It is difficult to fully prepare yourself for the twists and turns you will experience starting your own business. No matter the industry there will be unforeseen obstacles that all the business management classes in the world couldn’t properly prepare you for. Fortunately, there is help and advise for those who go looking for it.
For those starting their first business, here are 8 things you must know.
Starting your own business is a marathon, not a sprint
The focus for entrepreneurs or business owners is how to make big bucks from their business as quickly as possible. Things rarely work out how you initially planned. Technology changes, societal changes, market changes will all impact your business, potentially veering it in a different direction.
Instead of looking to make some fast money, look to building a great company that is stable in the long-term. By remembering that entrepreneurship is a marathon you will create businesses that have a greater impact, and ultimately make you more money.
Ensure there is demand for your product or service
Before you start your business, you should conduct extensive market research to ensure that the market exists and there is demand for your product or service. With strong demand you can find profitability, if your product meets or exceeds the market’s expectations.
By making a profit on your products or services you will be able to afford to hire great people to help you focus on the work you want to do while growing your business. Companies that focus on being consistently profitable tend to withstand unforeseen events.
Be patient and ensure you have enough funding
Surviving the start-up phase can be tough. Nearly half of businesses miscalculate the time it will take to reach profitability and fail due to inadequate funding. The trick is to plan for it. Understand that it will take time to grow the business, plan on making a profit taking later than expected.
Every business works on a different timeline. Some find profitability faster than others. Ensure that you have adequate funding and a backup funding source in case the path to profitability takes longer than expected.
Know that you won’t get it right the first time
When starting your own business, it is important to be nimble and quick on your feet. You will need to analyse results fast and then make changes, be prepared to need to pivot quickly. More than likely you will not get it right the first, second or third time. But that is ok as long as you learn quickly and change course just as fast.
When you fail, use it as feedback. So, take action, take calculated risks. Test your theories and use the feedback you receive to improve yourself and your business. You only truly fail when you give up.
Forget about what you are selling
Stop focusing on the product and focus on your customers. Know your customers better than you know yourself. Then you can sell something that offers value, impact, and results that your customers will love and buy.
The trick is to always listen and learn. Never assume you have the answers. Understand your audiences’ problems deeply, learn what they want. By knowing your audience, you can pivot your products to match their desires and demand.
Listen to your customers
Look for ways in which you can receive immediate customer feedback. Use this feedback to improve your product or service and react to changing demand. It is very easy, now more than ever, to look for customer feedback with little to no cost. Take advantage of social media platforms, run polls, create feedback posts, provide small incentives. Surveys are also great options. Simply asking your customer to quickly rate your product out of 5 stars will give you heaps of feedback.
Be prepared to change
No matter how great your business plan is there will always be something that turns it on its head. While simple, well executed plans are fantastic, it is important to be prepared to change at a moment’s notice, no matter your attachment to the business plan. The market always has something unexpected up its sleeve, by listening you can pivot in a new direction when the market and its needs change.
Solve a problem
You should always challenge yourself on what need or problem your product or service is the answer to. If there is no need or problem then the market may not be interested, and so, you should change your idea.
Look first at the problems your target market faces and look to solve these. You will find more demand for your product and a more receptive market, giving you an easier time to sell your product.
With these tips in mind your business will be on a much stronger footing when it begins. Remember to look into the long-term, and focus on your customers, these will lead your business to success.
Another key to successful business’ is an excellent bookkeeper. They are able to manage your business’ finances, setting it up for success. For the best bookkeepers look to Link Strategies. Contact us today.