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So You Want To Start A Business. What Comes Next?

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Pretty much everyone thinks they could start their own business, just like everyone thinks they could write a book if they really tried – but when it comes down to it, both starting a business and writing a novel are difficult and time consuming things that should only be undertaken if you’re absolutely certain about and passionate about what you want to do. If you have an idea that you think you could take over the world with, here are some tips on how to start your own business.

Evaluate Your Own Strengths And Weaknesses

First of all, you need to consider yourself. No matter how much money you have or how many ideas you have, you need to take a good hard look at yourself and consider what exactly your strengths and weaknesses are, and how that might affect your company. For instance, if you’re a creative person who’s good at having lots of bright ideas and creating products, you may find it tough to work out the financial aspects of your company, so you could consider hiring an accountant who can help you out there. Ask yourself why exactly you want to start a business and evaluate your reasoning. If you just want to make a little money and you aren’t entirely passionate about your product then you could consider starting a side business alongside your day job instead of making it your sole income. It’s always a good idea to start thinking about yourself a little more clearly.

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Check Out The Market

Before you make any final decisions it’s a good idea to do some market research. Think about what is on the market already and figure out if anyone is doing what you intend to do already, or if your idea is as unique and original as you think it is. Start researching your potential rivals and work out where you think they may be going with their business – you want to make sure that they don’t surpass you too quickly and that you offer even more than they do so that you can attract some of their customers – or at the very least, so you won’t end up losing customers to anyone. 

Get A Business Plan In Place

One of the most important things to do before you start a business is to get your business plan in place. You need to ask what you want from your company in a year’s time and to figure out how realistically you can achieve those aims. Your business plan should describe how you intend to evolve your business from its humble beginnings to when your finished product will appear on the market, and even where you intend to go from there. How can you expand from your initial offerings? Make sure that you can summarise your business in an ‘elevator pitch’. You should be able to tell people what you offer in two sentences, otherwise anyone you’re talking to may end up not quite grasping what exactly it is you want to do.

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Get Feedback

It’s important to make sure that you get feedback from plenty of people. You can do this in a number of ways: of course, many people show their friends and family their designs and ideas and ask for their opinions and this is a great first step. They can be very encouraging and push you to go through with what you intend to do. However, to get fully honest responses you also need to talk to strangers and get their thoughts and feelings about your products and services. Think about the kind of people that you want to be your customers and work out how they might access your products. You can talk to them through surveys and through market research groups. The truth is that you might hear something that is unpleasant, or that you don’t want to hear, but it’s important to make sure that you accept that graciously and that you learn from it. You are too close to your product and your company to be capable of making completely neutral decisions. Be curious, ask people for their reasoning behind their opinions – this will help to show you how you can change what you are doing for the better so that it appeals to more people.

Develop Your Skills

There are few things that are more important than developing your own skills. Your business is never a finished, final product and neither are you. You may have done a business degree years ago but things will have changed since then – management courses at places like New England College will help to refresh your skills and fill in any gaps. This is doubly important if you see yourself as more of a creative person. As someone running a business, you may be able to hire an accountant and an HR representative to sort out certain aspects of your business but you need to learn how to manage people and how to lead a team effectively, along with how to develop ideas into fully fledged businesses that are making money. 

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Start To Build Your Team

Working with the right people is the best possible way to start a company, but it can definitely be difficult to find exactly the right people. Some bosses make the mistake of hiring people who are very similar to them – and it is definitely important to make sure that you hire workers who you get along with and who you can feel you can spend time with, without going completely round the twist. But you need to hire people who fill in whatever gaps that you have and who have skills that you lack. Think about forming a well rounded team full of people who have a wide skill set. Also, you may be considering hiring a full staff, but have you ever thought about going for freelancers instead? This can save you money and it also means that you can hire more people to perform different jobs.

Consider Your Working Space

Actually figuring out where to work is something that you may not have considered much, but as you’re forming your company, it may end up being pretty vital. The truth is that many people, when they’re creating companies, don’t end up hiring office space to begin with. These prices can be sky-high, particularly in areas where a lot of talented people live, and you may decide in the end that working from home and communicating with people electronically is a much better and financially safe decision than forking out vast quantities on renting buildings and office spaces. It will save you commuting costs, and it will also ensure that you are able to hire employees remotely, who don’t live near you, which means that you have a wider range of people that you can hire. It is definitely possible to hire meeting spaces where you can meet people who live nearby in person to talk through ideas and this may be a much more cost effective idea initially.

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Learn To Network

Learning to network is an essential part of making sales and making money. It can be difficult to figure out how to do it but it may actually be easier than you think. Remember that a lot of it is just about having conversations and making connections – think about what you can do for each other and not just what people can do for you. Ask questions, be interested, and be genuinely friendly.

Starting a business isn’t easy, but these tips should help get you over any early hurdles.

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