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Top 5 Things to Do

You have that great idea and you’ve committed to starting a new business. Now what? Creating your company logo and ordering office supplies can wait. These five tips are crucial to the success of your new business.

1. Do your research.

Take the time to learn everything you can about your new business. Proper research involves conducting a competitive analysis, determining your target market, learning about industry suppliers, tracking sales trends in your field, investigating legal issues likely to impact the business and any other relevant information.

2. Write a business plan.

You need a written plan that details the mission of your new business, your prospective customers, your marketing plan and financial prospects. Don’t hire someone to write your business plan for you. By going through the act of writing your own business plan, you’ll learn a great deal about your concept. You’ll solidify your understanding of the business and be able to identify accurate, realistic goals and objectives.

3. Have self-discipline.

One of the great things about entrepreneurship is the freedom that comes with being your own boss. However, that very freedom can sabotage your business if you don’t keep yourself focused on making forward progress. Don’t succumb to the temptation to relax because you aren’t on a timetable. Set goals for yourself each day so that you’ll continue to move forward toward your goal of starting a business. To lay the groundwork for a successful business, you must devote a significant amount of time and energy to your endeavors.

4. Be passionate.

The most successful entrepreneurs are passionate, exuding energy, enthusiasm and confidence about their businesses. As you start to talk with other people about your plans, they need to feel your enthusiasm. As an entrepreneur, you are an ambassador for your new business: People will decide whether or not they want to help you or work with you based on how strongly you believe in what you’re doing.

5. Create your network.

One of the most important things for any entrepreneur to do is to participate in networking activities. At this early stage in the process, it will be beneficial for you to seek out opportunities to network with other entrepreneurs. Find out what types of networking opportunities are offered by your local Small Business Administration office and Chamber of Commerce. By getting to know other entrepreneurs, you can cultivate an important support system that you will find invaluable as you launch your business. You might even find a mentor who can offer much-needed advice and guidance along the way.

Posted: 11/17/07

Very, Very Helpful. I will track all of this. Actually started awhile back, just fall off track every now and then.