Prospective Business Owner

Starting your own business is an exciting prospect, and it’s always a risk — some really great companies never really quite take off, while others may strike it big due to a fortunate break. If you’re looking to start a new business, here are three things you need to do to optimize your chances for success.

1. Brand Yourself

Often, the difference between the success of two similar products is branding. Branding isn’t the same as marketing — marketing is how you promote your company, while branding is the culture you create around your product that distinguishes it from others. Be sure to think of not only the actual product itself but your company culture — this is all part of your brand. For example, one way the New York Yankees brand themselves is their team’s clean-cut appearances — none of them have beards or long hair. How can you make your company and product stand out?

Perhaps the most important part of any brand is the name — if you struggle coming up with catchy business name ideas, can help you generate one. If the name of your business doesn’t stand out, people are going to have a hard time remembering it. In a digital age, you also need to keep URLs in mind — it’s best to think of something where you can ensure a unique web address.

2. Get the Right Team

Many business owners try to do it all themselves at the beginning, and often, they don’t have any other choice. However, many businesses that should have succeeded face an early demise simply because the founder didn’t have all the right skills — somebody who invents a groundbreaking product isn’t necessarily going to have great business sense. Find a good business partner and team members who have different skills than you do. Make sure that within your company you have people with varying skills, such as marketing, sales, and management.

It can be easy to think you must do it all yourself because you don’t want to take on the risk of hiring, but remember that all new businesses require risk, and having a good team is typically a more calculated risk than hoping you are capable of every skill needed within a successful business.

3. Hit the Pavement

The word “grind” is a business cliche, but that’s for good reason — if you want a new business to succeed, you have to be willing to promote it day in and day out. Whether it’s going door to door to other businesses or attending trade shows, you need to look for every possible avenue to get your product or service in front of potential customers. Anybody who thinks owning a business will allow them to take it easy doesn’t know what it takes to succeed — you must have an unrelenting drive to get your name out there. This will also include online marketing.

If you do these things, you can increase your chances for success. Just make sure that whatever you do, makes your product stand out. If you have a product you really believe in, that passion will help drive the best decisions moving forward. Even as a new company, do everything you can to let the public know you’re the one they should trust with their business.

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