- Take Decisive Steps
Supposing you have a great idea for a business you want to start and make money. No matter how good the idea may be, it will not materialize if all you do is remain quiet and fail to take the necessary steps to turn the idea/concept into an operating business.
As the vision holder, you will have to make the idea work by taking decisive steps to set up, finance, and oversee the operations of the business. Do not expect the business to come to fruition unless you purpose to make it happen; change will not occur unless you take charge and begin planning on what to do to start moving.
- Conduct Market Research
The initial step includes fully understanding the market/industry you want to invest your hard-earned money. You need to study your competitors keenly regardless of how unique and smart your business idea sounds. It is best to approach the market with a view that there are other traders out there with ideas that are as wonderful as yours.
Conduct a market survey to establish who your competitors are and how they operate, the prices and quality of their products and services, and how they reach out to their customer base. Armed with this knowledge, you can determine how to competitively price your products and services.
You will also need to determine your target customers based on their demographic and age profile, geographical location, and tastes and preferences. Every successful business decision must be founded and focused on what consumers need and want in a given time. This is because consumers form the main source of business revenues and must therefore be taken as a priority.
- Understand Your Target Customers Before Spending Money
To realize success in your startup, you need to identify the customers to purchase your goods and services before you start expending any business capital. A study of the potential customers is usually part of market research as mentioned earlier. To realize sustainable business profits, you will need to sell your business’s goods and services to many customers other than your family and friends.
Also, it is important to understand how prevailing market conditions affect the demand for the goods and services you want to sell. The most ideal business services and products are sold to address an existing problem or shortage in the community. This is to mean your business’ revenues will be high or steady if you are selling the products or services needed by people.
It is easy to carry out market research without spending a lot of money. For instance, you can conduct a market survey for free. One way to conduct “desktop” research is to read and follow various news sources, articles, and forums with information on the industry in which you are participating.
- Pool Your Initial Capital Together
As the owner of the startup, you are the first investor of your business because you put your personal money in the business hoping to get a good return. In most cases, setting up a new business will require a substantial capital outlay.
However, you can borrow some capital if you lack adequate financing to start your business; many startup entrepreneurs begin with very limited business funding. You may be eligible for a business grant. Take a look at US Grants to find out more.
As the founder, you have to take the lead initiative and inject your money into the startup business before requesting any external financing. Once you have exhausted your personal funds (equity), you can begin to seek out investors who share in the business’ objectives and who are ready to put their money into your business.
Family and friends are usually the immediate options to explore when looking for external financing for your business. If you still need more capital, consider looking for angel investors and venture capitalists. Additionally, you can apply for a business loan from local banks, credit unions, and cooperatives.
- Identify The Business Risks & Challenges
Any new business or investment venture can be affected by different types of risks and challenges. To avoid or manage business risks and challenges, you need to first identify and understand all the challenges and risks involved in your business. Only that way can you develop a comprehensive plan to handle the future negative impact on your startup.
Once you have mapped out and itemized each risk and challenges involved, then you can come up with a viable solution to avoid, reduce or manage each of the anticipated risks and difficulties. It is a good idea to consult with other people to help you identify the risks and challenges and develop appropriate solutions.
- Work With A Dependable Team
It is very difficult to achieve success when working alone or handling all business operations without a good team. You need to partner with like-minded parties or work together with other people to acquire the skills and capital resources you lack working alone. Whoever you choose to work with should be like your soul-mate – they should share your vision and mission for the business.
You also need a coach or mentor. A mentor will motivate you, help you learn new things, determine the mission and vision of your business, assist you to develop a solid business plan, and build business networks. A mentor can be an experienced and successful businessman, lecturer or teacher, or business coach.
- Build Your Business Networks
Building your business network shows your commitment to the business, additionally, it is an important task for the success of your startup. The right networks support the sustainability of your business by creating enriching relationships to help you realize more sales, find new partners, financiers, and co-workers and expand business operations.
Remember, you have to believe in your business and show unwavering commitment if other people are to trust you.
So, how do you build connections and networks with other business operators? You can begin by joining different business groups or attending business networking events. For startups, it is best to restrict yourself to local business events. Also, you consider attending associations’ meetings for professionals and societies related to your business’ industry.
The next step is to study and learn as much as you can from the senior and more experienced business people. You stand to gain plenty of valuable insight by talking to successful business people and listening to their success stories. Introduce yourself and tell them what you do; they are likely to give you useful tips for budding business.
Do not forget to return the favor; be on the lookout for opportunities to help other business owners and partners. That way, you will create a lasting impact on their minds; you will be the first person they think of when they meet a potential customer who needs your products or services.