Starting a small business can be tough. Questions around where to start and what to do can be difficult to answer on your own. Organizations like The Business Link can provide guidance as you navigate the road to small business ownership. We talked with David Bayda, Business Services Manager to find out the top seven things every business needs to set themselves up for success.
- An idea or dream.
Not any idea, though; you need a viable idea. A way to make money with your business, otherwise, it’s just a very expensive hobby. So do your research to make sure there’s a big enough market to support your idea or concept.
- Love or passion for the concept.
You’ll be investing a lot of time in your business, so make sure you love what you’ll be doing. It’s your passion for your business that will give you the motivation to get going and to keep going during the tough times.
- Tenacity and gumption.
The stronger your work ethic, the greater your chance for success. It’s a fact of small business ownership that you’ll be working more hours than when you had a full-time job, so be prepared to make sacrifices. And be prepared to adopt a no-fear attitude as well. Don’t be afraid to jump in and get going, and learn along the way; otherwise you could stay at the concept stage forever.
- Experience, knowledge, education, and training.
The more you know about the type of business you’re looking at starting, the better. Your knowledge can come from a variety of different places: industry training, work experience, or schooling. Anything that will help you to learn more about the business concept that you’re getting into can make getting started a lot easier.
- A plan or roadmap.
Creating a business plan forces you to do your research, which helps ensure you have a realistic idea. Your plan also helps you look at the various aspects required for starting your business, from your concept, to research on your competitors, your target market, to your operations, and financials. The more detailed your plan the better because, at the end of the day, you are planning for the success and future of your business.
Typically, you need to invest your own money and have your proverbial skin in the game, says Bayda. “Unfortunately, no one else is there to fuel your dream,” he says. “You need to put in at least a partial amount to get your business idea going.” Once you do, you can supplement your personal investment through other financial options: such as traditional lending routes like banks, or more innovative ways, such as Crowdfunding.
- Help and assistance along the way. No one is an expert in everything, yet entrepreneurs are expected to wear all the hats in their business. It’s OK to ask for help and guidance from mentors, professionals, trusted family, or friends in areas where you are not skilled or trained. Just make sure you choose your support network wisely because these people are going to be your cheerleaders. They should be people who really want you to succeed, will answer any questions that you have, and will ensure you’re on the right track.Help can also be found through The Business Link and from AMA’s Small Business Services, located at our Kingsway centre. We’ve partnered up so AMA members who are also small business owners will have easy access to the guidance and services they need to set up and run a small business. Learn more about how AMA Small Business Services can help your business.