You’ve decided to start a business, whether it be out of the desire for freedom, finding yourself in dire financial straits, or maybe you can’t handle working for someone else; whatever your reason is – congratulations on taking a big step towards starting a new life says William D King.
Starting a business entails many things, but the most important thing you’ll need to focus on is making your product or service as desirable as possible. Starting this process with a strong foundation of information will make your road much more smooth and pleasant. If you don’t, be prepared for many headaches and stress; I know all about it first-hand.
Here are five things that I wish I had known before starting my business:
1) You must research every aspect of your product/service –
This includes everything from sourcing materials, placing orders, delivery times (and guarantees), packaging design, the cost-effectiveness of advertising methods compared to results; basically, everything you can think of regarding the production/delivery/sale of your product or service should be researched. This is a necessary step because you have to know if your product/service will be profitable and what you need to charge to make a decent profit.
William D King says, in the beginning, some big mistakes I made were being too generous with my prices and forgetting about shipping costs when deciding how much to charge for products. You must also consider that some customers will take advantage of the kindness of others; people are selfish beings by nature – it’s part of our DNA. The best way around this issue is through clear communication before the purchase occurs, which brings me to point number two…
2) Communicate everything clearly, or risk losing out on sales –
Customers hate surprises; they want all information available beforehand. People will more often than not leave your site or hang up on you if they feel like anything is being hidden from them.
If one of the features/functions of your product isn’t immediately evident upon browsing through your site, make sure you have a section called “Policies” with complete detail about what you do and don’t provide. Also, be sure to include this information in any initial phone conversations you have with potential customers; also, it’s best to put everything in writing, no matter how trivial it may seem at the time, so both parties remember the details later down the road.
3) Know how much work goes into starting a business before doing so –
This is probably the most important thing I wish I knew before starting my business; I assumed it would be easy and that nothing of consequence would happen says William D King. This couldn’t be more wrong; starting a business is hard work, and it will take over your life if you let it. It doesn’t matter how big or small of a company you decide to start; the fact remains that when you put in money, time, effort, sweat, tears, etc., into your business – for me personally, it all felt like I was giving birth to something alive.
That being said, don’t expect instant success either because there are no “get rich quick” schemes in reality; what’s worth having taken time and commitment to accomplish. The good news is that once you get past the initial stage of starting your company, you can hire employees to do the things you don’t have time for or are not good at. If you can get past that point, it will be worth everything in the end.
4) Knowledge is not power – experience is power –
There’s only one way around this, and it’s through trial and error; if you want to gain knowledge about something, then learn from someone else who has done what you want to accomplish already. The internet is an excellent tool because people are usually happy to share their experiences on their blogs or websites when they become an established resource.
5) Connections are valuable assets –
This may seem obvious, but connections are more valuable than money almost every single time. People who are well connecting, know other people who are well connecting, etc., have the upper hand in making deals because they can reach more people through their connections than if they were to go directly to the source themselves. To make use of this obvious fact, simply put yourself in a position where you can meet as many high-level executives or owners of companies as possible; I try to make it my main goal at every single convention and trade show I attend.