Many have thought about starting a business; but not knowing how or where to begin gets in the way of making a product or service a reality. Here are five keys to starting a business. 

Everyone has a passion; it could be for things like technology, animals, or self-care. Many have imagined what it would be like to make a career out of it, by creating a mobile app for deals and discounts, a pet “hotel”, a hairdresser’s or some joint venture. While some think and talk about starting a business, many take a step forward and do it.

But having a good idea isn’t enough. Founding a business must be a well-thought-out decision to get off to a good start. Here are five important things you shouldn’t forget.

1. “Know thyself”

Self-awareness is essential to starting a business; however, it often slips our mind. If we want to build up an idea, product or service and turn it into a business, we must begin by examining ourselves. 

Even if we’ve thought about starting a business, we might not be ready for it. We should be sure that whatever we’re going to offer is something we’re passionate about and willing to work for. 

2. Market research

We must research our market’s past and present to find out how it’s changed and whatever challenges it poses. We also should identify our main competitors, their role and their model. Furthermore, we must understand the law and other factors that can affect our business. 

3. Business plan 

Answering the basic question, “What do I have to offer”, isn’t enough; we need to back it up with a value proposition that brings something new and different. 

Some important things we should make clear are: 

  • Our purpose: what our business does.
  • Our aim: what our business sets out to achieve in the future.
  • Our values: the principles that will guide our business and everyone who is part of it.
  • Our target market: the segment that our business targets based on socio-economic, behavioural and other factors.
  • Our goals: We should set goals that are SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-related. 

4. Resources 

Sometimes, we focus too much on what to do and not enough on how to do it. We should remember that, to run a business, we need resources like a space to work (more small and medium-sized enterprises are setting up shop in co-working spaces) and digital tools to make processes faster and more efficient. 

5. Networking 

Building up a network of contacts is useful at any stage of a business; however, it’s especially important in the beginning. Networking with other professionals can lead to synergy, collaboration, the exchange of best practices and valuable lessons learned. 

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