I’ll let you in on a secret. There will never be a ‘perfect’ time to start your business. The likelihood is that you’ll never feel 100% ready to take the first step. Even the best-laid plans can go awry and life is too short to waste it worrying about what might or might not happen. That’s why the best time to start your business is now. Starting your business doesn’t have to mean signing a lease tomorrow or spending all of your savings on your first stock order. It just means taking the first step, then the next and so on. Read on for a bite size guide on how to start a business.
1) Do Your Research
The first step of how to start a business is to do as much research as possible. It’s wise to learn from others’ experiences, mistakes and successes before you get out there and start making your own. Google is always a great way to begin. There are blogs and online forums for most industries, which answer a lot of FAQs to give you a realistic idea of established best practices, hazards to avoid and resources which might help you to prepare for your launch.
2) Write Out A Plan
Once you’ve researched what you can, it’s time to make a plan of action. A business plan can be in whichever format suits you, it doesn’t have to be particularly formal or laid out in a specific way. To know how to start your business you just need clear, written steps of what you need to do to get you from where you are to where you want to be.
Note things like the resources you’ll need to get, i.e. how much money, any products, perhaps a website, permits or insurance. If you aren’t sure of exactly how to complete each step, this is the time to go back to your research. Sometimes it’s as simple as Google searching ‘How to…’ or it’s likely there’s already a book on how to complete the task. You might be able to contact a consultant in the field who can guide you through the process and sometimes good old-fashioned asking around is a huge help. You’d be surprised at how many people are willing to help someone who asks nicely.
3) Set Yourself Deadlines
A key factor in how to start a business, and not just dream of one, is to include deadlines to keep you on target. Assess how long each step of your business plan should take you and give yourself a reasonable amount of time to get it done. This will help you to keep the ball rolling and having a completion date will keep you motivated to reach each goal. If you don’t reach a deadline – that’s okay. As long as you’ve tried your best. Just be sure to make a note of why you missed it – perhaps there was an unforeseen obstacle or it turns out your goals just weren’t realistic for that step. Evaluate what went wrong so that you can use this experience to excel the next time. The same goes for if you complete a task early, note down what helped so that you can repeat your success!
4) Hold Yourself Accountable
When it comes to how to start a business, accountability really helps for keeping your momentum up. Find someone you trust and tell them what you’re working on. You don’t even need to give specific details but try to give them an idea of timings and if you can, ask them to check in with you so that you have someone else holding you accountable. Next time you meet for a coffee, update them on your progress. Sometimes just saying it out loud will help you to realize if you’re actually progressing as you’d planned.
Now that you have all of the tools on how to start a business, it’s time to go for it! The truth is that there are some things which you just can’t foresee on paper and nothing grows a business like experience so it’s best just to get out there and get started. After all, as a great man once said, “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
Guest Article Written by Jade Fraser
Owner, Massimo Media Marketing Consultancy