Many of my coaching clients tell me that all the fear and lack of confidence when starting a business boils down to one question – “How do I know if my business is going to succeed?”
The success of your business depends on a lot of factors, but you can do many things to increase your chance of building a highly profitable business. The first step is to do your homework. Research the business you want to start, check out the competition and develop a plan. The time you spend in the beginning will save you tons of costly mistakes. The worst thing is finding yourself wasting so much time and money in the wrong business or using the wrong strategies.
The key is being crystal clear about what you want. How much money do you want to make? What kind of lifestyle do you want to live? When you are clear exactly what you want, the “how” will get easier.
Here are a few important things you want to check to make sure your business will thrive.
1. Do the numbers
You can be really excited about your business idea and can’t wait to get started. I know exactly how you feel. But first you have to do the numbers. (Yes, numbers ladies!)
Many women skip this process because it can be boring and even stressful when you are not making enough money. But numbers are so essential and you won’t be able to make and grow money if you don’t pay attention to it. Believe me it gets more fun when you see more money start to come in!
Here are a few things you must consider:
- How much do you expect to sell? Is it realistic?
- What are the start-up costs and do you have funding?
- Do you have enough savings to pay the bills for at least 6 months before your business starts making money?
If you answer No to any of these questions, you have to go back and work on your numbers plan. During the start-up, it’s most likely that more money will go out than you think. Be prepared and be realistic. Cut your expenses to have enough money to pay the bills until you start getting steady cash flow from your business.
Don’t start a business if you have to borrow money from your family or friends, especially if it’s your first venture. You can start small and then invest in a bigger business when you start making money.
2. Test your ideas
Share your ideas and ask your friends and family if they’d buy from you. There is a big difference between “like” and “buy”, so be specific. If they are willing to pay for what you’re considering selling, ask how much it is worth to them. If you have entrepreneur friends, they can be great advisors or even mentors. Following in the footsteps of someone who has gone down the same path is the fastest shortcut to success.
You can also interview potential clients or the existing customers of your competitors and ask what they like about your competitor’s product and what they don’t. If you can solve their problem and frustration with the existing product and service, your business has a high probability of winning them over.
3. Invest in education
Running a business requires a completely different mindset. I was an employee for twelve years and I was totally lost when I quit my job and started my own business. Suddenly you have all the freedom to do anything you want, but you’re lost without guidance. I was so busy but not making money. I felt like a rat spinning in a wheel.
There are many books, programs, workshops and seminars to help you succeed in your business. Invest in education and never stop learning. It’s like getting a map when you’re driving. By having a road map for your business, you will save so much time, money and struggle trying to find the path yourself. Most importantly your business road map will keep you on track to accomplishing your dream.
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© 2013 Abundant Women Pte Ltd
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