If you are among those people who constantly dream of starting a business of their own but never get around to actually doing it, we have news for you – good and bad. The good is that there is nothing supernatural and impossible about doing it – all you have to do is to make a first step. The bad is that in order for the first step to lead to any kind of success, you have to learn a lot about modern business realities. People who found their businesses today have it completely different than, say, ten or twenty years ago.
1. Social Media Is Your Best Friend
You may love social media or hate it, but you can’t ignore it. It is everywhere and it occupies an extremely important part in lives of most people. They communicate through it, find new friends, make purchases, share their impressions – you name it. Some would say it depreciates direct human interaction, but one thing is certain: if you have a business, the benefits of social media can hardly be overestimated. Without a large marketing budget, it is your best shot at getting the message about your product or service to potential clients.
2. Learn. A Lot
Reading online manuals and doing things intuitively is all fine and dandy, but you have to be really lucky to get your first business off the ground based on just this. If you start out with nothing but enthusiasm and hope to learn all you need on the go or from reading tips online, you should be ready for failure. It is not all that bad, mind you – the best way to learn something is to fail doing it. But it would save you a lot of time and money if you do some learning beforehand: take a couple of online courses, read some books, get a job at a startup to learn the ropes.
“The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks”.
M. Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook
3. Listen to Those Who Have Been There
There is nothing like direct experience to learn from, but the next best thing is people who have this experience. There are thousands of people around who have created startups, either successfully or not, and you can learn from either their results or failures. Don’t think that they have better things to do than to teach you – you will be amazed how many people will be happy to share their practical knowledge if you just ask them nicely.
4. Build Connections
It follows from the previous point, but it is important in and of itself. Business has always been as much about products and services as about building up connections with the right people, but it is even more so today. The Internet makes it easier to get in touch with people who are infinitely far away from you both in terms of distance and status – and you can benefit from it. Learn the right business etiquette, never shy away from getting new acquaintances, maintain old contacts – you never know who or what may come in handy.
5. Manage Your Money Wisely
It applies to any person, but especially to those who plan to start a business. If you want to be successful, you have to learn how to manage your money and keep track of it. Check your incomes and expenses. Find reasonable investments that will allow you to have passive income even if you get out of job and your business fails. Look for ways to cut losses. Starting a new business is always scary, especially if you don’t have previous experience in this sphere. But if you are determined to learn there is nothing you cannot do.
6. Love Your Work
It may sound naive and idealistic, but it is the view shared by most people who are generally considered to be insanely successful. And it doesn’t seem like it is a pretty tale they tell after they’ve achieved their goal – usually they either find their calling early in life and tenaciously pursue it ever since, or keep looking for their thing in order to firmly attach themselves to it and, again, pursue it with full passion of their hearts. Listen to what Steve Jobs said on this (and you can hardly call him naive):
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it”.
Starting a new business is always scary, especially if you don’t have previous experience in this sphere. But if you are determined to learn there is nothing you cannot do.
Featured photo credit: Businessman/vlczak11 via flickr.com