1. Make sure you are passionate about what you do.
Starting and running a business is tough. However, you’re more likely to succeed if you love what you do or why you’re doing it.
Building a business in an area that you’re passionate about is the best decision to make, according to Jay Arcata of BX3, a firm that helps startups. “You’ll find more fulfillment and experience happiness in the long term.”
2. Test your concept and idea
Testing your idea before you invest in it will help you make a decision before you spend a lot of time and money on something that may not work.
Shaun Price, the head of customer acquisition at MitoQ, suggests talking to your network to find out if your product or idea might be viable before you go too far.
He says that “This small-scale test of your idea will also help you iron out any kinks in your business plan before taking it to the next level with potential partners.”
3. Attend Startup Program
One of the best ways to build your business is to leverage startup programs. Talk to a business development representative–they’ll be able to help you find the right program for your company and connect you with the necessary resources.
SCORE is a network of retired volunteer business mentors. These amazing individuals provide free guidance to startup businesses, and their connections and years of experience help founders grow their company more quickly. SBA-funded Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) give locals access to low-cost training and no-cost consulting programs.
4. Plan things out!
Planning your small business is a key element of starting up. It forces you to think about your concept, and how you will structure, operate, fund, and sustain the venture. A business plan is an essential part of that process.
Successful entrepreneurs realize how important it is to study their industry inside and out before building their business from the ground up. Kevin Miller, co-founder and CEO of digital marketing agency GR0, says this best: “The majority of successful business owners we witness have studied their competition and the need for their product or service in the industry thoroughly to build out their plan.”
5. Set goals
You can’t know if you’ve succeeded if you don’t define success. Setting goals is an important step that will help guide the way you spend your time.
“If you work diligently to chart your path and stay focused on the things that have a clear connection to your purpose, it becomes easier to turn down other options. And then focus becomes a habit,” says Carlos Castelán, founder of The Navio Group, a retail management consulting firm.
6. Find Support
“Be sure to surround yourself with people who are like-minded!” says Jake Jorgovan, founder and CEO of Lead Cookie.
He always relies on a small network of entrepreneurs and friends for feedback, constructive criticism, and brainstorming sessions. “A support network of fellow entrepreneurs gives me more encouragement than anything else.” He adds.
Startup success is hard, but following the advice of these entrepreneurs and others like them will at least move you in the right direction.
7. Be responsive
React quickly to changing conditions, new information, or unanticipated problems. Focusing on a business model or approach will make it difficult to pivot as your market or industry changes.
Eropa Stein, the founder and CEO of Hyre, a shift employee scheduling software company, had to pivot quickly to survive during COVID-19. Sales were down when the brand’s core customers—hotels, catering companies, and event venues—were forced to shut down. But by targeting a new market – namely, companies managing frontline staff schedules – Hyre was able to stay afloat.