Everything You Should Know Before Starting a Business

According to statistics 20% of businesses fail within the first 2 years, and the number increases with time. Some of the reasons for failure include insufficient capital, lack of demand, competition, and poor management. If you are planning to start a business, having the right knowledge of what to expect prepares you for the challenges and dynamics of the business world. This way, you get to plan adequately before setting up a business and avoid most of the mistakes that lead to failure. To help you start your entrepreneurial journey on the right foot, here are 5 essential things you need to know before starting a business.

Small business

1) Research Your Market

Market research is one of the most important things to do before starting a business. Ensure you have in-depth knowledge of the industry and niche you are getting into. No matter how unique you think your business idea is, you should always be wary of competitors as well as the risks your business is likely to face so you can plan accordingly. Look at what your competitors are doing and try to do it better than them to stay on top of the game.

Other than researching your competitors, you should also understand your target market and their needs. Make sure that there is a demand for the product or service you seek to provide for the sake of profitability of your business.

2) Have a Business Plan

Regardless of the size of your business, a business plan is a must. Before starting a business, design a business plan that details all the important aspects of your business ranging from your products or services to the marketing strategy, finances, and milestones. A business plan ensures that you stay focused and keeps you on the right track to achieving your business goals. Additionally, a business plan will come in handy if you have to seek funds from investors.

While a business plan guides you on the direction your business should take, it is important to be flexible. Be ready to make adjustments and adapt to changing trends to stay relevant and keep your business going even in tough times.

3) Figure Out How You’ll Finance the Business

Most new businesses fail due to financial issues such as inadequate funds and mismanagement of finances. Ensure that you have a plan on how you will finance your business until you can start making profits. If you have been saving up for it, the better. However, you may need to seek funds from friends and family, angel investors, or venture capitalists. If your financial needs are huge, a business loan from a bank or small business association will be your best option.

When mapping out your finances, be sure to include expenses such as equipment, legal fees, licenses, and operating expenses in your budget. If you can, opt to lease instead of buying, and partner with professionals instead of hiring to help you keep your expenses down. Since most businesses take time to break even, you need to set aside funds to live on before you start making profits

4) Understand the Legalities

Numerous laws govern businesses, and the legal structure of your business will determine what laws you have to follow.  When registering your business, you should have decided whether it is a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company, or a corporation. This will not only dictate legal obligations such as tax laws and licensing regulations that you will need to adhere to but also whether or not you can have employees.

If you are going to hire employees, an employment lawyer can help you understand employment laws that govern your relationship with your staff so you can avoid lawsuits. Since it can be impossible to have all the laws and regulations regarding your business on your fingertips, seeking legal advice from an experienced attorney is the best way to help you stay compliant.

5) Failure is Normal

Before starting a business, keep in mind that it is a marathon and you shouldn’t expect quick returns. Everything may not go as expected, and you may fail along the way. However, you should remember that failure is normal in business, and you shouldn’t quit just because your sales were low in the first week, or your marketing strategy didn’t work.

Instead, use these failures as learning opportunities to correct what went wrong and be better. This way, you avoid frustrations that come with starting and running a business from distracting you from your vision.  Whatever decision you take, always look at the bigger picture and think long-term instead of focusing on immediate returns.

As the business environment continues to change, you need all the information you can get s an aspiring business owner to help you make informed decisions. With the above tips, you can set out to begin your entrepreneurial journey from a point of knowledge.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.