7 Things to Know Before You Start a Business

Businesses are the bedrock of any economy. They help that economy grow and stay strong. It's actually simple. They make sure money made in that particular economy (area/state/country) remains in the economy, while boosting its capacity to export.

While this is not an Economics thesis, it is important for us to understand the importance of businesses so that we do not treat the idea of starting a business with levity. Not everyone would start a business and frankly, not everyone should; but if you are going to start a business, you should understand these principles and get ready for it.

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  1. If You Hate Sales and Marketing You Wouldn't Like Business Either.

People always shy away from sales and marketing but that is what keeps the business environment going.You will have to do a lot of marketing and sales to succeed in business.

The irony is that meeting people and talking to them about your business is the easiest part of sales and marketing. The most important aspect is knowing who to meet. You cannot serve everyone - nobody can. You have to get information on the kind of people that need your product/service and market to them.

When you know your target market, your marketing campaign will be much more effective. The chances are, you either get instant patronage or good networking.

  • Don't Always Believe The Statistics

  • While statistics do not lie...well not always, they work based on the availability or not of certain factors. In reality, those factors may be skewed or unavailable for some reasons that are surmountable.

    People love to throw around the statistic that 95% of new businesses fail eventually. Don't listen to that - it's an excuse to make you feel comfortable about giving up.

    If that number is even correct, it's because most people don't commit. They don't follow through to the end or they need lessons in managing their money.

  • If You Have a Job Do Not Quit So Soon

  • There is a lot of "Be Your Own Boss", "Self Made Billionaires" themes all over the internet these days. But what you are not told is that starting a business may not be as easy as getting your fixed salary at the end of the month.

    Truth is that all things being equal, your salary/wage will come at the end of the stipulated time if you are an employee. But in business, especially a startup business, you may not generate any (tangible) income for some months.

    There are bills to pay, and if you do not take time, the frustration of not being able to pay bills, will drag you down faster that the challenges that come with starting a business.

    Also worthy of note is the fact that you do not really spend so much time at your job - 40 hours a week. You sleep for more hours a week than you even work at your job. Where am I driving at? There are other things you can cut off without cutting off your job to "focus on your business". So hold off on writing your resignation letter, take some time in making the transition from employee to entrepreneur.

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  • Research

  • Decisions taken without proper information will most likely turn out to be destructive.

    Your reading should not always be streamlined to business books and self-help books alone. Read wide, read fiction, read from all genres of literature - whatever. Just keep your mind busy with books - audio or hard copy.

    Also, you have to understand your product/service and whether it will solve a problem, the people with the problem it is meant to solve, and how to reach to those people. You can also add a 'how much do they have?' aspect to your list of study focus, so that you know if you are creating a premium product or a regular product.

  • Learn From Other People's Mistakes

  • This is like an offshoot of the last point. Life is too short to think that you can learn all the things you need to learn to succeed. You need the failures... scratch that, the lessons of people who have gone before you.

    Get a mentor - someone older, wiser or more experienced. Learn all you can from the mistakes they made. There are so many founders and entrepreneurs that openly write about their own failures, so learning from others is increasingly easy. Search on Google why businesses fail.

    While experience is a good teacher, no one said it had to be your experience.

  • Do Not be Afraid

  • Whether it is fear of failure or fear of success, kick it out!

    Do not entertain the fear that people may not buy from you or may not like what you are providing. If you have done your research and seen that your product solves a problem of a particular group of people, do not be afraid to take it to them.

    "Successful entrepreneurs are those who saw a problem and designed a solution before the people who had the problem even noticed that they had the problem" says Johan Styren, CEO of Leo Vegas.

  • The Ball is in Your Court

  • While it is good to research and plan, try not to over-do it and get yourself stuck in
    . It's now left to you to play the ball out of you court and keep yourself in the game.
    Just Do It!