In the last article I covered the first question you should ask before starting a business – WHY!.

In this article, I'd

Make sure you are ready to start

Being ready to start a business doesn't just mean having a great idea, You need to be passionate about it, you need to have done your homework, and you need to have enough reserves to get you through the period of starting the business and making it profitable. It's rare for a business to be able to generate instant sales and for you to make an income immediately.

Make sure your idea has legs

If something has legs, it is thought it will go the distance, make the grade, survive.

For a business idea to have legs, there has to be enough potential customers who will pay a price for your product or service that you can make a profit out of. If you can't produce a product or service for less than you can sell it for you don't have a sustainable business.

And the only way to find this out is to thoroughly research the market, your customers, your competition, market trends and yourself. This takes extensive research, and avoiding assumptions about what you think people need and want.

Get your structure right

The structure of your business is important, and unique to your specific needs. So take advice from an expert in your specific personal circumstances and start the business with the right structure for you.

Survey first, promote second

Many businesses make the mistake of creating their marketing and advertising around a 'cute' idea that they had, or by bombarding their potential customers with a list of all the things that they do well.

Great marketing is based solely on one thing, and one thing only.

It communicates to the key buttons that the target audience have in relation to that product and service.

In other words, it solves a problem for them that is unique and important to them in relation to that product. For a car it might be safety, for a life insurance person it might be peace of mind, for a property salesperson it might be financial security.

Always survey your target audience first, and then promote on the key and important issues to them. Target your message to that audience with that focus and you'll be streets ahead of the competition

Be optimistically conservative

Lots of business owners spend unwisely when establishing a business. When you start a business, you'll have to spend/invest money to get it going, but be frugal with your expenditure on the important, critical and essential things to servicing the client well. Don't spend money you don't have on things that don't contribute to delivering a great customer experience. Invest it in getting and keeping customers and you'll never go wrong.

There are five things you need to start a business successfully, Of course there are many other things too, Enjoy the journey to business ownership.


Articles In This Series

1: Before you ask How to start a business ask Why

2: Five tips on starting a business

3: How to set and reach your business goals

4: Plan your work, work your plan

5: Customers aren’t always right (but they are always there)

6: Climb a tree and holler (always be promoting your business, no matter what)