Business starter tips
Business starter tips
By John Digby
Starting your own business can be one of the most satisfying things you can do. It can also be extremely challenging. Here are some tips for those looking to start their own business:
1. Understand why customers choose you over the competition
What niche advantage does your business have? Do you have a “monopolistic differentiator”: a unique selling point that cannot be copied? It is better to dominate a small market rather than have no control in a large market.
2. Tailor your offering to your target market
Create a profile of your typical customer by identifying their characteristics as precisely as possible.
3. Trial and error is how you learn
A popular strategy is to release a bare-bones product and make adjustments based on customer feedback. This ensures you do not invest in features or services that your customers do not want.
4. Find good support
A business consultant can offer you their experience and be an objective sounding board for your ideas.
5. Locate a good accountant and solicitor
To help you make sense of all technical matters.
6. Set up good record keeping and accounting systems
Keeping good records reduces stress at tax time and makes time for other activities.
7. Get your mindset right
You are creating a business to solve a problem. You are not creating a business to find a problem to solve.
8. It’s a relationship game
Invest early in improving your ability to lead and communicate. If you can get your relationships right, you can get your business right.
9. Have a clear and bold vision
Attract talented employees and loyal customers by having a clear and bold vision.
10. Take stock of the resources you have on hand
Know the amount of capital, assets, people, connections, etc you have at your disposal. It will improve your judgement when considering opportunities.
11. Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster
Constantly benchmark against competitors and look for upstarts.
12. Let competition inspire you to work harder
These days, competition does not attack you head on. It eats your growth opportunities over time until you become irrelevant.
There will always be more things to do than time to do them.
14. Goals should have time limits
Have a timeframe in which to achieve your investment objective. This forces you to make clear business plans and stick to them.
15. Never accept the status quo as the way things should be
Constantly consider how things could be improved and work to convert your ideas into reality. This is how entrepreneurs think.
16. Ensure you have the right personal qualities
A professional entrepreneur has the discipline to get out of bed early each morning without requiring the motivation of others. In the beginning you need to be prepared to work long hours and be on call at all hours.
17. Commit to growing the business
A true passion for the business will help you through difficult times.
18. Establish a strong online presence
If you are not online your business is not being seen. The more places you can be found online the more likely your bricks-and-mortar store will be found. Google is the new landlord who chooses who gets the prime real estate in the search results.
19. Make sure your website works
Links should not be broken and content should be up-to-date and relevant. You do not want to waste a visitor’s time.
20. Your business name says a lot about your business
Choose a memorable business name that oozes with your business’s desired image. In general, people prefer words they can relate to and understand.