How to start a business

Are you curious about achieving business success? Whether you’re just out of school or leaving a job to start your venture, you’ll want a map to go from start – to success. These 5 tips will help you manage the groundwork and build a solid foundation.

Get Familiar with the Landscape

In business, it’s very helpful to get familiar with the landscape. The landscape includes your business skills, competitors, and larger trends.

If you’re starting your very first business, familiarize yourself with the basics of running a business. You may find answers by reading business guides, watching videos, and taking online courses. These help build your confidence and skills.

In addition, get involved in understanding the business landscape in your community. What other businesses are in your industry or location?

Who else is seeking to attract your potential customers? What are their strengths and weaknesses? If you look closely, you’ll find that every business is strong in some areas, but not as strong in others. 

For instance, one restaurant may have a loyal following of locals, but not offer discounts to travelers, businesses, and larger establishments such as hospitals. Tip: Ask the question: “What can you offer that is different, better, or unique?”

Build Your Team

With a solid idea and a clear business plan, you’ll have an easier time communicating the power and value of your new start-up.

This can help you attract funding from investors and partners. It will also make it easier to add key people to your team.

When you’re looking at building your team, start with yourself. Evaluate your key strengths – and your key weaknesses.

This is a way to be honest and upfront about what you don’t know, so you can find team members to complement your skills.

For example, if you are great with people but clueless about technology, hire a person who is brilliant with technology issues.

If you’re a wizard with numbers, hire a team member to handle customer relations. It’s a good idea to use your strengths and weaknesses to build your team. Hire people who will strengthen the entire team.

Understand Your Expenses

When you’re starting, it helps to start with the end in mind. You may have visions of growing an empire that involves shipping products from one end of the world to your location.

To be smart, do a review of your shipping costs, potential vendors, and the size of packages. 

Big companies do this to reduce shipping costs and claim credits. A big manufacturer will call in outside experts to conduct a FedEx or UPS audit. In the process, they often discover errors that can account for 1-9% of expenses. 

Even if you’re just starting, examine your system for shipping packages. A shipping audit is a smart way to save money, get refunds, and cut costs.

One thing that can help you succeed is to start with the end in mind and build a system that can grow as your business grows.

Reduce Your Stress Levels

While many of the business skills are ones you can learn in a business school, guide, or training, other skills are more personal. Among the most important for new business owners and entrepreneurs is stress management.

It can be lonely and stressful to run your own business. No one else will truly understand the pressures you’re facing.

Since you are starting your own business to achieve independence and freedom, the last thing you want is to have stress ruin your health.

Building time to take care of your body, mental health, nutrition, and sleep is a smart idea. Practice stress management from Day One. Make time to take care of your health now, so you can achieve all your business goals in the future.

Focus On What Works

While you’re starting in business, you’ll encounter situations you never imagined. Some things will go easily and smoothly. Other things will pose challenges and hurdles.

How can you manage the unknown challenges like a pro? Focus on what works. Here are a few examples:

  • Focus on your creativity and ideas. The more you use your creativity, the more you get.
  • Focus on what works in your business. 
  • Focus on what works to benefit your community and your team.
  • Focus on what works about your unique opportunity.

Remember — success starts today, as you focus on what works. You’re starting your own business to gain independence and serve your community.

With these tips and your passionate commitment, you’re on the track for success.

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