Have you developed a product or service that meets a market need? Have you determined how to introduce this product or service to the market, develop it and sell at a price that would allow your company to be profitable? Starting your own business is an enormous undertaking, filled with endless hours of hard work, lots of bumpy roads and re-starts, but can also be one of the most rewarding things you’ve ever undertaken. Starting a business is a marathon, not a sprint. It may just feel like your sprinting every day. You need to be in top mental and physical shape to meet the demands of a start-up business; you’ll be wearing the hats of president, chief of operations, head of production and VP of sales. Finally, take the time to develop a well thought out business plan.
A business plan is literally your blue print for success. Whether you’re self-funding, seeking venture capital or a bank loan, the most fundamental step of starting a business is having a plan. Without a plan, there is no direction and little chance of success.
Define the costs of production and delivery for your product or service. Conduct market research to determine maximum pricing that the market can bear. Lay out a clear marketing plan for introducing and branding your product or service to the market place. Be specific in your outlines. One of the biggest mistakes small businesses make is being under capitalized because they did not correctly determine the length of time to bring a product to market, costs of development and delivery and cash flow requirements. Don’t make this novice error with your business venture. I remember doing market research on what is now my best laser engraver for my cnc shop and found help and some much needed capital to get the business going from long time friends.
Finally, know what you’re good at and what components of running the business need to be handed over to the experts. Just because you’re an excellent engineer or sales person doesn’t mean you can be both. The success of your business is contingent upon your ability to delegate and employ or contract with those that have the skill set that your business needs but you lack. Best of luck with your new venture!