Starting your own home-based business can be challenging, overwhelming, and — sometimes — very frightening. This is especially the case if it’s the first time you have ventured out on your own after spending years in both the safety and the confines of working for someone else.
But, as the motivational saying goes:
In order to assist you on your journey, here are some of the best tips to help you get your new business off on the right foot. While no amount of advice can ensure that a new business venture will be an automatic success, following these simple tips will hopefully help you stay on the right track.
BUSINESS STARTUP TIP #1: Start with What You Know
Make sure that you understand the ins and outs of the business you are about to start. It’s hard enough to start a new business, it’s almost impossible to start a new business that you know NOTHING about. There are already plenty of things that you will need to learn in order to successfully start, manage, and grow your business – the core product or service that you offer should not be one of those things.
BUSINESS STARTUP TIP #2: Start with What You Are Passionate About
When deciding what to focus your new business around, make sure it is something that you are interested in, and that you are passionate about. Don’t get sidetracked by shiny objects or massive revenue opportunities, most of which are hypothetical or just plain hype.
As Steve Jobs once said, the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you are only starting the business to chase the almightly dollar and don’t really care about the day-to-day work that you do, you are much more likely to fail, or to simply give up before you have a chance to succeed.
BUSINESS STARTUP TIP #3: Stay Focused
Many small business owners and entrepreneurs, especially those who are starting their very first business, are tempted to chase every opportunity that presents itself. As with any business, distractions and detours can create unnecessary diversions, often sidetracking your business and delaying your success. If you to catch every ball in the air, you will likely catch none of them. Focus, instead, on the key things that will help your business grow… one of those being providing exceptional products/services to your customers.
BUSINESS STARTUP TIP #4: Don’t Be Afraid To Make Mistakes
Expect a LOT of trial and error, especially in the first few years. Some of the things you try will work, others will not. Don’t spend too much time beating yourself up over the failures, as long as you learn from them and move on, they will bring you one step closer to eventual success.
If even the great Thomas Edison can admit to making a LOT of mistakes on his road to success, you can certainly allow yourself a handful.
BUSINESS STARTUP TIP #5: Charge What You Are Worth and Avoid Cheapskates
No matter what you are offering, whether it be a service or a product, if a potential client insists on trying to low-ball you or requests deep discounts in order to close the deal, walk away. As contradictory as it may seem, more often than not the deeper the discount that you offer, the more demanding the customer will become. For some reason, those clients who demand deep discounts never seem happy with the product or service they receive. Plus, by accepting these deep discounts, you downplay your worth including the time and effort you need to spend in order to fulfill what they’ve ordered.
I’m not saying you should never offer a discount or promotion – these can be very handy to drive business during slow times. But someone who demands 25 – 50% off or they’ll “go to your competition” will likely never be a valuable long-term customer.
BUSINESS STARTUP TIP #6: Know When To Seek Help
Far, far, far too many small business owners find themselves trying to be and do everything themselves. Nobody has the time to handle every single aspect of starting and running a business on their own. Nobody has the SKILLS to handle every aspect of starting and running a business on their own. Have you ever tried to design your own logo? If you have, chances are you’ve realized it was more difficult than you expected. Hopefully, you didn’t end up with one of the Worst Logos Ever, but even if you didn’t hit that particular benchmark… it’s probably not as good as it could be.
But, let’s be honest, that’s not the part of the business you ever intended to be good at.
You may be able to make do on your own for a little while, but – eventually – you’ll come across a particular need that you simply don’t have the time or the knowledge to tackle properly. If that project is the next thing standing in the way of your success, ask for help to get it done right.
Mentors, advisers, trusted friends can help you nurture your business by contributing what they know. Swap common interests with knowledgeable and successful individuals.
BUSINESS STARTUP TIP #7: Know When to Quit
Unfortunately, even the best business ideas started by the smartest people can fail. As the great Kenny Rogers would say (well, technically… he’d sign it):
You got to know when to hold ’em,
Know when to fold ’em,
Know when to walk away,
And know when to run.
At some point, you may have to come to the realization that your business simply is NOT going to work, and you cannot continue pouring more time and energy down the black hole that once was your dream.
BUT – once you’ve determined what that breaking point is, the absolute point of no return when you have not choice but to quit… stick with it. Quit when you must, but not a moment earlier.