These days, you’ll find all sorts of advice about how best to launch a business. But with so much information out there, it’s hard to know what you should heed and what you can ignore.
To make things simple, we’ve compiled a list of five fundamental tips for starting a business that you can’t afford to miss.
Solve a problem
One of the best ways to come up with a winning business idea is to design your product or service to solve a specific problem. By fixing a problem, you’ll have a solid customer base right out of the gate, who won’t need much selling provided your solution works.
If possible, create your business around a problem you’ve faced yourself, so you thoroughly understand and trust the value your company offers. If your business truly helps improve people’s lives, you’ll succeed.
Stop waiting and start doing
While it may seem counterintuitive, it’s often better to launch your business before you feel like your product is 100% perfect. Delaying your start is often an unconscious way of procrastinating—and besides, you’ll probably never feel like your business is totally perfect.
Best to launch fast before anyone else beats you to the market—or before you second-guess yourself out of launching at all. From there, you can adapt and perfect your solution with a small group of paying customers, whom you should give special attention in order to guarantee their happiness and loyalty. The most effective way to learn is to get your product into people’s hands or your service into people’s lives and see how they like it.
Remember, you should be prepared to fail, learn from your mistakes, and keep iterating!
Keep it simple
When you come up with a great business idea, it’s tempting to imagine all of the possibilities of where it might go, and try to add all of those things into your launch. But you should narrow your focus and costs by making your solution as effective as possible, without getting too elaborate or complicated.
Consider the minimum viable product, or MVP, often talked about in the tech sector. What’s the minimum you can offer and get the results you envision for the people you serve? Offer that first, and build upon it from there.
Once your company is up and running and you’ve got some income and customers, it will be much easier and affordable to add additional features.
Be passionate but self-aware
The most successful business ideas are ones that are near and dear to your heart. Focusing on something you’re passionate about will help keep you motivated to do whatever it takes to succeed.
However, just being passionate won’t guarantee success. It takes a certain mindset to endure the rigors of entrepreneurship, so unless you’re comfortable taking risks, learning from failure, and working harder than you ever have before, you might want to rethink things.
When things get challenging—and they definitely will—this mix of passion and fortitude will allow you to stay the course.
Know what it takes to LIFT your business right from the start
Starting a business involves setting up the correct legal, insurance, financial, and tax systems to support your goals and objectives.
You can begin with the MVP of legal, insurance, financial, and tax (LIFT) systems, but don’t go bare. At the very minimum, you need a legal entity (in the right state and of the right type), some basic agreements, and possibly a trademark. You also need basic insurance coverage, financial tracking and reporting systems, and tax planning.
You may be able to do some of this yourself, provided you’ve got the right guidance to make wise decisions. A Creative Business Lawyer® can offer exactly this kind of support with their LIFT Start-Up Sessions. Contact a Creative Business Lawyer® to schedule one before starting your business—or if you’ve started a company but have yet to set up LIFT systems, or if you’re simply not sure they’ve been set up correctly.
They’ll make sure you’ve got the right LIFT foundation to support your vision and goals, so your startup has the best possible chances for both initial success and future growth.