Actually there are several inter-related aspects of starting a business that need to be worked on to ensure a successful startup, but I consider these to be the most important…
1. Start a business in a subject that you are interested in.
Running a new business is hard work, it becomes a little bit easier, if you at least enjoy or have some attraction to the service, products or activity that is at its centre.
2. Come up with a differentiation for your business from its competitors.
It may be a brand new idea or invention, perhaps a fresh twist on an old idea. The best are disrupters of established markets, such as Uber vs taxis or Airbnb vs hotel rooms.
3. Check your idea for a business is commercial.
It is said that ideas are 10 a penny and not every idea will actually be a commercial success. You must really look hard at whether someone will put their hand in their pocket and pay you money.
4. Get your numbers together.
Finance may not be everybody’s favourite subject, but even a simple listing of costs vs likely selling price will guide you in the viability of the business in the first place and in knowing how to set prices and what you can afford as an expense.
5. Finally, how you implement is key.
The best ideas badly implemented will fail, but even average startups stand a good chance if well implemented.
By implementation I mean think through your supply chain, how you will get your product or service to market, how will you let your potential customers know that you exist, what customer service you need to provide and ensure you have a cash flow that won’t run out before you get enough sales to start making a profit.
The most important thing is to find a niche with low competition and low entry barrier. Then if you see it works, just double down and scale it. The biggest mistake is to try to launch a business that requires too much resources or doesn’t work. A lot of young entrepreneurs fail at this stage