If you have an idea for a small business, it can be difficult to get off the ground, hatching a plan and executing it from start to finish. There are many intermediate steps between the moment inspiration first strikes and the point where you can actually begin marketing your business.
You should only decide to start your own business if you’re absolutely positive it’s what you want. Entrepreneurship is a very long and arduous ordeal, and if you have any doubts at all about your commitment to your idea, it might be best to hold off on making any bold moves.
But if you are absolutely certain that entrepreneurship is the career path with you, there are many pieces of advice to keep in mind. Here are a select few.
Fix tangible problems in the world
The best small business ideas come from innovative people who fix real problems that they encounter in their daily lives. Say you’ve always wanted a better way to make your morning coffee, or an efficient storage system for your music. If you have an idea for a product that would make your life better, chances are that millions of others out there would like your idea too. By introducing products that would improve your everyday life, you’ll likely find an audience of like-minded consumers.
Be driven to succeed
Anyone can think of a small business idea, but very few people have the dedication and drive to follow through on that idea and turn it into a finish product. It takes perseverance to overcome any obstacles that may deter you.
“Perhaps the greatest factor that determines whether or not an entrepreneur will be successful isn’t the business idea itself, but rather the entrepreneur’s willingness to try (and keep trying) to turn the idea into reality,” Samer Kurdi, chairman of the Entrepreneurs Organization, told The Wall Street Journal. “Great ideas are abundant, but it’s what we decide to do with them that counts.”
If you have trouble with hiring new employees or attracting your first customers, you will need to be mentally tough to overcome those difficulties. Make sure you have what it takes.
Consider feedback from others
Sometimes your most valuable asset is the feedback of others. When you first get started with a new small business idea, reach out to people who have been there before. You might have friends or family members with experience in your prospective field, or you might have business connections from a previous job who can help give you direction. If you don’t know anyone who can offer advice, then be proactive and seek it out – social media is a great resource, as sites like LinkedIn are frequented by people who have business wisdom to impart. Entrepreneurship is difficult, but there’s no need to go it alone.
Be willing to adapt and grow
If your small business idea begins to gain traction and earn a little bit of revenue, you might be ready to expand by adding more employees and broadening your operations. You also may find that over time, your business evolves. The market might change in a way you didn’t expect, or employees might present new ideas that change the way you see your enterprise. Be willing to embrace change.
“Many of the most successful companies exist in a form that is entirely different from how they were first envisioned,” Kevin Colleran, a venture partner at General Catalyst Partners, told the Wall Street Journal. “A successful entrepreneur will realize when a company is moving in the wrong direction or is missing a much larger opportunity.”
Hire innovative people
Mashable explains that if you do decide to expand by adding more employees, you want to hire innovative people who will present new ideas and encourage you to grow your company and expand its influence. You want employees who are ambitious, not complacent, and thoughtful, not intellectually lazy. Don’t write someone off if they appear too rebellious – it’s possible that someone who goes against conventional thinking is exactly the kind of ally you want, especially in the beginning when growth is key.
Encourage creative thinking
Once you have more employees in the fold contributing to your small business, you want to encourage innovative ideas. Try holding weekly brainstorm sessions where employees can offer up ideas to improve the company. You should lead by example, offering your own expertise as the leader of your own enterprise, but it should also be a merit-based system where your best employees have a chance to let their voices be heard.
If you have an idea for a small business, the decision to carry out your plan and create a full-fledged company should not be taken lightly. It’s a massive undertaking, one that requires dedication and hard work. In the end, however, the results are rewarding. Have you gotten a small business off the ground before? If so, what was the key to your success?
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