly globalized and saturated business environment this task has become even harder. Do not allow yourself to enter this fierce arena relying on the sheer luck and courage. Be sure to do the preparations and pack some armor, too.