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Nine tips for running a successful business from the start

When you consider the idea of starting your own business, there are many resources which bombard you with ideas of what is important to be successful. Here are nine handy tips to consider before you decide to take up the challenge of starting your own business.

Know yourself and your motivation
Understand what you are willing to do and the effort you are willing to put into this new venture. You need to be passionate about the product you want to produce. Your main motivation should not be to make a lot of money as it takes a bit of time before you will see dividends on the investment you make for your business.

Ensure that the need your business plans to satisfy is real
Research is of utmost importance when it comes to starting a new business. Do some research to see if there is true need in the market for your product or service. Do this market research with people other than your friends and family to ensure that you are on the right track. You can also look at the competitors in your line of business. See what they are doing to satisfy the need, then identify what gaps they have left and target these. Furthermore, you can try to incorporate the good things your competitors are doing into your business. Just remember to check that there are no copyrights or trade marks on the ideas.

Get organised
Draw up a business plan, even if it is just a draft. The business plan assists in giving you a basic path to follow and can be tweaked as you move along with the business.

Get the cash flowing as soon as possible
When you start your business, one of the main concerns is how to ensure cash is flowing into the business. One way is to get people to pay a deposit for the product or service. It is also important to know that the cash coming into the business doesn’t exceed the cash going out of the business.

Focus on sales and marketing
Marketing is the way that you let your client base know that you are open for business. Focus on how you will reach and sell your product to your client base. Social media is an inexpensive way to promote your business as you build up.

Start small and then expand
When we dream about our new business we may have grandiose schemes about what our business will become, but remember the old saying ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’. It takes patience and perseverance to grow a small business into a large enterprise. Apple and Virgin both had their humble beginnings in garages. So go out there and live your dream.

Remember that you are a business
When you start your business it may be prudent to open a separate bank account to keep your business finances separate from your personal funds. You will also have to look into any regulations that you need to follow to run your business.

Don’t concentrate on mistakes
When you start a business, it is inevitable that you will make mistakes. The main thing is to learn from these mistakes and implement the necessary changes. You need to see mistakes as opportunities to grow, even though sometimes they can be tough.

Never stop learning
Starting a new business means that you will be a student for life. Never stop reading about new developments in your field. You may also look into hiring experts in industries you lack knowledge about, in order to learn more about how to go about running a business.

Starting a successful business is not easy but the rewards in the end are numerous. If you are willing to work hard and persevere through adversities, you may just become the next Richard Branson or Bill Gates.

Proudly brought to you by the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC).