Most businesses have started off with a dream or an idea. But not all ideas make it into a company unless it’s backed up by a solid plan. Roughly 90% of startups fail precisely because of that. They are focused on building, instead of working with customers. Some early entrepreneurs lack focus altogether, or they scale too fast and too quickly. The result is that most business ideas and dreams don’t make it very far.
Starting a business is straightforward enough but keeping it alive and allowing it to flourish at a manageable pace, is an entirely different thing. It shouldn’t discourage you, however. It should have the exact opposite effect. With that said, here’s a short beginner’s guide for small businesses getting off the ground and not coming back to it.
Do Your Research
After someone has a business idea and decides to go ahead with it, the next step is market research. In short, this is the study of economic trends and customer behavior. By doing a thorough job with it, an entrepreneur will be better prepared for what’s ahead and will reduce many potential risks that are inherent to an early-stage business.
There are several ways to approach the issue. The more you hammer at this, the more information you have to work with and the more likely you are to succeed. You can examine trends and other existing sources, but the data may be out of date or too generalized. You can also conduct your research with surveys, interviews, and questionnaires. You can do some competitive analysis, allowing you to know more about your future competition.
Now, even though doing your market research will get you a long way, whatever you uncover, will not provide you with all the answers. To safeguard yourself against any unknowns, it’s better if you start small and slowly work yourself up from there.
Not only will this allow you to test the waters better, putting in practice what you’ve learned, but it will also let you fail better as well. By not going all in on the first try, you will be able to recover faster, improve your product, and refine your techniques.
Knowing the ins and outs of your costs is an integral part of the process. Having this information will be able to estimate better your profits and for attracting potential investors to your cause.
Keep in mind that while some costs are firmly set, many others may fluctuate. Likewise, some can only be given an estimate since their amounts are uncertain. Let’s also not forget the fact that start-ups have many tax-deductible expenses.
The list here is by no means exhaustive, but it can give you a good understanding of what needs to be done. There’s also the matter of the business plan, financial statements, registration requirements, and so on.
But probably the best advice we can give you at this point is to always ask for help, either from your accounting professional or your lawyer so they can guide you on the right path. Starting a new business from scratch is no walk in the park, but can be a life-changing and fulfilling experience. Do not hesitate to ask for help or guidance to see it through.
Until the next time,