Starting a new endeavor can be a daunting task. Fortunately, there are others who have already run through the gambit of obstacles and have learned what works and what doesn’t. One of these is Jose Duarte, a long-time and successful entrepreneur from Costa Rica, and he provides 14 tips that every entrepreneur just starting out can incorporate into their launch preparations.
To get started, know yourself – understand how much energy you’re willing to commit, how much you can risk and how far you’re willing to go to find success. Make sure that your business plans fall in line with your personal, as well as your family, goals and resources.
Make sure you choose the business that’s right for you. Find a need and fill it – this is one of the oldest formulas for starting a new business. Explains Duarte, “The key to achieving success is finding needs that can be filled, and which can be filled by you. This will allow you to get started producing the income to create a profitable enterprise.”
In hand with choosing the right business, you have to make sure that the need you want to fill has a market. Many entrepreneurs start out assuming that there is a market because the entrepreneur likes the product or service. Do the research, talk to consumers (not just friends and family) and make sure you ascertain what’s possible and what isn’t.
Make a plan for success. Once you have determined your target and your market, lay out a business plan based on that information. You will have to alter this plan as you move forward – as new data is uncovered – but this gives you an idea of the direction in which you are headed.
Don’t waste time. “In many cases,” states Duarte, “the entrepreneur waits too long. He or she wants to make sure that every last detail is covered before moving forward. This isn’t possible, nor is it necessary. No one ever knows all the details before they get started, but are ready – and willing – to make changes as the business takes shape.”
It helps to start on a small scale and grow from there. Most of the successful businesspeople have followed this system, taking controlled risks toward expansion. Test on a small scale and build and tweak based on what works.
Mistakes are going to happen. Don’t let them get you down or overly frustrated. Accept them, learn from them and move on.
Use your circle of connections to increase your knowledge. Seek out mentors, join groups that contain people that think like you and learn as much as possible about the industry. Those that have already been down the road are the best source of data.
What you do is a business and needs to be thought of it as such since the beginning. Keep track of finances meticulously, keep business funds separate from personal money and make sure you have a solid handle on what regulations apply to your operations.
Become acquainted with financial specialists. In the event that the business you are beginning will require financial specialists to develop, do what you can to discover what specialists are searching for and where to discover the individuals who may put resources into your sort of business.
Make yourself known. Says Duarte, “In many instances, people prefer to do business with those with whom they are already acquainted. Try to expand your circle ahead of time as much as possible in order to hit the ground running.”
Marketing is always a key component to a business’s success – to say there isn’t money in the budget to market a product or service is to say that you want the business to fail. In today’s market, digital marketing is the best resource and the endeavor must have a professional-looking website, professional email contact and a regular presence on social media.
As consumers change, so do the markets. Entrepreneurs have to continuously educate themselves, learn and try new things and be ready to adapt. Always look at the business from the consumer’s perspective.
Lastly, stay focused, but flexible. As the business begins to achieve success, it still needs to be massaged as if it were brand new. Don’t become complacent, expecting that any initial growth will be repeated automatically – a business requires constant attention to become successful.