You’ve had the idea to start your own business for a while now. Well, forget whatever’s been holding you back and just get it done already! I won’t tell you that starting a business from scratch is easy – anything but – however, I’ve done it several times and here are some tips that should help get you up and running in 2020.
- Run with the idea
Now that you’ve come up with the world’s next “big idea,” whether it’s a new app, themed restaurant or business solution, your next move is to implement it. Create a business plan and get going. The only bad ideas are the ones not acted upon
- Hire a dynamic team
If you go it alone, you’re called a “solopreneur.” But, that will only work for the most dedicated and ambidextrous business folks – like those who have mastered both sales and accounting (a rare breed). If you’re like most entrepreneurs however, you will need support to help you along the way. Some will hire friends and family, and that’s ok, as long as they have the skill sets you to need (see above: accounting and sales). However, you will likely need to bring some strangers on board. In my mind, the “stranger” the better! Hiring people who are different from you, who have new ideas to share and can offer different, sometimes better, approaches is often the key to a successful partnership.
- Find a mentor
It may be hard to admit at first, but you don’t have all the answers. In addition to hiring a great team, it’s important to have someone to turn to who does not have a stake in the company, and who can give you honest advice. Mentorship is one of the most important, yet oft-ignored tools for entrepreneurs. Find one person to whom you can turn for insight or who can help establish business connections, and who will tell you whether your idea is worth its salt. This might be a family member, close friend, business associate, or even a former boss. The most important attribute of this person will not be his or her vast knowledge of the business world, rather, it should be that you find the person to be both intelligent and trustworthy.
- Disregard Discouragement
Starting a business can be a scary endeavor. It’s even more frightening when someone comes along and says your idea stinks! It is important to learn how to brush off such comments. Not everyone will agree with you and it’s not the end of the world. You are the one creating this new business, so at the end of the day, it is up to you to bring it to life.
- Establish an Online Presence
Nearly a quarter of the world’s population (over two billion people) now use the Internet to buy things, according to online research firm Oberlo. In 2020, it is critical to have a solid, searchable online presence for yourself and your company or product. This means having a traditional e-commerce website, excellent Google ranking, and a strong presence within the social media channels that your intended audience uses. For example, Baby Boomers are mostly active on Facebook, Millennials primarily spend time on Instagram, and Generation Z is currently very active on TikTok, but be aware, this generation can move quickly onto the next hot thing!) If you don’t know how to set up an eCommerce site and how to engage with your potential consumers on social media, find and hire someone who can!
- Consider Worst-Case Scenarios
While I’m sure you think you’ve thought of everything by now (wink-wink), it is important before you dive into your new venture to consider all the ways it can possibly go wrong and establish your plan B (or C, or D). The worst thing you can do is start a new business and not have a back-up plan for a number of possible scenarios – your product doesn’t work the way it should; your customer base is not interested in your service; a global recession hits the day you go live, etc. While these major issues might not come up, it is important to draw up these “what if” scenarios so you can weather any storm. This exercise will inevitably help you deal with the “little” or big issues that come up in any business.
You’re going to love being your own boss. Now, get to work!
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