When you're starting a company for the first time, it's easy to get caught up in concerns about failure. After all, a huge percentage of new organizations never seem to make it beyond their first year in the market, and even fewer continue to make a profit for five years or longer.
The good news is that in today's digitally-connected world, it couldn't be easier to learn more about business management from experts who have already been through the same challenges you're preparing to face. Whether you're growing a home-based business from scratch, or you're starting a more traditional brick and mortar store, here are some tips to help get you started.
Make sure you're passionate about what you do
You don't necessarily need to love the products and services you're planning on selling to be successful in today's business world – but you do need to be passionate about your company. Starting a business requires a great deal of time and effort, and things won't always go according to plan. Passion will help to keep you focused and motivated when you need a little extra help getting past the challenges of starting your own company.
Entrepreneur Jan Berkowitz is a great example; he started his own company selling concrete in his hometown of Detroit. His dedication to his venture has helped him to accomplish incredible things in the industry.
Consider starting when you're still employed
If you can't afford to struggle through the first few months of starting your company with little to no income, then it might be a good idea to start pursuing ideas while you're still employed. It can take a long time for a fresh brand to start making any profits and maintaining regular employment will help to make sure that you've still got money in your pocket as you move through the initial stages.
Ideally, before you leave your original source of employment, try making sure that you have a few clients or customers lined up. Get on LinkedIn and do some networking or go to industry events and give away samples of your products to get people excited about what you have to offer.
Don't go it alone
Starting your own company isn't just a challenge from a financial perspective – it can also be emotionally draining. A lot of people find that they need a solid support system to get them through the initial stages of starting their business, as well as help from other professionals in their industry who can offer advice when times are tough.
If possible, think about looking for a mentor on social media or through industry forums who you can turn to for help when you're not sure what to do next.
Have a reliable plan
A business plan might seem like a waste of time at first when all you want to do is start selling products or services, but you'll be glad you have it when the going gets tough. A business plan helps you make sure you're investing your time and money into an idea that has the potential for success from the very beginning. It will help you to determine exactly how much money you need to make to live comfortably with your new venture.
Additionally, when you're making important decisions about the evolution of your brand in the future, your business plan will help to keep you on the right track by showcasing your values and initial ambitions.
Know where your funding is coming from
Finally, although passion, ambition, and drive are all important to launching a successful company, it's important to remember that you're going to need at least some start-up capital too. Approach investors and lenders that are willing to help you make your dream a reality and be prepared to hit a few hurdles along the way.
Most entrepreneurs won't simply walk into a bank and immediately get a loan for their company handed to them. You'll need to make sure that you have a business plan to present that shows that your brand has the potential for making profits.
Start on the right foot
Starting your own company is a challenging experience, but it's also something that can be incredibly rewarding if you know how to do it right. The tips above and a commitment to your goals will help you to overcome some of the more stressful experiences that might occur when you first start running your own business. Just remember to stay motivated, positive, and keep your eye on the future.
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