Starting your own business can be scary. We know, we’ve been there.
And we’ve helped many other first-time business owners become successful entrepreneurs too. So if you’re thinking about starting your own business, our 3 part startup survival guide series will help you take the first steps toward becoming your own boss. Part 1 will focus on tips to creating a plan for your business.
Do Your Homework
The first step in launching a startup is to ask questions like these:
- Is there a market for the products and services you want to sell, and is this the best time to enter that market?
- Who are your competitors and what are their strengths and weaknesses?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Who are your target customers and how will you reach them?
The answers to these types of questions will help in determining your unique selling point and the best way to move forward. It will also help you better understand what you’re getting in to before your livelihood depends on it.
Set Goals & Priorities
Being able to set a goal and achieve it sounds easy enough, but many people set themselves up for failure by aiming too big or too broad. If you’re having trouble following through on your goals, try aiming for things that are specific and measurable. Then you can break down each objective into a list of actions and corresponding timelines. This list will keep you on track and make even the toughest endeavor easier to manage.
Another common experience many people encounter is feeling overwhelmed by the vast number of tasks you need to complete. If you aim to achieve too much at once, you’ll probably end up dissatisfied with the results and frustrated with your progress.
Just as learning to set goals and achieve them is an important habit to develop, so too is learning to focus your efforts on the priorities. When you start to feel overwhelmed, try narrowing down your top priorities to something that is manageable for you. Complete those tasks before moving on to the next set, and before you know it you’ll be regularly crossing items off your to-do list.
Write a Startup Business Plan
Many small- to medium-sized startups skip the creation of a business plan, but most experts recommend it as important. Creating a business plan will give you a better sense of what you’re working towards. This blueprint will guide you through the opening of your business and its continued growth in both the short- and long-term. It might even help you attract investors.
So compile all of your research and your goals into a single, concise document. Focus on the things that matter most, such as a brief description of your business, data about your potential customer base, a description of your ideal client, initial operating budgets, assignments of roles and responsibilities, and anything else that will be integral to your business.
Keep in mind that this document can be a work in progress; don’t be afraid to revise it as needed. If something isn’t working, the sooner you learn and adapt to new information or changing circumstances, the better off you’ll be.