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1. Do a self-inventory.

Noteveryonehaswhatittakestostartacompany.Thatsnottosaythatyourideaisnot
brilliant.Itjustmeansthatyoumaynothavethepersonalitytraitstohandlelaunchinga
companyofyourown.

Beforeinvestinganytimeorresources,evaluateyourselfandseeifyouhavesomethe
typicaltraitsofanentrepreneur.Areyoumotivated,abletoadaptandconfident?Areyou
resilient?

2. Develop an idea.
Dontjuststartabusinessbecausesomethingisinvogueandyouthinkcommercializing
itwillmakemoney.Developabusinessconceptthatyou'repassionateaboutrelatedto
somethingthatyouhaveexperiencewith.Fromthere,comeupwithaproductorservice
thatyoubelievecanenhancethepeopleslives.

3. Test the plausibility.


Onceyouvesettledonanidea,figureouthowyoucanmakeitbecomeareality.Isthe
productorservicesomethingthatpeoplewantorneed?Canyoumakeaprofitsellingit?
Doestheproductwork?

Related:6GreatBusinessModelstoConsiderforaStartup

4. Write a business plan.


Asolidbusinessplanwillguideyougoingforward.Itsalsoneededforpresentingyour
ideatopotentialinvestors.Yourbusinessplanshouldincludeamissionstatement,a
companysummary,anexecutivesummary,aserviceorproductofferings,adescription
ofatargetmarket,financialprojectionsandthecostoftheoperation.Learnabouthow
towriteabusinessplanatSBA.gov.

5. Identify your market.


Eventhoughyoumayhavedetectedsomeinterestinyourbusiness,youneedtodomore
homework.Assessthemarket,targetingthecustomersmostlikelytomakeapurchase.
Performacompetitiveassessment.

6. Determine the costs.


Doadditionalresearchandfindoutthestandardcostfactorswithinthisindustry.Not
onlywillthishelpyoumanageyourbusinessmoreeffectively,investorswillwantto
knowthis.
7. Establish a budget.
Onceyoudeterminehowmuchmoneyyoullhavetoworkwith,figureouthowmuchit
willtaketodevelopyourproductorserviceandcreateamarketingplan.

Related:FoundersAreFromMars,CapitalProvidersFromVenus

8. Find the right investors.


Youregoingtoneedsomesortoffundingtostartoff,whetherfromyoursavings,credit
cards,loans,grantsorventurecapitalists.Findaninvestorwhosharesyourpassion,
someoneyoubelieveyoucanworkwith.

9. Listen to investors.
Whetheryoulikeit,investorsdohaveasayinyourcompany.Andyouneedtolistento
theiradviceorsuggestion.Butthatdoesntmeanyouhavetodowhattheytellyou.

10. Set up a great support system.


Youregoingtobeinvestingalotoftimeandresourcesintoyournewbusinessventure.
Becertainthatyourfamilyisonboard.Theymustbeawarethatthisprocesswillbe
challengingfinanciallyandemotionally.

11. Determine the legal structure.


Settleonwhichformofownershipisbestforyou:asoleproprietorship,apartnership,a
limitedliabilitycompany,acorporation,anScorporation,anonprofitoracooperative.
FindoutmoreatSBA.gov.

Related:NameThatCompanytoDazzlingSuccess

12. Select a business name.


Decideonanamethatbestsuitsyourbusiness.Thenchecktoseeifthedomainnameis
availableonline,aswellasifitsfreetouseinyourcounty,stateandinthecountry.

13. Register your business name.


Ifyourproposedbusinessnameisavailable,registeritwiththecountyclerk,haveit
trademarkedatthestateandfederallevelsandsecureadomainname.

14. Take advantage of free resources.


Numerousfreeresourcescanofferadvice,trainingandassistance.SBA.govisagreat
placetolookattofindlocalresources.
15. Determine tax obligations.
Nowitstimetowrestlewiththetaxobligations.IntheUnitedStates,fourbasictypesof
businesstaxesarise:income,selfemployment,taxesforemployeesandexcisetaxes.

16. Secure permits and licenses.


AccordingtoNOLO,youllhavetopickupafederalemploymentidentification
number(unlessthecompanyisasoleproprietorshiporalimitedliabilitycompany
withoutemployees.)Applyforstatelicenses.Pickupalocaltaxregistrationcertificate.
Fileforlocalpermits,ifrequired,suchasaconditionalusepermitorzoningvariance.

17. Buy insurance.


Makesurethatyouarrangefortheproperinsuranceforyourbusiness.Thiswillvary
accordingtothetypeofbusiness.Ifyoureworkingfromhomebesurethatyour
homeownersinsurancecoverstheftordamagetobusinessassets,aswellasliabilityfor
anybusinessrelatedinjuries.

18. Set up the books.


Figureoutifyoureusingacashoraccrualsystem,determinethefiscalyearforthe
businessandsetuparecordkeepingsystem.

19. Choose a business location.


Selectalocationthatbestfitstheneedsofyourbusiness,onethatoffersanopportunity
forgrowth,therightlevelofcompetitionandproximitytosuppliers.Itshouldalsobe
accessibletocustomers.

Related:OfficeSpacelaCarteIsontheMenuforSomeEntrepreneurs

20. Dont worry about an office.


Ifyourenotmakinganyrevenue,thendon'tconcernyourselfwithanofficeor
warehouseustyet.

21. A patent can wait.


Patentscancostthousandsofdollars.Waittopursuethisrouteuntilyouhaveafew
customerspayingthebills.Apatentislessusefulifyoucan'tenforceitorhavethe
moneytoseeitthrough.

22. Be flexible.
Chancesarethatyouroriginalideawillhavetobemodified.Beingabletopivotand
adapttocreatewhatcustomerswantwilldetermineifyourbusinesswillfailorsucceed.

23. Share your ideas with friends and family.


Yournearestanddearestwillmostlikelybethemosthonestwithyouaboutyour
business.Donthesitatetoseektheiradviceandsuggestions.

24. Ignore the naysayers.


Atthesametime,theresadifferencebetweenconstructivecriticismandsomeone's
quickjabprojectingthatyourbusinesswillfail.FollowtheexampleofFrenchInternet
mogulXavierNielandignorethem.

Related:WhenAngelInvestorsRejectYourPlan

25. Dont become angry.


Ifyourideaisrejectedbycustomersorinvestors,don'tjustsuccumbtoanger.Findout
whattheydidntlike,makeadjustmentsandgobacktothemwhenyouvemadethe
changes.There'sthepossibilitythatthetimingwaswrongaswell.

26. Deliver the product or service fast.


Yourbusinessisaworkinprogressandifyoulaunchyourproductorservicequickly,
youwillbeabletobuildacommunityofcustomerswhocanprovidevaluablefeedback
thatcanhelpyouimprovetheofferings.InthewordsofLinkedInfounderReidHoffman,
"Ifyou'renotembarrassedbyyourfirstproductrelease,you'vereleasedtoolate

27. Offer new products or services.


Ifyoualreadyhavecustomers,besuretoholdontothembyprovidingnewproductsor
services.

28. Be patient.
Alwayskeepinmindthatsuccesswonthappenovernight.Itsgoingtotakesometime
beforeyoumakeaprofit.

29. Overdeliver at first.


Onceyoulandanewclient,besuretogoaboveandbeyondthecallofdutyforatleast
thefirstmonth.Youllhavethiscustomerhookedfromthenon.

Related:TheWebIsaContentWar.Here'sHowtoWin.(Infographic)
30. Blog all the time.
Dontbeashamedtosharebothyourtriumphsandstruggles.Customerswillenjoyyour
honesty.

31. Avoid fights with partners


Ifyouhavedisagreementswithpartners,thensevertiesassoonaspossible.Inhouse
bickeringwillpreventyoufromfocusingongrowingthebusiness.

32. Dont worry about dilution.


Soaninvestorhasrequiredastakeinthecompany.Recognizethefactthateventuallyat
onepointoranotheryou'llhavetogiveupsomecontrolofthebusiness.Acceptitand
moveon.

33. Hire a copywriter.


Unlessyoureanexcellentwriter,hireacopywritertocomposeemailsforhighlytargeted
customers.Acopywriterwillalsoprovehandyforpressreleasesandotherpiecesto
spreadbrandawarenessorprovidebusinessupdates.

Related:7TaboosofBusinessPitching

34. Prepare for meetings.


Whenpreparingforameetingwithaclient,readuponeverythingthatsavailable,
steepingyourselfininformationabouttheindustry,thatfirm'semployeesandits
competition.

35. Dont fear the competition.


Dontbadmouththecompetitionwhentalkingtoinvestorsorcustomers.Theresno
needtobecomeanobjectofpity.Infact,talkinginthismannermightevenpoint
customerstoacompetitorwhomayofferaproductorservicethatyoudont.Remember,
whencompetitionexists,theresamarketforyourbusiness.Usethatknowledgeas
inspirationtooutperformarival.

36. Benefit from word-of-mouth.


Nothingbeatssomegoodoldfashionedwordofmouthmarketing.Letfriends,family
membersandinfluencersinyourfieldspreadthewordaboutyourproductorservice.

Related:WheretheRealDealsAreIgnitedatConferencestheBar
37. Network.
Dontbeafraidtogetoutthereandshowyourfacetothepublic,whetherataconference
orjustbeingoutandaboutwithfriendonaFridaynight.Buttrytostaylocalbecause
travelcandwindleyourbudget.

38. Provide outstanding customer service.


Interactingwithpeopleisabigpartofthejob.Yourbusinessmaygainnewcustomers
becauseyoumadethemfeelimportant.Forexample,Zapposwasntthefirstonlinestore
tosellshoes,butthecompanyperfecteditscustomerservicedepartmentandwonover
shoppers.

39. Be sure your website functions.


Potentialcustomerswanttoknowasmuchaboutyourbusinessaspossibleandthey
shouldbeabletoquicklyaccessthatkindofinformationonyourwebsite.

40. Dont be overly concerned by the economy.


Someofthebestbusinesseshavelaunchedduringarecession.Infact,halfoftheFortune
500companieslistedin2009werefoundedduringsuchtimes,accordingtotheEwing
MarionKauffmanFoundation.

41. Make sure clients pay their bills.


Alwaysbecertaintoreceivepaymentforyourproductsorservices.Insteadofbeing
takenadvantageofof,establishatimeframeforpayment.Italsowouldnthurttoaccept
creditcardsandhaveanonlinepaymentsystemsetup.

Related:9QuestionstoAskCandidates'References

42. Find the right employees.


Hiretherightpeopleforthejob.Eventhoughit'syourbusiness,youwon'tbeskilledat
everytask,whichiswhyyouneedqualifiedpeopletocompletethework.

43. Assign responsibilities.


Eelegateattainabletaskstoemployees.Thisisallabouteffectivemanagement.

44. Know that honesty is the best policy.


Ifanyissueswithemployeesemerge,besurethattheyareaddressed.Nooneenjoys
beingtalkedaboutbehindtheirback.
45. Remember that opposites attract.
Hirepeoplewithskillsandpersonalitiesthataretheoppositetoyours.Theyllchallenge
youandwillbringdifferentskillsandtalentstothebusinessthatyoudon't.

Related:DoesaWorkLifeBalanceExistforEntrepreneurs?NotReally.

46. Say goodbye to your social life.


Youregoingtospendalotoftimedevotedtothebusiness.Evenifyouplananightout,
youmayleaveearlybecausealightbulbjustwentoff.Hopefullythoseclosestinyourlife
willunderstand.

47. Recognize that you'll be the final person to be paid.


AstheCEO,yourethelasttocollectacheck.Thatsjusthowitworksuntiltheres
adequaterevenue.

48. Arrive at a useful definition of success.


Justbecauseyourbusinesshasntmadeyouamillionaire(yet)doesntmeanthatyour
enterpriseisafailure.Ifyoureabletomakesomesortofprofitdoingsomethingthat
yourepassionateabout,isntthatasuccessstory?

49. Realize when it's time to move on.


Failureisinevitable.Ifthingsarentworkingoutandyouvedoneallyoucan,thenput
asideyourprideandcloseupshop.Somethinglikethisisnoteasytoaccept.Butitsfor
thebest.

50. Dont just rely on the advice of others.


Despitemyofferingupallofthesetipsforyou,perhapsthemostimportantpieceof
adviceissomethinglearnedthehardway:Whilemanypeoplemayofferastartup
assiistance,recognizethatintheendyourethepersonrunningtheshowandtheone
responsibleforthecompany'ssuccessandfailure.Ifyouunderstandwhatworkedand
whatdidnt,youllburnishtheskillsandknowledgetorunyourbusiness.