Starting a business is not that complicated; the challenging thing is to overcome the first stages and consolidate the project. Unfortunately, it is estimated that 80% of small businesses fail before five years and 90% of them fail to reach their first decade of life, as revealed by a report by the Barcelona City Council that analyzed entrepreneur activity in different countries of the world. In many cases, the failure is due to lack of planning and poor business management.
How to start a successful business?
Design a business plan
Any project must have a business plan that determines its technical, commercial and economic viability, also arousing the interest of potential investors. This tool will help you shape your business idea and allow you to plan the necessary steps to put it into practice so that you increase the chances of success and maximize the profit margin.
Analyze the competition
Before starting a business, whatever market niche you have chosen, you must gather basic information about the competition. What are your main competitors doing? What added value can you contribute that differentiates you from them? How satisfied are your customers? Look at the services they provide, the price range they apply, the staff they have and, if possible, find out who their distributors and suppliers are.
You can detect companies that offer products or services similar to yours in business censuses, such as the Chamber of Commerce. The Corporate Registry is also a valuable source of information since all companies present their annual accounts so that you can get an idea of the business figures that move in the sector and develop a more reliable prospect for your company.
Review the sectoral studies
The sectoral studies provide detailed information about the market in which you are going to venture and your future. Having real data will allow you to know in depth the sector so that you make informed decisions and measure the impact of each of your steps better. The free reports from the open source can be a good starting point, but if you want to delve deeper have to go to specialized companies like Deloitte & KPMG Sectorial Observatory which tracks almost all the sectors and publish huge in depth reports annually.
Find out about the current regulations
How to start a business involves managing so many details, it is easy to have loose ends, but not reviewing the current regulations can be very expensive, literally. Before starting a business, whether it is a physical space or an online store, you must know the regulation that is applied to you as you are likely to have to make an initial investment to meet the requirements.
Having good professional contacts is essential when starting a business. Meeting other entrepreneurs will allow you to get a clearer idea of what it means to undertake an activity on your own and you can learn from their experience to avoid the typical mistakes of a beginner. These contacts will not only help you in the launching phase but could also become investors, suppliers or distributors.
Turn technology into your ally
The Internet is a wonderful resource for starting a business: it can be the same to survey the market as to carry out promotional campaigns and customer loyalty. Technology will allow you to save costs, differentiate yourself from the competition and, if you use it intelligently, it will become a key factor for success and efficiency in your company.
Look for alternative sources of funding
Many people wonder how to start a business if they do not have the necessary initial capital and it is becoming increasingly difficult to access conventional funding sources. If this is your case, you should explore other financing alternatives, such as crowdfunding platforms, ideal for the first phases of the project, business angels , which normally enter the first round of financing when the project is already underway or the incubators of startups, a model of support for entrepreneurs whose project has not yet materialized that works brilliantly in the technology sector.