Anyone who has ever started a new business can tell you that the most common piece of advice they received was “know your industry.” And that is very good advice. But there is more to it than simply that. As such, we’ve put together this article on 5 tips for starting a new business.
New Business Tip #1: Address Fear of Failure
Fear of failure is the little voice in the back of your head that constantly asks, “What if I fail?” While it’s normal to be apprehensive when you’re trying to start a new business, thinking about failing will set you up for failure right out of the gate. Fear of failure will become a ball and chain that you will drag around behind you everywhere you go. And yes, it will be visible. People will be able to pick up on the fact that you aren’t just nervous—you’re really afraid you’re going to fail. And, already stuck in your head is your acceptance of that eventual failure.
Over time, that acceptance will become a self-fulfilling prophesy. To be real about it, the odds are actually stacked against you. Over half of new businesses fail within the first five years of opening. Apply fear of failure to that statistic and you’ve got a recipe for self-destruction. So, ridding yourself of that fear is essential to your future success.
New Business Tip #2: Address Fear of Success
Fear of success is an ugly distant relative of fear of failure. And the two really do go together like a hand and a glove. Here’s how it works: Success will change your life in ways you can’t begin to imagine here at your starting point. Fear of success keeps nagging at you with the question, “How is success going to change my life in ways for which I may not be prepared?” It is insidious, to say the least. As a result, it usually teams up with fear of failure to obliterate any chance of success.
Many of today’s most successful companies started out as tiny businesses. Take Amazon for example. Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world as of 2021, started Amazon in his garage. While he may not have dreamt of the kind of success and internet retail dominance he eventually built, he certainly didn’t run from it, either. He embraced it. And now he’s one of the first civilians to ever have reached space.
Speaking of which, we can’t forget Richard Branson, music mogul and now another billionaire to become one of the first civilians to ever have reached space.
Both Bezos and Branson have faced a number of ups and downs. But failure was never an option. Life changes due to success? Bring it on. That must be your mantra if you’re going to succeed in your new small business.
New Business Tip #3: Absorb Everything
As Forbes magazine points out in their article “10 Tips For Starting A Small Business That You Haven’t Heard A Thousand Times Already,” listen to what others have to say—friends, family, experts, even yourself. When you tell people about your startup, read their body language. Do they like the idea? Or, are they just being nice and really think you’re going in the wrong direction? Encourage your listeners to be honest with you. The collective opinion you get from peers could be a reflection of how consumers will react.
New Business Tip #4: Sell Solutions, Not Products
Your product or service may be packaged with a hot-looking logo and a catchy advertising slogan, but how will potential customers benefit from it? What problem(s) does it solve? And does it deliver on its promises? Your startup should fill a hole in a certain market or niche. And remember this: You’re not selling a drill. You’re selling the hole it makes.
New Business Tip #5: Develop a Budget
Once you start to develop your business idea, add up how much it will cost. You will need to factor in every business expense that will be necessary for you to launch and operate your new business. Some costs to keep in mind include rent, supplies, marketing, equipment and payroll.
Once you have a grasp on expenses, create a budget. At first, you might need to acquire funding to make ends meet until you get your first customers. The mistake many first-time business owners make is the assumption that new businesses can tap into investors who will risk their own money to get the startup off the ground. Quite to the contrary, it is exceedingly difficult to acquire investment capital in the startup stage because it’s often impossible to show what is known as “proof of concept.” Your better bet would be to see if family and friends can help you. Or, apply for a small business loan.
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