10 essential steps to take when launching a business

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Setting up a business for the first time is a daunting yet exciting adventure! There are 10 simple, proven and extremely effective steps taken by the world’s most famous entrepreneurs that will help get you on the fast track to success.

  1. Get yourself ready before you launch your business

It’s so important to be in the right frame of mind when starting a new business. People often jump into a new business with little consideration for how this will impact other areas of their life. If you have a lot of things going on at work, in the family, financially, or health wise you may want to take stock of where you are in relation to these areas. This will ensure you have a clear mindset for the task ahead of launching and growing your new business.

  1. The stronger your WHY the stronger your business

Running a business is hard work with constant challenges. Your ability to handle these challenges will come from your will to succeed. Having a clear purpose and vision often described as your “WHY”, will help you get through the tough times. Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan and many other famous entrepreneurs all faced challenges when starting out, however their WHY was so powerful, they found ways to beat the odds and succeed. Spend time on this, as this will be the most powerful tool you possess.

  1. Break through obstacles by overcoming limiting beliefs

We all have belief systems that were formed during our early years. These were passed on to us through parents, older siblings, relatives, teachers and guardians. They affect every thought and decision we make in life. Some of your beliefs are negative and are holding you back, i.e. an unhealthy view on money or success. Start the process of identifying and breaking through your limiting beliefs, to give yourself the best chance to succeed.

  1. Fast track your business success with the right associations

Starting a new business can be a lonely road with little support. It’s critical to find like-minded people to collaborate, learn from and most importantly nurture your growth. Brad Sugars often says that learning equates to earning and your business will only grow in direct proportion to how fast you grow. Remember your network is your net worth, so continue to build your support group and never stop investing in your most important asset – YOU.

  1. Make sure your business idea is viable

Before diving headfirst into a business, it’s critical to do your due-diligence. Does the business stack up? Is it profitable? How sustainable is the cash flow? Will you enjoy being in it for a number of years? Can it be sold? Is there a growing market? Are there innovative things you can do to take the business to a new level and is there scope to grow? These are all critical investment decisions you need to make before you get started with your new business.

  1. Plan your exit strategy right from day one

You are going to invest a considerable amount of your time, money, sweat and tears and you want the business to go up in value when the time comes to retire, or move on. You ideally want to have positioned your business for the next phase where someone else can takeover what you started. This is called an exit strategy and there are many options to consider. Fundamentally its making sure your business succeeds you when its time to let it go, rather than closing it down.

  1. Find great mentors and coaches to guide you

Having a mentor who has been in your shoes before can be a very powerful resource to tap into, because they know what the path looks like and can give you timely advice with the benefit of hindsight. This could save you valuable time and fast track your success. Likewise, having a business coach can be extremely valuable when you need someone, who is objective and can keep you accountable, ensuring you track to your plan.

  1. Seek your ideal customer offering them what they want

Successful businesses today offer people what they want and by adding value rather than selling at discounted prices. It’s important to understand your market and exactly who your customers are. By defining your ideal customer or ‘avatar’, you can observe their behaviour, lifestyle and wants, which will help you focus your marketing to better connect with them. The best customers are people who know, like and trust you. So get to know them, be likeable, earn their trust and offer them what they want. Simple!

  1. Gain greater control by your ability to test and measure everything

There’s a common theme in business, if you can’t measure it, then you can’t really know if it’s working and you certainly can’t improve. Unless you know if something is working you can’t justify putting more resources into it – i.e. if marketing is not working, then its time to re-evaluate its effectiveness. The better you can get at measuring all areas of your business – i.e. finance, operations, marketing, conversion into sales and ultimately revenue and profits, the better a business you will be running.

  1. Boost your business performance by having a laser focus

Our minds get easily distracted from TV, cleaning the house, cooking, Facebook, talking on the phone, etc. The best way to ensure you are making progress is complete what you start. If you have 5 things going on, then prioritise what is going to give you the best return first and get that done. Nothing beats the feeling of achievement and recognition, so focus on the getting the small wins and build your momentum, rather than trying to do everything all at once and burning out.

Gavin Sequeira is proof that there is light at the end of the tunnel! Having completed an MBA and a successful corporate career at IBM and Oracle, he successfully made the transition to running several of his own business and has helped many others to do the same. Gavin is an active speaker, coach and author of ‘Break Free From Corporate – Be Your Own Boss’ (available on Amazon) and runs a program designed to help people during their transition. For more information please visit www.breakfreefromcorporate.com or email gavin@breakfreefromcorporate.com