Are you on the cusp of starting your own company? Is there a business idea that you really think could fill a hole in the market or turn the world upside down? Perfect! Every business starts with a great idea. The problem is that coming up with a great idea, while incredibly challenging and rare, is only the first step of the battle. Starting your own business is anything but easy. Before diving in headfirst, you should be doing tons of research and preparation to be ready for anything that comes at you. To help in that endeavor, here are some things you should be considering when you are in the planning stage of starting a business…
Know Exactly Where You Stand in the Market
The key to any company is knowing exactly what your market is and how you fit into your industry. Hopefully, there are some inherent considerations of this in your initial business idea. Still, you should take some time to carefully focus on the details of how you fit amongst your competitors. Questions you should be asking are who your competitors are, what they do differently, what you are doing differently, and how you will stand out. Being redundant to one of your competitors who is already established is not a good strategy to jump into a new business.
Never Neglect Marketing (or Advertising)
There are plenty of keys to a company’s success, and everyone will tell you what they think is the most important thing. While every aspect of running a business is so critical that you should listen to these tips, the reality is that one thing stands out above the rest: marketing. If nobody is using your product or service, you’re not going to last very long. Because of this, you need to know who your target audience is and how you plan to reach them. You can’t leave this to chance.
Be Picky with “Your” People
A business is made up of people, and it’s on the laurels of people that a business is going to succeed or fail. The ability of a company’s personnel to work together and execute a business plan is going to make or break every aspect of a company. Because of this, it’s important to be very careful about the people that you are having to be a part of your company. You need to hire people who are talented, that you can trust, and who you can stand being around for extended periods of time. Oftentimes, small businesses require countless amounts of hours to get up and running; so you need to know that you can get along and work with an individual before you get knee-deep in the stress of day-to-day affairs.
Turn to Experts for Help
We’re starting to get repetitive at this point when we say that running a business is hard, but it is, and that fact is worth repeating. Because of this, you can’t have any pride when it comes time to turn to people for help. One common form of help that small businesses will find useful is to find another person who has started a business and ask them to be a board member for your venture. This person can give advice, tips, and be a much-needed source of accountability.
Another important thing to remember is that you need to be very strategic about the responsibilities you are outsourcing. Ideally, you should be outsourcing the work that plays against your own strengths or those of your business partners. This might mean hiring HR personnel, outsourcing specific CEO services, or bringing on a marketing expert to be your CMO.