As a woman who’s owned nearly a hundred businesses in my career, I know a thing or two about starting them and putting them on the path for success.
Almost everyone has an idea for a new business or enjoys thinking about what it would be like to start their own. Succeeding with a new business, however, takes more than just the initial idea or even ambition. While a lot certainly goes into both starting a business and seeing it succeed, that first step is crucial. Here’s how to make sure you take one in the right direction.
Contrary to what many people believe, success with a new business doesn’t begin with thinking about that perfect product or service. Rather, it starts with considering that primary problem or need. Entrepreneurs have failed countless times because they invented that perfect product or service that no one actually needed. You’ll be much better off if you begin by considering problems people regularly face and then solving them with something you can sell.
As much as possible, test this idea before going all in. While there are no guarantees, if you can’t sell your product to three people, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to market it to 300.
Usually, people take their business’ first steps with others. This can mean investors, business partners or just friends and family. No matter who those people are, it’s important they share your values and goals. Too many businesses have been doomed from the start because those involved were naysayers. Instead, be sure the team you’ve established are positive-minded people who all believe in your company just as much as you do. This is important for many reasons, not the least of which is because the early days of a company can be especially tough, and you’ll want people who will support you.
Every new business starts with a plan. For many, it means certain milestones they hope to hit, how they’ll hit them, and the deadline for doing so. Successful businesses, though, involve plans that consider how much it will cost to hit each milestone and how to pay for them. No matter how much success you achieve at first, your new business won’t get very far if you wind up in debt. In fact, debt is a great way to bring your dream to a close early on.
The road to success is certainly a long one for any business, but that doesn’t mean it has to be full of challenges. Start out on the right foot and you’ll ensure yourself a much easier trip on your path to success.