Are you considering starting a business? I’ve been there, and I know what you need to look out for and how to make a plan! Today I’m sharing strategies I have learned along the way with 10 different things you must know about starting a business!
1. Don’t Start Your Business With Money as the Primary Goal
I know, I know. Seems counterintuitive. I mean, after all, isn’t the purpose of owning and running a business to make money?
Who doesn’t want to get rich blogging? But if money is the main reason you do what you do, then you will never have enough.
Let money be a result of your success (and your solid business plan), not your primary motivating factor.
“Make money, don’t let the money make you. Change the game, don’t let the game change you” -Macklemore
2. Ideas Mean Nothing without Action
“Wait. What? Ideas mean nothing? I thought the idea was everything?”
Clearly your idea is important. But your idea isn’t everything.
Nine times out of ten, an average idea, executed with excellence, will beat the heck out of a KILLER idea executed poorly. (Tweet this!)
The point is, execute like a boss.
3. Focus on the Pain
I’ve said this many times: people want you to ease their pain. When you are considering starting a business, start with the pain points in your target market and solve the problem.
If you are more focused on the problem your CUSTOMER has, than the idea that YOU have, your business will do well.
Connect the dots for your audience. Show them how your product or services solves the problem.
If you’re solving the right problem, you’ll know it because your readers will move from readers to subscribers to customers.
4. It’s All About Your People
It should probably go without saying, but your business is about people. Not just any people, but the specific group of people you hope to serve. Whether you are selling a product or services, you are selling to people. You have to be able to talk to people, walk in their shoes and understand them if you have a snowball’s chance of selling to them.
If you don’t understand your target market (your people), you will fail and fail hard.
5. Learn How to Fail
And speaking of failing and failing hard, you need to fail. Failure is how you learn best. Don’t be afraid to fail, because if you aren’t failing, then you aren’t taking risks. And if you aren’t taking risks, you will spend the majority of your business life stuck in mediocrity.
Don’t be afraid to fail, just fail fast. Don’t get stuck deciding if you should try something or not. (Tweet this!)
Learning to quickly solve problems can only serve to improve your business and entrepreneurial skills. A series of small fails that you can quickly learn from is better than one giant fail. Don’t spend 18 months and your life savings on manufacturing widgets that the market doesn’t actually want. That is a big fail. An ‘epic fail’ in internet speak. Test ideas early and often to ensure little, fast fails. You’ll win in the long run!
6. Test Everything
Prove your idea or concept before spending time on the product and before you start your business. Trust your gut, but verify.
Make sure you test that…
7. Communicate Clearly
The art of communicating is critical to master, and master early. Most people assume they are great communicators, but never actually find out if the other person understands what they are trying to say.
Face-to-face communication is always best, but in today’s world of telecommuting and online business relationships, a phone call is always a great way to communicate.
Here’s a great business tip: The most important thing to remember in the area of communication is to be careful with written words. It’s easy to miscommunicate via email because the emotional indicators are not there. Read your email out loud and if you think there is any way that your tone could be misunderstood, go back and edit.
8. Your Brand is Only as Good as You *Really* Are
First impressions matter. Your logo, your writing, your presence online all matter and you can’t scrimp on your visual strategy, but your character, who you really are, is the most important thing for you to protect. A lack of integrity will be your downfall. This is especially true online.
Social media is a perfect medium for us to let our guards down. Daily, I see vague pleas for sympathy, annoyed ranting or passive aggressive, and hurtful updates go public for people who really should know how to manage themselves, but the ease of social sharing takes the filters away. All I can think is, “Doesn’t that person have anyone who will tell them to chill out and behave themselves?” Everything you do matters.
Remember, even the most premium branding can’t hide a questionable character behind the scenes.
9. Most Advice is a Waste of Time
Yes, I, Alli Worthington, business coach, just said most advice is a waste of time. I’m telling you that because you MUST choose your advisors, your close friends and your mentors well.
Most advice is a waste of your time, because most people don’t take the time to really LISTEN to you or your business ideas. They have a standard one-size-fits-all approach to business, and they try to apply it to yours. Don’t be foolish enough to fall into this trap. If you’re going to let someone to teach you what you need to know, make sure you do your homework.
The same goes with what you read online. A lot of what you can find online is fluff. Great fluffy, filler content, filled with platitudes that sound great, but don’t pan out to change you in any conceivable way.
One of the reasons I write one long post full of so much information instead of short quick posts is because I want you to learn.
I’m not writing for the people who skim and won’t actually take action. Those people will never be A-players.
I could write ten short posts with the content from one article, but I want you to invest time and energy into learning and actually changing your life and your work.
10. Build a Dream Team
“A-Players Hire A-players, B-players Hire C-players.” – Steve Jobs
When it comes time to hire your support team, hire A-Players. But even before that, think about your support team.