7 Things You Should Know Before Starting a Business

By Riley •  Updated: 05/20/20 •  7 min read

Starting a business is an exciting venture that can enrich your life.

But it also comes with a lot of responsibility.

And that’s why the more you know and take into account at the beginning, the better your experience as a business owner will be.

Starting a Business

While many business owners learn through trial and error, you can get ahead of competitors by starting off with more working knowledge.

1. Why it Pays to Learn From the Start

To make money in business, you need to gather as much knowledge as possible before getting started and have a plan.

Starting a business is exciting, but it takes a lot of work.

The more you know from the start, the less stress you’ll have early on. In order to make the most out of owning a business, it’s up to you to make as much money as possible.

2. Know Your Customer

When you’re first starting out, it’s essential you know your customers inside and out.

That means actively aiming at a target market and making constant improvements to please and offer value to that target market.

Another option is testing your product or service on the market. And then see what kind of customer demographic responds the best to what you’re selling.

Customer satisfaction

Your business and your brand should be tailored around the interests, desires, and preferences of your customer base.

You can use analytics tools to gather most of the customer information you’ll need.

Reading and understanding that data is the hard part.

But, once you’ve collected enough information, you’ll have to understand the numbers behind what you’ve collected. If it’s read and understood incorrectly, bad decisions could be made.

Even after your business has been established and things are looking up, pay attention to your target market.

Monitor trends and shifting interests of your customer base at all times.

3. The Science of Starting a Business

Being a business owner offers a lot of freedom and opportunity. However, it also requires you take it seriously and do everything you can to stay ahead.

One of the most important rules in business is to stay ahead of change.

If you’re not ahead, you’re behind. And as a small business starting out, you’ll suffer the disadvantages of being behind for some time.

When you get ahead you’ll need to focus on staying ahead.

How to Put Starting a Business Into Action

Once you’ve gotten the basics out of the way and have a firm understanding of what your brand is and who it appeals to.

You’re ready to start exploring the details and specifics of starting a business.

4. Lessons in Financing

One of the biggest problems to solve when starting a business is figuring out how it’ll be funded.

Unless you’re sitting on a ton of money you wouldn’t mind losing if things go wrong. The way you choose to fund your new business will have a big impact on your chances of success.

The most important thing to keep in mind when financing your business is to avoid overleveraging yourself at all costs.

Don’t go broke.

One of the biggest mistakes of starting a new business is spending too much money chasing goals that’re too big to take on.

As a startup, it’s easy to get excited and want to take on the world. But the harsh truth is that you won’t get very far without being practical.

7 Things You Should Know Before Starting a Business

New businesses need to act like they don’t have tons of money.

Which shouldn’t be hard to do in most cases yet many startups spend a lot of money and wind up struggling to pay back their debt let alone make a profit.

Researching and applying for programs and grants can be a good move in the long term. But it can take a while for you to get approved.

Which is why most people starting a business take out a loan or use their credit cards to pay for what they need.

Which can be risky.

5. Keep Things Simple When Starting a Business

As a new business, it’s important to keep your expenses as low as possible.

In business, a little frugality can go a long way. This is something that might seem obvious but it’s not. Once again, the excitement and need to be successful can lead to taking on too much debt than you need to when starting out.

Especially as you grow.

Expenses aren’t the only thing you should keep to a minimum.

Stay organized and keep your operations neat so there’s as little room for error as possible.

6. Forget ABC, Try ABG

While it’s true that you should always be closing, you should be focusing on how to always be growing.

Your business needs growth to survive, especially early on. Your customers are your lifeblood when starting a business. And you should be focusing on them.

Forget buying trendy new things for your office. Or trying to look show off and look cool as an entrepreneur.

If you’re a startup, you need to stay lean. Invest everything you can afford to back into your business.

And make things easier on yourself by creating and putting different systems in place.

And soon enough you’ll be on your way to becoming a proud business owner. 

You should base the majority of your business decisions on whether your decision will help grow your business or not.

Try and eliminate ideas that’re not needed and don’t create more growth.

7. Understand the Stages of Your Industry

When starting a business, it’s important you develop a well-rounded understanding of your industry as a whole.

Knowing your own business isn’t enough if you want to be successful.

The savviest minds in business have a thorough and clear understanding of their industry. As well as at least a basic know-how of related industries that have or will have an impact on their own.

For example, you should know enough about your industry to know when it’s in demand and when things are slow. The industry as a whole will experience growth and slow periods.

You should learn how different kinds of economic influences can impact and affect your businesses and your industry.

For example, if you owned an airline, when the virus hit, you’d be losing a lot of money right now. Flights were mostly brought to a halt during the global pandemic of COVID-19.

As well as cruises, bars and restaurants, gyms, retail, and many other businesses.

But on the other hand, it’s a great time to be in the food delivery business, start or open an online business, or be one of the big streaming services like Netflix.

Businesses in these sectors are performing quite well due to the dramatic change in circumstances.  

It’s also important that you know your role in your industry. The role your business plays in any given industry affects all kinds of things from how vulnerable it will be to the changes in the market.

All the way to how much money it can realistically make relative to other businesses in the same industry.

Take our previous example of the airline industry.

Some businesses sell plane tickets while others build the planes, both businesses play different roles in the same industry.

Putting it All Together – The Takeaway

If you’re careful and take all of this advice into account, you’ll have a much higher chance of success with starting a business.

One of the worst things you can do when starting a business is being unprepared.

Which is why you should grab yourself a copy of The Business Strategy Workbook.

It was created to simplify and make starting easy for you. Inside of the workbook, you will find:

Grab yourself a copy of it now and get to work starting your business even faster with a written plan mapped out for you.

Riley

Adran Riley is the co-founder of Red October Firm, a photography and graphic design studio in Bloomfield, CT. He's been in the web design and SEO industry since 2015. His mission is to help others share and do what they love online. That way, they can build and connect with even more people.

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