Rights & Money

5 Tips for Starting Your Own Business

Here’s what you need to know to succeed as the next Steve Jobs

By Katrina Caruso

The thought of starting a business can be intimidating, but if you have a good idea that won’t be ignored, the prospect can be irresistible. However, for every huge success, there are a lot of failures. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, one-third of new businesses with employees don’t survive their first two years in the United States. According to Forbes, nine of out 10 startups fail.

It’s vital, therefore, to be as ready as possible when you set out to become the next Steve Jobs. Here are a few tips to get you started.

1. Do your research
Study the existing market and figure out if the product or service you want to monetize is actually needed. Is there a gap in the market? Can you offer something that’s not currently out there? You need to know who your target clients are—and who your competition is. Here are more questions to help you out.

2. Organize your finances
A CB Insights survey of company post-mortems showed that 29% of companies failed because they ran out of money. How you will be financing the business? Will it be bank loans, angel investors, grants, crowdfunding?

3. Tease out the details
What’s your business name? Where will your offices be located? How will accounting be done? These are all key questions that you’ll need to answer in order to get the ball rolling, but there are many other considerations, such as:
– Web and social media presence
– Applicable permits and licences
– How many employees or contractors you’ll need to hire

4. Build a strong team
A huge part of your business’ success will depend on the people you hire. People who want to support your goal will be the ones to help get you where you need to be. You’ll need to hire people who are willing to get their hands dirty, put in long hours, and wear a lot of hats…which leads us to the last point.

5. Be prepared to make changes as necessary
You’ll need to be able to see the writing on the wall when things need to change. That might mean anything from shaking up job titles and responsibilities to redefining your target audience. Notice what’s working, and what’s not, and adjust accordingly. Being too rigid will only hurt the business.

Photo: iStock/vgajic.