Starting a new business is exciting, challenging, and sometimes a little overwhelming, says successful entrepreneur Danita Doleman. It’s easy to get caught up in the details and lose sight of the big picture.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that approximately 20% of new businesses fail within two years of opening. The same study found that 45% fail in the first five years, and 65% don’t make it past ten years.
To help ensure that you don’t fall victim to these brutal statistics, it’s vital that you lay a proper foundation for your business from the start. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can use that foundation to grow your business into a lasting and successful enterprise.
Know What Your Ultimate Goal Is
Before you start your business, it is important to develop a deeper understanding of what you are trying to accomplish. Why are you personally interested in entrepreneurship? If you understand what you want out of this venture, you can build your business around those requirements.
- Are you trying to sell a product?
- Are you looking for work-life balance?
- Do you want to be your own boss?
- Are you trying to create passive income or do you enjoy the process of running a business?
- Are you trying to make money, revolutionize the industry, or share your creativity (or some combination of the three)?
Knowing what your goal is will help you decide what type of business you should establish. It will also guide your steps as you meet your goals and your vision becomes reality.
It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of starting your business and growing it into an empire. But that’s years and years in the future. Entrepreneurs are dreamers, says Danita C. Doleman, but you have to reign that in and put in the hard work to see long-term success.
When you start small and test out your product and/or services first, it helps you work out the kinks and avoid making rookie mistakes. Seeing how well your product does in a smaller market allows you to experiment, A/B test, and troubleshoot problems.
Remember, if your product doesn’t sell well at first, that’s not an immediate red flag. Look at it as an opportunity to fix the problem and make adjustments before investing too much money or time into it.
Build a Community Advises Danita Doleman
Entrepreneurship isn’t just about start-ups and fast growth–it’s a long-term game. To be successful you are going to need the support of a community of peers and mentors.
Building relationships is about more than networking (although that’s also extremely important). Having a group of industry peers and other entrepreneurs who’ve been there can help you avoid learning lessons the hard way. Your community should be built to share advice, recommendations, referrals, and industry information.
Finding a mentor can also be very helpful, says Danita Doleman. A mentor is someone who will help you get started and provide advice and guidance. It might be difficult to find a mentor at first, but keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be a person in your industry. You just have to find someone who can help you develop your skills, answer your questions, and provide support.
Focus on Quality
When you’re just starting out, it’s always tempting to cut corners to achieve your goals faster. But the reality is that you need to focus on quality to succeed–especially in the beginning when the market is building an opinion of your product.
Focus on developing your skills so that you can produce the best work possible. This is true no matter what kind of business you are starting. If you want to sell hand-made goods, for example, make sure that the materials and production processes are of the highest quality you can afford.
Stay the Course
Grit and hard work outweigh pure talent almost every time in business, says Danita C. Doleman. Even when things are not going well, it is important to stay the course and stick with it.
The reality is that there will always be obstacles, but don’t let that stop you from achieving your goals. You could have the best idea or product in the world, but without perseverance and determination, it’ll never go anywhere.
You should also keep in mind that business growth is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time for your business to mature and develop, so don’t rush through the steps and exhaust yourself early in the race. Take your time, lay a strong foundation, and build your business to last.
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