A survey conducted by America’s Small Business Development Centers found that while 61% felt that taking up employment was financially more secure, 26% planned to start a small business in the next three years knowing that it was more financially hazardous. Most of the people setting up businesses do not have any background of entrepreneurship in their families and do not always know the best way to go about it. According to the president and CEO of Small Business Development Center, starting a business is a daunting prospect regardless of whether you have been saving for it for long or recently decided on a change in the career. It is vital to get the maximum help by identifying the right resources and seek out expert advice as much as possible. Some valuable tips for budding entrepreneurs to achieve business success:
Kick Off Your Business as Soon as Practically Possible
There are far more people who dream about starting a business than who actually manage to do so. While it is certainly easy to talk about starting a small business and realizing your entrepreneurial ambitions, it is an unarguable truth that unless you get up and do it, it is not going to happen. Regardless of whether you want to convert your existing job into your business or a part-time activity into a full-fledged activity, the only person who can do it is you.
According to experts who have gone through the experience of fanning their passion into successful businesses employing hundreds of people, the sooner you start off the better it is. Of course, before you actually start operations, you must do the research and planning in a meticulous way to make sure that you are approaching the market with the right idea, reaching out to an audience that has the potential to drive success, as well as have enough funds to sustain the business till such time the cash generation is sufficiently adequate and stable. However, you can also be sure that you will never be prepared sufficiently so at a certain point in time, you just have to plunge in, get your feet wet, and overcome the stress and challenges of business entrepreneurship.
Find Your USP but Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
The real secret of successful entrepreneurship is to identify a potential need of the market that can be addressed successfully and profitably for a long period. More than your technological abilities, it is your ability to spot the market potential that is the hallmark of a true businessman. It is essential to study the market intensively regarding how customers are fulfilling their needs and what they really aspire to get. Once you are sure that you have identified a real market need, you need to structure a product or service around it that is superior yet price-competitive.
You will also need to study what other companies are doing to address the market and find out what marketing and communication strategies will work to cut through the clutter and appeal to your target audience. Even though you should study what other people are doing, you should never become influenced by them to such an extent that you start comparing yourself to them even if they seem to be more successful. Maintain your identity and develop your business the way you want rather than imitate other people or their businesses.
Keep Business Funds Separate from Personal Finance
In the early stages of the business, you will be pulling out all stops to raise the money necessary to keep the business functioning. Typically, you will not only have used your personal savings but also passed the hat around to family and friends for contributions since it is almost impossible to get institutional funds at this stage. Credit cards can be used to fund your business; however, it is very easy to get caught in a debt trap. Read debt settlement reviews online to learn how to avoid this. Even though it may seem difficult, you should document all the sources and amounts that you are putting into your business so that personal money and business funds don’t get mixed up. Not separating this right from the early stages can present an accounting nightmare later on and give rise to tax problems that you would want to avoid. Open separate bank accounts so that you can deposit the sale proceeds into one and start setting aside the money for paying taxes in another one. As soon as practically possible, repay yourself as well as other family members from whom you have raised the informal loans.
Network as Much as Possible and Seek Inspiration
Even though you have heard it again and again, the importance of networking cannot be overemphasized. Networking has multiple benefits; not only can you get better insights into customer and market behavior from people who have achieved success in the same industry but also learn from the mistakes of others. By networking intelligently, you will be able to get access to valuable contacts that will help you in more ways than you can imagine; right from getting better design, technology, raw materials, equipment manufacturers, service providers, logistics partners, and even sources of finance and funding that will help you to grow your business faster and more economically. Networking is not a one-way street; just as you are being helped by others, similarly, you should also take time out to help the people in need with advice and contacts that they will be ever grateful for. Networking also makes you a part of your business community and better placed to support advocacy for your industry.
Starting a small business can be a terrifying prospect even with the best of planning. However, the sooner you kick it off the longer the time you will have to learn the business. You must be observant and learn from the experiences of others, network as much as possible, and find a mentor who can guide you in these early times through the quicksand of technology, marketing, finance, staffing, and much more.