Just because you are taking your ideas and turning them into reality does not mean you need to figure everything out on your own. There are many, many ‘entrepreneurs’ who have learnt the hard way and a lot of those have often used those immortal words ‘if only I had listened and taken advice’. Make sure you get as much help and advice along your exciting journey!
1. Do your research!
Unfortunately what appears to be a great idea can turn out to be something that has been thought of already and, perhaps, there are people out there doing it already. This should not necessarily put you off. Even if somebody is already doing it, this does not necessarily mean you can’t do it more successfully. Maybe you can identify a location where there is no or little competition or you may spot a niche market for a version of the product/service that people are crying out for! You can only know this, however, by doing proper, serious research i.e. Do your homework!
2. Make a business plan
Without this you really do not have a business but simply an idea. A business plan is a formal written document containing business goals, the process by which these goals can be achieved, and the time frame within which these goals need to be achieved. A key element of a proper plan are your financial projections. Often a new venture needs funding. Without solid and realistic projections you are unlikely to get the funding you need to get your ‘exciting venture’ off the ground.
3. Have the right people in your team
Do not assume that you have to run this business all by yourself. Focus on your own strengths and do not be afraid to let others take some of the strain so you can stay focused on building the business. It is so important to have the correct people either working for you or advising you. Both elements must believe in your vision for the business and be prepared to go the extra mile particularly in the early days. No one person can have all the knowledge, experience, or even perspective to handle every business situation. Gain from others’ skills and experiences.
4. Know your figures
Have a good grasp on the figures that tell you how your business is doing and what you can expect. These include your start-up costs, sales, projected profits, cash flow, and much more, depending on the nature of your business and how you define success. You will often be making important decisions and knowing your figures is critical. If you are not sure then seek professional advice. Somebody who has already done it and can mentor you can often end up saving you money and help you to grow your business. We talked earlier about having a proper business plan. What is equally important is to check the business performance against that plan on a regular basis so that any remedial action can be identified and acted upon at the earliest opportunity.