February 25, 2019

How to Start a Business: 7 Business Basics You Need To Know

Aaron Vick

Aaron Vick

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Though starting a business comes with its own challenges and struggles, few things are as rewarding as seeing your ideas come to fruition.

Whether you're stuck at square one or already have a business plan drafted, you'll want to read this article.

Here are seven of the biggest business basics you'll need to know to succeed.


1. You Are Your Own Biggest Obstacle


For every person who asks how to start a business, only a select few will have the drive and dedication required to succeed.

That doesn't mean those who choose not to pursue their business idea are lazy. It means that they turned out to be their own worst enemy.

Don't fall for this common pitfall. Allow yourself the freedom to dream and be creative and you'll find that everything else will fall into place in due time.

Starting a business doesn't have to be tedious and boring, it should be something you're passionate about. That passion will come out through your productions and pitches, and in the end, make your business a more successful venture.

So next time that nagging little voice in the back of your head says 'Why?' shoot back with 'Why not?'

Giving yourself permission to act creatively will only help you.


2. Learn the Difference Between a Good Idea and a Practical Idea


Creativity is, indeed, a valuable skill as an entrepreneur. But that doesn't mean every idea you come up with will be gold.

Some may be impractical for any number of reasons. Yet even those impractical ideas have value.

Within even the loftiest of goals lies a germ of a wonderful idea.

It's important to learn the difference between ideas that are worth pursuing immediately and those that are worth expanding upon later.

So what makes an idea worth pursuing? Often, the following three factors working in harmony:

  • Timing
  • Innovation
  • A market demand

Practicality and market demand are what should drive your business venture for the time being. Is now the right time for your business venture?

And if you're innovating on a pre-existing idea, make sure it moves the needle in some capacity and solves a consumer problem.


3. Vision Matters


Creating a business plan is a lot like planning the details of a long hike or road trip. It isn't the most exciting part of the process, but it can come in handy later by providing direction and motivation.

Yet many entrepreneurs believe they need a full business plan to succeed. While it certainly won't hurt, it isn't required.

Instead, focus on the first year of operation.

Think of yourself as a cartographer exploring new lands. Map out the major landmarks you'd like to hit within your first 365 days, as well as how you plan on achieving them.

A year-long plan may not seem like much, but you'll gain momentum once you begin to follow through. Soon you'll find fleshing out a five-year or even 10-year plan to be easy.


4. Failure Is as Important as Success


Failure is the biggest reason why most entrepreneurs choose not to follow their dreams. They've may have seen stats like those from the Small Business Association which points out that about half of all businesses fail within their first five years of operation.

But for every damning stat comes an inspirational story. Some of your favorite entrepreneurs failed on the first go-around.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos launched his career with a series of failed projects, including zShops, which set the groundwork for Amazon.

Even media mogul Oprah was once fired from her job as a newscaster!

Failure doesn't have to define your career as an entrepreneur -- even if previous ideas haven't worked out.

Learn as much as you can from the mistakes of those who have made it and you're sure to set yourself up for success.


5. Keep It Simple


You've spent months if not years refining your business idea. Now comes one of the toughest parts of starting a small business: Perfecting the business pitch.

Many business owners loathe the pitch process, but it serves several important purposes.

A pitch opportunity gets you in the room with important decision makers. Even if they choose not to invest in your idea, making the right contacts is valuable in its own right.

It also forces you to simplify your idea to its base elements. Distilling the essence of your business to a quick speech (30 seconds in some cases) can help you realize what about your ideas still need work.


6. Take Care of Legal Considerations as Soon as Possible


Starting a business requires hours worth of paperwork, which, as you can imagine, isn't exactly the most exciting part of the process.

The sooner you knock these legal considerations out of the way, the sooner you can get started on your business.

To begin your business, you'll need:

  • A registered name
  • An Employer Identification Number (EIN) for tax purposes
  • Federal and state permits
  • A bank account for your company
  • Trademarks, patents, etc

If you have questions about the process, consult a business specialistor lawyer.


7. Be Thoughtful When Considering Funding Options


Finally, you'll need a way to fund your business. In what's both a bit of a blessing and a curse, you now have more options than ever to fund your business.

You can still go the traditional routes, like taking out a loan from the federal government or borrowing from a bank.

Or you can go a more tech-savvy route and crowdfund your business.

Whichever option you choose, be sure to look into the legal obligations and requirements for both. The last thing you need after launching a successful business is a repayment plan that puts you back in the red.


These Business Basics Are the Building Blocks of Success


These seven business basics are enough to help you get started on your great new business idea.

One final note before we part ways: Life as an entrepreneur isn't always easy. In fact, it rarely is. But if you stick with it and maintain a positive attitude, success is far more attainable.

Comments? You can contact me directly via my AdvisoryCloud profile.

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