Six Steps to Ensuring a Successful Start in Business

1. Go beyond the business plan

Preparing to launch a new business is not limited to writing a plan; there are other ways to think ahead.
  • Gain direct industry experience.
  • Partner with experts who have in-depth knowledge and experience.

If you don't commit to in-depth preparation, launching a new business can be a very expensive lesson in the value of planning. Would you enter a high-stakes poker tournament without knowing the game, assuming that you'll figure it out as you go.

2. Test your idea

While the internet makes it possible to conduct research without leaving your desk, Googling isn't enough. Talk to real people who are in the business you want to go into. Talk to people who might be your customers and get their views and opinions. Test your ideas if possible.

3. Know the market

Ask questions, conduct research or gain experience to help you learn your market inside and out, including the key suppliers, distributors, competitors and customers.

4. Understand your future customer

In most business plans, a description of potential customers and how they make purchasing decisions receives much less attention than operational details such as financing, sourcing and technology. But in the end, it will be the customers who determine your success or failure.

5. Establish cash resources

Cash is king, so take steps to adequately capitalize the business and secure ready sources of capital for growth. A good cash-forecasting tool is critical so that you can plan for the sources and uses of cash on a rolling basis.

6. Choose the right business structure

From the beginning, it's crucial to select the appropriate corporate structure for your business, which will have legal and tax implications. The structure you choose can also ensure the success of future decisions, such as raising capital or exiting the business.