Start off Smart

When people consider starting a business they typically do one of two things: look at what other people are doing and copy them or come up with a “nifty” idea/concept/product they think will be super successful. Either can be a successful business, and your success isn’t just determined by how you start the business, but much of your success does depend on this second decision you’re making in your business venture (the first decision being to start a business, of course). Starting a business is a lesson in many things, including many things about yourself and the people in your life. Let’s take a look at a few of these lessons today.

First, believe in what you’re starting. If you don’t believe that the idea that you’ve based your business on really works you won’t be able to sell it or endure through the challenges that you will face as you develop and grow your business.

Second, do the research. Whether you do the research yourself or you hire it out, make sure to check that it’s a viable idea and people not only think they might buy it, but there’s actually a need for it and it’s something that buyers are open to buying right now (in the middle of and directly following a natural disaster people aren’t looking to buy vacation houses, they’re looking for basic supplies and repair services, so don’t try to sell vacation houses).

Third, learn from other businesses. You aren’t the first person to start a business, so don’t try to go it alone. If you don’t have a lot of money there are lots of free articles and videos online as well as lots of free or inexpensive courses you can take, not to mention the loads of free resources in your local community and at your local library (you can also join Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited for $10 per month). Other businesses have been through it before so take a look at what is working for them and what isn’t, which may lead to some things you can try differently than they’re doing and carve out your own corner of the market.

Finally, be yourself. I don’t recommend just copying someone else, their ideas, while amazing, may not be right for you, your business or your customers. You should be creating a unique business that speaks to your brand of customers. Working to steal customers from another business with the exact same products and business model won’t be easy or get you very far, especially if they’ve done a lot of work on creating brand loyalty.

What lessons do you have for people thinking of starting a new business?

“There will never be another Frank Sinatra. I never wanted to be another Frank Sinatra. I only wanted to be another Michael Buble.” Michael Buble


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