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Article Contributed by Jeff E. Brown

What makes a successful entrepreneur? This is a common question, one that most business professionals would like answered. The only problem is there is no straight forward or perfect response. All successful entrepreneurs around the globe have different tales of how they managed to start a business and succeed.

Nevertheless, there is one specific element they share; they built their businesses from the ground up. There is no absolute method, but if you take these ten steps before you actually start your own business, you’ll be on the right track.

1. Have a Viable Business Idea
An idea is the first step to starting any business venture. You must be absolutely confident that you have an exceptional business idea that is viable to you and society. Now, you don’t want to publicly present all of your business ideas in full, because you can’t risk those ideas getting stolen. But, it is expected of you to do your due diligence to ascertain if your business idea is practical, feasible and profitable.

You have to ensure that individuals will buy your pitch and that the ROI (Return on Investment) is guaranteed. Evaluation of business concepts and their implementation must not take up years, as someone might just overtake you and reap the spoils; meaning, you need to think and act fast while doing a rigorous evaluation of your startup.

2. Plan Ahead
After identifying a viable business idea, your next step is to plan ahead. You need to have an emergency plan in case an obstacle or problem occurs. Thinking ahead and preparing for any eventuality will insulate your business from internal and external variables. This aspect is imperative when setting up a new business, or startup, to be more specific.

3. Lay Out Your Budget
A serious,prospective business professional would map out a sensible estimate of capital requirements. The problem comes when you are unable to figure out the source of the capital.

Line of Credit (LOCs) is always the best option. Against traditional loans that are usually given out by banking institutions, a line of credit requires less paperwork, and you don’t need to sit back and watch for the business idea to get ratified.

A line of credit can be collateral or non-collateral. A collateral line of credit requires some form of security like property or business while non-collateral means you don’t have to provide any guarantees in the form of property or business.

Ensure you are getting the best rates on your line of credit. The best rates will depend on your character, capacity and credit score so ensure that they are always up to the mark. However, if your credit score isn’t on par, there are institutions like BR Finance Solutions that can help correct the deviation so you can access the capital for your startup.

4. Define Your Target Market
Evaluating your target marketplace requires meticulous and thorough research. The most important elements you need to research on include identifying who exactly your target audience is, their interest, age group and buying power.

An internet research won’t give you all the answers you need. You have to define the available and addressable markets. The available market is defined by the share of the addressable market for which you can practically compete.

On the other hand, the addressable market is defined by the sum revenue opportunity for your product or service. The available and addressable markets are based on factors like resources, capacity, and geography. You’ll then need to compute the return on investment and finally the location your idea would be best suited, for example, you cannot choose a location where your product or service is outlawed.

5. Evaluate Competition
Analyze your surroundings. For your business to thrive and become a champion in its niche, ensure there is no stiff competition or if there is, have what it takes to get the best of them. By evaluating your main competitors and defining their clients, you can easily find out how you can compete in terms of service, cost, and technology.

6. Set Up Your Office Space
Just like any business, you need to set up a base of operations. You may already have your workspace; that’s an advantage. You can decide to rent if you don’t have one. Better yet, you can work from the comfort of your home to save yourself the hassle.

The bottom-line, however, is that your workspace is determined by the line of business. A classic office normally does the magic, but you can create a classic office at home by redesigning it. Keep in mind, you also need to maintain your home office, just as the rest of the house, and make sure it also has all the features of a regular, corporate office.

Your home office should not be necessarily off-limits to your team. Also, members of your team can work from their own home offices, and you can stay in check online.

7. Establish Online Presence
In today’s fast and cutthroat marketplace, you must take advantage of technology to stay afloat. You definitely need an official website. Buying domains, themes, and templates is less of a hassle these days.

You also need marketing tools to expand your customer base, for instance, a Facebook Business Page, a Twitter account, Instagram and other social media platforms. To generate and entice customers to buy your products, you have to engage and promote your products and services.

8. Develop a Maintenance Blueprint
When the wheels of your business are finally in motion, you must ensure that you follow up daily tasks that keep the enterprise going, for instance, keeping track of inventory, organizing the payroll, regular blogging, updating your website and utilizing social media.

Draw up an ambitious digital timetable of the tasks and set reminders so that you don’t miss a single activity.

9. Set Your Future Goals
Whether your enterprise is just starting out or older than a year, you need to continually set goals to propel the business to the next level. Follow what your competition and peers are doing. Listen to your investors and customers. If you are working with a team, regularly get feedback from them.

Based on that info, make a list of what needs to be done and achieved to continue doing business successfully, and map out your future goals.

10. Allow Yourself to Grow
This is an aspect you’ll implement once your business takes off. Continuous growth must be part and parcel of your short and long term strategy. Check out other business models. Have a moment to think about where the business will be in 2 years. In the course of operation, you’ll need to modify some aspects to fine tune them. Simply learn and improve each step of the way.

The steps mentioned above will surely guide you towards creating a successful and
sustainable business model. You should not side step the rules because that might come along with consequences. Keep in mind that great startups start from the bottom, but if the right foundation is laid, the business is destined to stand tall for years.

About the author:

Jeff E. Brown is a freelance writer and a self-taught handy man with a knack for lifehacking



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