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It takes a combination of many things to start a successful business. While many factors are common to all businesses, some are unique to each industry.
Faced with so many unknowns, how do you know where to start and how do you know what to do to grow the unique aspects of your business?
Start at the beginning by getting clear on your own motivation for launching your business. And next, examine your knowledge, skills, and ability to see what you need to know; then, create the basic structure of your business.
And finally, shape your business according to the best practices of the industry. Let’s take a closer look at each of these four stages:
#1]. Getting clear on your own motivations
Getting clear on your own motivations for launching a particular business.
In order to start your own business, you need to be passionate about it, because, without sufficient passion, you won’t be able to overcome the many obstacles that will arise because you’re new to the business. As an example, let’s assume that you’re interested in opening up a spa.
Instead of simply deciding to do this because a friend you met at your college reunion has built a flourishing spa business, you need to ask yourself some deep questions. Simply getting enthused by an example of success is not enough for you to do as well. Imagine that you’ve been to a few spas, enjoyed the experience, and intuitively feel that this is something that you could do well, how do you test the depth of your interest? One obvious way is to talk to spa owners, tell them that you’re thinking of opening up a spa in your neck of the woods and ask them for any advice based on their experience.
You may also want to talk to spa suppliers like Living Earth Crafts, who provide a wide range of spas and massage therapy clinics with a variety of stationary and portable massage tables, chairs and other health-and-wellness equipment. You’ll get an understanding of the business from a different perspective, not from the subjective experience of spa owners, but from the objective perception of people who deal with a variety of different businesses in the industry.
#2]. Examine your own knowledge, skills, and ability
Assuming that after you’ve talked to business owners, suppliers, and others involved in the industry and you’re now even more enthusiastic about starting your business, you must review your own ability to run a successful business. You have to examine your own knowledge, skills, and ability to figure out what you need to know. If you already have some familiarity with the industry, then you will have some knowledge, skills, or talents to draw upon. Use this as a basis to decide what gaps you need to fill.
What don’t you know that you need to know? Is this something that you need to spend some time studying? Is this something that you could hire the right people for? For instance, let’s assume you’re knowledgeable about coding and have a knack for learning new programming languages because you’ve acquired a systematic way of studying coding over the years, then what you know are technical skills.
However, if you’ve always been an employee, then you don’t really know much about business. You may know a great deal about BASIC, C, C++, and COBOL, as well as have some familiarity with Java, Pascal FORTRAN, and Ada, but you don’t know about how to get a business loan, how to hire and manage people, or how to market technical services to other businesses. Consequently, you must either learn these things or partner with people who do.
#3]. Create the basic structure of your business
Now that you’re clear on your motivation and understand what you need to learn to run the business you’ve decided on well, the next step is to set up the legal structure of the business. First, write a business plan, and get help and training on how to do it.
Then decide on your location, financing options, and business structure. Finally, get the ball rolling by registering your business name, getting your Tax ID, and registering with the tax authorities.
#4]. Shape your business according to the best practices
Another thing to consider is to shape your business according to the best practices of your industry. The fact is that growing a business is an organic experience; you will learn while growing. But how do you learn as a business owner? You will learn by attending networking events and trade shows as well as by studying a variety of business books.
Also, you can learn by attending seminars, and develop a better understanding of your customers through direct conversations and surveys. This is how to slowly learn the best practices on how to run your business. In review, launching your own successful business is all about getting to know yourself well, understanding industry norms, and developing the various aspects of business operations through experience.