After making the decision that you want to be a business owner, the next question is — how do you become an entrepreneur and succeed? Here are ten things you need to know before launching your own business.
1. Know what you will do.
Decide what business you want to start and firm up your business idea. Then determine your path to business ownership, whether you will start your business from scratch, franchise, or buy into an existing business.
2. Find out how to do the business.
Make a list of what you think the business needs and what you need to succeed. It may be knowledge about the business, skills required, certifications needed, equipment and machineries you need to purchase. Then check if you possess these elements; if not, plan on how you can get it.
3. Determine the government regulations.
One of the first things you need to make sure when starting a business is that you have all the government requirements you need to operate the business. Research which government agencies have mandates over your type of business and what licenses, permits and regulations you need to get prior to starting.
Research on the common startup expenses your business requires. Go online, check industry publications or ask other business owners. Knowing how much you need can help you plan where and how to raise your startup capital.
5. Estimate how much money you will make.
Get realistic estimates of the potential income your business will generate — and when you can start to expect to make money. If you don’t expect to make money in 6 months, then you need to make sure that you have adequate resources to sustain the business until it makes money.
6. Find out where you can get help.
You don’t have to feel and be alone in your business. Find someone who can guide you, give you counsel, and even open doors for you and introduce you to customers and financing resources. Many studies have shown that business owners with mentors to help them showed more growth in their businesses than those who do not have.
7. Plan how you intend to reach your target market.
It is crucial that you know your target market and how you can reach them. A marketing plan can help you think through your marketing strategies as it helps you create your positioning statement, identify your target customers, and formulate strategies with corresponding timelines on how to reach them.
8. Plan the steps to get started.
List down the specific steps to start and operate your business. Check if you have all the licenses and permits you need, complete your business plan, line up your sources of funding, determine production and fulfillment strategy, finalize your pricing, among other things.
9. Determine the tools to operate and improve your business.
Technology should be your best friend. Automate your business processes as much as you can. Get all the equipment, software and other gadgets that can help improve your productivity. Be open to technological innovations, and find out how they can be used for your own purposes.
10. Plan your exit strategy.
Thinking of an exit strategy while just starting a business is not about pessimism, rather, it is about smart planning. Your exit strategy should tie well with your objectives for starting the business — from creating a business that would be attractive to investors or buyers, even developing your succession plan if you intend the business to be run by your family.