Over 600,000 new businesses are started each year, but most of those businesses will fail within five years.
Are you considering starting a business? Would you like to thrive and be one of the few that make it past the five-year mark? In order to do this, you need to follow helpful advice that steers you in the right direction and sets you up for lasting success.
Read on to learn exactly what it takes to begin starting your own business and what you can do now to make it a lasting one.
Get In the Right Mindset
Starting a business is exciting, but it’s also difficult at times and can be overwhelming, especially in the beginning.
Before narrowing down your ideas, creating a business plan, or taking any other major steps, take some time to get your mind in the right place.
Make sure that you’re 100% committed no matter how hard things seem to be in the beginning, and arrange matters in your personal life so that you can stay focused on the business for the first few weeks, especially.
Do Some Research
So, your mind is in the right place, and you feel ready to take on the challenge of owning a business. Is it time to dive in now? Not quite.
A common mistake is assuming that your idea is unique or that you will be one of the only businesses in the area offering a particular good or service. Instead, take some time to research your idea. See how many businesses in your area do something similar.
If your business will be entirely online, look into who your competitors might be. How successful are they? Do you see something they can improve on that you can take advantage of?
Ask these questions and be honest with yourself before you lock yourself into one of your business ideas. Your initial idea might need some tweaking to work, or it could need a complete overhaul.
Have a Solid Plan
It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the excitement of starting your own business that you dive right in without a detailed plan in mind. While having a few business ideas is understandable, you should narrow down your ideas before officially starting the process.
Whether you plan to run your business from your home and be the only worker forever, or you have dreams of filling up multiple offices with employees and dominating a market, this guide is a good one to follow to make a business plan.
Your plan should be detailed enough that you know exactly where you plan on going but should also leave room for taking a different direction if need be.
Take Care of the Nitty Gritty ASAP
You might reason that it makes sense to wait until you have a few customers, some solid income, or are getting a bit established before you take care of the legal side of things, but that would be a mistake.
Your business isn’t official until the state you live in says so.
Here are some things to take care of as soon as you can:
Choose a business name and register it
Apply for an Employee Identification Number (this can take weeks)
Apply for any licenses or permits you might need based on where you live
Look into and apply for any business insurance that you might need
Open a business bank account
This fundamental list covers the critical things that you should take care of at a minimum before putting any money into advertising, purchasing products, leasing a space, etc. In fact, most of these things typically need to be done before you can move on to those next steps anyways.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of the Internet
Around 85% of consumers research a business before buying anything from them, and most of that research is done online.
Whether your business sells makeup or tools, provides home remodeling services, or dog training, you need to be present online to succeed.
At a minimum, you should have:
- A professional and modern website (learn how here)
- An authentic social media account (or two)
- Your business claimed on Google
Having these three areas covered will bring you countless leads and get your business out there more than anything else could.
Do you want your online presence to be taken to the next level? Consider a few of these ideas:
- A website designed and monitored by a professional
- A website with a built-in blog to share your knowledge and tell more about your business
- Social media across every platform that makes sense for your business
- Targeted Google or Facebook ads to bring people to your site
No matter how much effort you choose to put into the online world, just keep in mind that having some sort of online presence is essential, and the sooner you take the time to do it, the better.
Some Basic Mistakes to Avoid
We’ve thoroughly covered what you should do when starting your own business, but here’s a brief list of some mistakes to avoid:
- Not keeping things organized
- Starting without the proper financial resources
- Not using contracts to cover yourself legally
- Hiring people too soon simply to avoid doing tasks you dislike
- Paying yourself too much or too little (an accountant can help with this)
- Launching before you’re ready
If you can avoid making any of these six mistakes, it will make your life much easier.
Starting Your Own Business—the Right Way
Starting your own business is one way to gain control of your working life, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to handle things.
This article highlighted five things you should do when starting and six things you should avoid doing.
If you follow the advice here, you will undoubtedly start your business off in a better way than you would otherwise and set yourself up to make it past that five-year mark.