There are no shortcuts when it comes to starting your own business. Launching and operating a new business is all about putting in the time, taking one step further each day than the day before, and above all, being open to learning from everything around you, including your customers. If you are ready to take the entrepreneurial leap, here are seven quick tips for you to consider.
1. Inquire within – It’s passion that builds companies, not just ideas. If you don't have the same feeling about your aspiring venture as you had the first time you fell in love, then consider waiting for the right one.
2. Get to know your customers - Companies serve people. Do you know your customers' needs inside and out? Are you familiar with their pain points? Make learning about your prospective customers your top priority before taking the jump. Let your future customers "co-create" your enterprise. They'll likely be the first ones waiting when you open your doors.
3. Know your market - Do you understand the lay of the land in which you will operate your business? What is your unique advantage? What's your "voice"? If there are other companies offering a similar service in your field, study them closely. Figure out what they are doing right and what you can do better.
4. Hire a great attorney - Nothing substitutes the value of a good legal adviser when launching a business. More important than just about any other team addition, a good attorney will provide the best business education you'll ever get.
5. If you need to hire, hire great - A well rounded, passionate team can overcome just about everything. There is nothing more fun than working with a group of passionate, smart people towards a common goal.
6. Find a bank that loves you - Maybe an old school notion, but there is hardly a more critical relationship in the early days of a business than with one's bank. Don't go for the best-known one, go for the one that loves getting your business. Their support in the early days of your company will go a long way, whether it's with a small credit line, better borrowing terms, etc.
7. Your local government can help - Depending on your business, you will be amazed at how many underused resources exist for new start-ups that are offered by local, city or federal governments. Co-working space, grants, networking events, great introductions - they are often up for grabs.
Make sure to consider these tips if you’re thinking of taking the plunge in starting your own business. You may not think of some of these initially, but they can be a great asset as you’re building your business.