We’re helping you get a head start with your business endeavors by providing startup advice in the form of 10 really juicy tips for starting a business. There is always sweat, blood and tears involved, but the pay off in the end only makes it worth it. Here are 10 things to stay aware of in the areas of starting, mentoring, pitching, funding and so much more. Tell us if we missed any good business tips by adding your two cents in the comments below.
1. LEGAL BUSINESS TIP
Do your best not to skimp on the legal aspect of your business. Get legal advice from the very beginning. A lawyer will help you make sure your business is legally set up properly, can help minimize the tax burden, make sure you are in compliance with laws relating to your business that you may not know exist, and all this can save you from very expensive future lawsuits. Always take the time and the money, to get advice.
2. MENTORING TIP
When starting your business select one or two businesses similar to yours and keep an eye on how they navigate through their industry. Model some of your ideas after what they are doing. It’s a way to keep someone more knowledgeable than you as an unofficial “virtual” mentor. Also, make sure to check out the mentoring service available via EFactor here.
3. CROWDFUNDING TIP
If you are planning to crowdfund, working up your campaign, strategy, and finding the crowd who will fund your campaign should happen first. Treat the crowdfunding portion of the program as your means for collecting the funds and not the other way around. Our 15 Easily Digestible Facts About Crowdfunding Campaigns can also shed more light on how to be successful with crowdfunding.
4. IDEATION TIP
When it comes to validating your business idea, get out of the building. Hit the streets and start asking people what they think. Start with friends and family, but also ask those you don’t know as well or hit up an entrepreneurial Meet Up or EFactor event to talk to other innovators about it. They are more likely to tell you the truth and whether your idea or product is a viable one. Consider implementing Non-Disclosure Agreements when your idea is in the very early stages to discourage copy cats.
5. BUSINESS PLANNING
Your business plan isn’t just a formality. When done correctly, the business planning process will help guide you to how much cash you need for each of your scenarios. You must know how much money you need to get through the first year without panic.
6. PITCHING TIP
To be successful with your pitch, it’s important to organize your data, and do your best to think like an investor. If you were to invest your own hard earned cash, what would you want to know about the idea and the people behind it? Be realistic with your numbers and explain everything you intend to use your investments for. Our Ultimate Slide Deck makes it easy for you to plug in your data, numbers and information into a template that’s simple, makes sense and is easy to look at, get a copy for yourself here.
7. FUNDING TIP
When it comes to funding, look to yourself, your friends and your family first. Once you need to look to outside sources, remember that a lot depends on relationships. You will want to find an investor or series of investors that you trust and you have good rapport with. Money isn’t always easy to talk about, so make sure you enter into solid and comfortable funding relationships.
8. STARTING YOUR BUSINESS TIP
Find paying customers before starting your business. Go ahead and offer your product or service to those you think will be interested in it and see if they would actually pay for it. Since not every business is guaranteed to work on the first try it’s important to validate it as much as you can. If you can’t find paying customers, then you might have to head back to the drawing board. One of the hardest things is finding paying customers, so always make sure that people actually want what you have to offer. Even if customers like your idea but won’t pay, it’s your job to find out what they will pay for, or buy.
9. GROWTH TIP
Once you get to the place where you can start hiring people on, always try to choose people who are smarter than you in different skill sets. Also, be willing to accept that once you bring people on, they will disagree with how you built your original prototype/business model. Listen to them, they are providing an additional perspective of your business blind spots.
10. SUCCESS TIP
If you want to make your company successful the key is to NEVER. GIVE. UP. Always survive, never quit, as we stated never give up. Pull yourself up after setback, there will always be setbacks. As long as you keep going, you will make it work eventually. Raising a business is like running a marathon. You have to make sure you have enough endurance to make it to that 26th mile. Give yourself at least a five year commitment.