Are you planning on starting your own business soon? Starting a business can be challenging, especially if you don’t have any experience.
20% of small businesses fail within the first year. By the fifth year, 70% of small businesses have likely failed already. With the right business advice, a well-planned and well-executed business can avoid this high failure rate.
Yet, it’s not easy to find trustworthy resources that can help you fight failure. This guide aims to make it easier for all hopeful new business owners to escape failure. Keep reading to learn what you can do to grow a long-lasting and sustainable business.
Get to Know Yourself as a Business Owner First
Before you enter the world of entrepreneurship, you need to understand yourself. Ask yourself why you want to start a business. Other than to earn money, what is motivating you to open a store, gym, or class?
Unlike what some think, money isn’t the most common motivation of new business owners. Flexibility and being your own boss are many business owners’ top reasons to start a business. Others wish to have the satisfaction of creating something from the ground up.
Next, know that becoming a business owner takes a lot of sacrifices. Consider the time, effort, money, and experiences you must give up to keep a business. Getting support from your loved ones can give you an easier time of going through these steps.
Don’t forget to look into how well-versed you are in business. Stop and consider your experiences and knowledge of starting a business. Check your skills and if you need to gather more experience and knowledge first.
Run Your Business on a Solution or Something You Have a Passion for
Before you establish a business, you’ll already have an idea of how that will go and what you can do to pull it off. However, you need to first check how your business can help the market. Ask yourself if there is any demand for the product or services that you want to sell.
Think about what type of product or service you will sell. For example, selling specialty products is good if they have a high market demand. Building a business on selling convenience and shopping products is the best idea.
Be a solution, rather than a vendor of unsought commodities. This will help you gain a solid customer base faster.
At the same time, you can also run your business on your passions.
For example, you love fitness, staying healthy, and pushing your body to its limits. You also love sharing your fitness tips and workout routines with your friends when they ask you. If this is the case, why not turn this knowledge, passion, and experience into a business?
However, remember that not every passion can become a worthwhile business venture. Sometimes, your hobbies need to remain as hobbies. The key to knowing if your hobby will sell well as a business lies in research, which we’ll discuss below.
Research Everything Essential to the Business
Another important piece of business advice is to make sure you research all you need to research. Learn everything you can from your competition, business plausibility, and market. Research the technical aspects of starting a business, like making a business plan:
Conduct Market Research
One telling sign that a business will succeed is if it has high and consistent market demand. The question is, how do you know if your products or services have market demand? You conduct surveys, hold focus groups, and research SEO and public data.
Market research will also help you understand your target customer at a deeper level. You’ll observe the target customer’s preferences, behaviors, and demography. Down the line, this data will still be quite valuable to you.
Check the Competition
Research your competitors, especially those that are also in your locality. Be wary of entering a market that already has high saturation can only fail. Entering a market with very few competitors is ideal, but not if you also have a small target market.
For example, you want to start a restaurant, but your city is already full of fine dining restaurants. If so, then try opening another type of restaurant, like a steakhouse or casual diner. If there are many weight-training gyms in the area, consider a CrossFit or rock climbing gym.
If you don’t want to change the type of business that you want to open, then look into your competitor’s game plan. What do they sell and how do they sell their products or services? After you gather the data, learn how you can do it better.
Test Your Business Idea
This step serves as a countercheck to the previous step. It’ll show you whether your business idea makes a good prospective startup. This idea will start with building a prototype of your product or service.
When you build a prototype, make sure there is a minimum amount of them. Sell them and collect feedback from customers. Use the feedback to tweak your product to improve it and iron out the kinks.
Gather Relevant Experience and Business Advice From the Pros
Experience is the key to starting a successful business and growing it even further. We’re not only talking about having the relevant skills for starting your business. We’re also talking about all the other experiences you need to keep and grow.
What if you don’t have enough experience yet in starting a business? Then take some time to work in a similar company and learn from it. You can also shadow a business owner in the same industry and learn from his methods and mistakes.
It’s always smart to start a business in an industry you’re already familiar with. Yet, what if the demand is in an industry that’s new to you? Gather experience anyway, since it’ll keep you from making serious newbie mistakes. To become a certified business professional yourself, you can enroll in a cbap training course and gain experience.
If you’re the type of entrepreneur who likes to operate behind the scenes, hire an expert in the industry. This may cost a lot more than doing the work yourself, but it’ll be easier for you. Or find a partner who focuses on the work while you handle the other tasks, like booking and accounting.
Create a Simple Business Plan
Next, ask yourself, how do I open my own business? The answer lies in your business plan. This is the step where you sit down and take a pen and paper.
If you have a partner, sit with him or her and write down your business plan together. Ask more specific questions that’ll help elaborate your plans.
In business, you always start with “why” or “what purpose,” so do the same with your business plan. What is the purpose of your business and what goals do you plan to reach? Who are you selling to and what methods will you use to attract them?
Answer these questions with the guidance of the research you did earlier. Better yet, research your demographic information some more and make a competitive analysis. These can help you understand the opportunities and limitations within your market.
Check out Steps to Starting a Business for more helpful information.
Understand Your Target Customers and Existing Market
We already said this, but we want to emphasize how important it is to know your target customers. It’s not enough to have an idea of who they are. You need to know how they behave and what they expect from you.
Again, use this step to ask and answer questions.
What age range, sex, race, and occupations do your target customers have? To identify your target customers, analyze your product and decide who needs it most. You can also look at your competition to see who they’re catering to the most.
You can look for which niche your business belongs to and track your target customers from there. The question of how you’ll reach your customers will lead to another. Most often, this new question will be, where and what channels do your target customers use?
Start Small-Scale First
It’s good to aim high and look forward to growing a big company. Yet, you must be realistic, as well. Smart and successful entrepreneurs know when to take risks and when to take a slow pace.
Don’t jump into starting a business without testing your idea. Take controlled risks by starting a small-scale business. Learn what works, drop what doesn’t work, and develop your business from there.
Other than good delegation, try to apply automation to your business. If it doesn’t work, then create an easy-to-follow work format. If it doesn’t work out at all, then use the exit strategy you wrote down in your business plan.
With that said, don’t invest all your time and money into the business yet. Invest enough that you can create and sell high-quality prototype products. This way, you won’t regret putting your 100% into the business when it doesn’t work out.
Build Your Network
Sometimes, it’s not enough to have a solid business plan, good financial backing, or quality products. Sometimes, business success comes down to whom you know rather than what you know. Before and as you launch your business, make it a point to build your network.
Strong connections can get you places you otherwise wouldn’t see. Each year, small businesses and companies create 1.5 million jobs in the US. Use your network to find employees who are willing to learn, work with diligence, and are honest.
Having a network can also help your business through word-of-mouth marketing. Your network can also help you find better financing, terms and conditions from suppliers, and more. Never underestimate the power of a well-established network.
Secure Your Business Funding
Your business startup capital can come from different sources. Depending on the amount, options, and creditworthiness, you can get your funds in many ways. These options include:
- Business loans
- Business grants
Most businesses get financial help from a bank through business loans. This is easy to get if you have good credit. If a bank can’t lend you money, you can get a loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA) or an alternative lender.
You can also get business grants from the government or angel investors. Using grant management software systems philanthropists, small business associations, and some companies also give grants to small businesses. Unlike loans, you don’t need to pay it back or give up equity in exchange.
Finally, crowdfunding is the newest way for startups to get business funding. You go to a crowdfunding platform and launch a crowdfunding campaign there. People who like your product or services can send money to you to help you launch the business.
These are the most common types of funding for new businesses. Don’t forget that there are many other ways you can collect capital for your business. You can also turn to family, friends, and venture capital investment for aid. Moreover, medical indemnity insurance is necessary for your employees and members of the business.
Market Your Business
In 2020, almost 100,000 businesses in the US had to shut down forever during the pandemic. Despite this unfortunate event, many people continue to establish many new startups. This means that you’re facing a lot of competitors in the market.
The best solution to this is to find and use the right marketing campaigns for the right people.
Investing in smart marketing campaigns will help you get back the money you put in. It’ll also help pay your business taxes, which continue to be the top issue for small business owners.
Try to introduce your business to new people. Do everything you can to give more exposure to your brand. Join conventions, make an attractive sign, offer coupons, and promote on local papers.
Don’t stop at traditional marketing techniques. After all, we’re in the modern age, so embrace digital marketing, too. Use social media, build a website, and create a strong digital presence to improve brand awareness.
Start Your Business the Right Way
You need not take long to start and launch your business. Take this business advice to ensure everything goes well, from planning to launch, today!
Do you want to see more tricks and tips for starting a business? Check out our other guides now for more content on starting, keeping, and growing a business.