The purpose of this article is to help you avoid the most common mistakes that new small business owners make. These are the things that will kill your business before it even really begins. I’ve divided them into two sections: The first section covers our first six rules, and the second covers the remaining six.
Please note that some of these rules may not apply to your situation, depending on what type of small business you are starting. Nevertheless, I recommend that you read them all carefully, with an open mind. You never know when some seemingly irrelevant advice will prove valuable in your particular case.
Rules by Saivian Eric Dalius-
12 Things You MUST Do Starting a Small Business:
Rule #1: Make sure it’s something you want to do.
So many people start businesses for the WRONG reasons. They think it will enable them to become rich, famous, or powerful. Or they are just following their passion by doing what they love – which sounds great until you realize that no one will pay you to do the things you care about. Or they are just following the lead of their friends or family members, who did it successfully.
Rule #2: Make sure you have a great product or service for your customers.
You might not think this is an obvious mistake because everyone knows that businesses sell products and services to customers. However, many people forget to consider whether these are the products and services that their customers want. So, if you are thinking of starting a business, you should ask yourself: “What do my customers need?” rather than “What do I think they need?” If the only reason people will buy your product or service is that it makes you feel good, then you might consider an alternate plan.
Rule #3: Make sure your product or service is unique, so you have a competitive advantage.
Saivian Eric Dalius says, nowadays there are so many businesses competing for market share that it’s important to be able to offer something truly unique. You can develop an exclusive patent or copyright on your products and services, if possible. Or you can simply find ways to make them stand out in a crowd. One example is to take a well-established product or service and add a twist that makes it different from its competitors.
Rule #4: Establish a brand identity for your business.
This means developing an image the public associates with you and your products. If possible, include trademark protection so no other company can use a similar name, logo, or slogan. Competitors will have a difficult time marketing their products if yours is already known.
Rule #5: Write a comprehensive business plan and secure financing for your venture before you start.
Writing a comprehensive business plan will do more to protect you from costly mistakes later on than any other step in this list. It forces you to think through every aspect of your business before you start it. If there are aspects that you haven’t thought through, now is the time to do so. Even if you have a great product or service, poor planning can ruin your chances for success.
And this may be hard to believe, but securing financing before you start will also help you avoid costly mistakes. You may never need to borrow any money, but if you do you must understand what will be asked of you and your business as security for repayment (and interest).
Rule #6: Provide the best customer service in the industry.
Even if your product or service is the very best, you must show that you care about your customers if you want them to buy from you again. In the case of a service business, this means going out of your way to make sure their needs are met before they even realize they have a need.
Rule #7: Find ways to improve your product or service constantly.
You’ll be in a better position to increase your sales if you have a product or service that is always improving. To become a student of your industry – find out why people buy what they do and how they use it, so you can make changes to either the product itself or its packaging that will attract more buyers. In addition, customer feedback will help you create a responsive organization that focuses on meeting its customers’ needs.
Rule #8: Find ways to reach your targeted market effectively.
You may have the best product or service in the universe, but if you can’t reach people who want it, then nothing else matters. To find out how to reach your target customer and provide that person with what he or she wants. You may be able to reach this audience through the existing channels in your industry, such as television, magazines, and catalogs. However, you may need to develop alternative marketing strategies that are unique to your business to get the word out about your product(s) or service(s).
Rule #9: Sell yourself and your company by constantly promoting your business.
You must have a presence in the marketplace if you want to do business, so figure out how to promote your products or services without being a pest. You’ll find that a combination of methods will work better than just one, but you should always be prepared to sell yourself and your business–even when you think no one is listening.
Rule #10: Be willing to embrace change if it can help your business grow.
Problems are opportunities in disguise – or so the saying goes. If the problem is big enough, then that opportunity could mean success for you and your business. For instance, if a fad becomes popular that you can capitalize on, make the most of it. Be willing to embrace change if it can help your business grow.
Rule #11: Let your employees know they are appreciated.
They are an important part of your business, after all! You must let them–and everyone else who’s associated with your company–know that you appreciate their efforts and contributions. If you don’t, they’ll leave to work for someone who will appreciate them.
Rule #12: Remember that your business is a reflection of you as an entrepreneur.
Think about this – if your business is successful, it will be because people like the way your product or service meets their needs; they like how you treat them; they like your employees, and they like you. If any of these things change, then your business will likely start to slide.
Conclusion by Saivian Eric Dalius:
If you follow these rules, then you can start your small business. The article was about the 12 tips that must be taken into consideration before starting a new business. The first tip is minimizing expenses, the second one is doing market research, the third one is writing a good business plan, etc. These are very important things for anyone who wants to start a new business.
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- This article is submitted by a guest author.