5 Ways to Get Your Feet Wet Before Launching a Business

One of the best ways to understand what makes a business tick is to spend time researching companies you admire and that are successful in their industries.

Let’s say you have an interest in interior design. Which businesses, either local or online, are successful in that field? Do they sell a product or a service? What does their marketing look and sound like? Do they have an elegant website, or do their customers find them by reputation? Spending time researching existing businesses can help you refine your future business.

Learn How to Sell

Business is the exchange of products or services between a seller and a customer. In other words, all business is sales. If you don’t know how to sell your product or service to a customer, you will end up frustrated in your business endeavors.

To get your feet wet, learn how to sell by working with another company. Amway, the world’s leading direct-sales company, provides training and growth opportunities to independent business owners selling Amway products. By starting with a company like Amway, you can learn and refine your selling skills before you take the leap to selling your own products or services. If you know how to sell, you’ll be miles ahead of your competition when starting your own business.

Practice Discipline and Flexibility

Running a business requires discipline. The success of your venture depends on your ability to sit down and do the hard work day after day, month after month, year after year. You’ll need to create and follow a budget, be responsive to customers and suppliers, manage your marketing, and always be selling. At times it can be frustrating, and you’ll need the discipline to keep going. Just like you can learn to sell, you can learn to have discipline. Practicing discipline can be as simple as setting a short-term life goal and working toward it diligently.

Being disciplined doesn’t mean making a plan and sticking to it no matter the cost. Flexibility is another crucial skill for a business owner. When one part of a business plan isn’t working, identify it early and make adjustments.

Talk to Your Customers

Even if you don’t have a business in place, start talking to your potential customers. Many businesses either don’t talk to their customers at all or wait until they have a product to share. By reaching out to your potential customers before you begin, you’ll gain valuable knowledge of what they like, how they buy products or services, what motivates them, and how they like to interact with a business.

Image via Flickr by franzconde

Knowing these key factors will enable you to focus your time and resources on the things that can convert potential customers into paying customers. If your customers shop online, invest in a website and do your best to provide excellent user experiences. If your customers are nervous buyers, offer free samples. By understanding who your customers are, you can tailor your business to meet their needs.

Reach Out to Your Network

You’ll need support when you start a new business, and there are people in your network who have the expertise you’ll need. You may have a cousin who understands tax law or a friend who knows how to convert customers via social media. Let people know what your plans are, and ask if they’d be willing to help.

In addition to tapping your existing network, always be on the lookout for new connections. Attend small-business events in your area, join an entrepreneurs forum online, sign up for a business conference, and ask for introductions from your existing network.

There are many ways to get ready to start a business. Researching existing businesses, learning how to sell, practicing discipline, talking to your customers, and reaching out to your network will all help you on your path to being a successful business owner.



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