The first step to starting a business in the United States is learning, gathering information. Entrepreneurs need to acquire good working knowledge of most of the different aspects of running a business: sales, marketing, money management, people management. Ultimately, as a business grows, the entrepreneur will be able to bring in specialists for all these areas, but in the beginning, it is essential not to ignore important areas that happen to be of little interest. Even a small business is potentially complicated.
With a good general knowledge base, the next step is to learn as much as possible about the potential market for your product or service: who will buy and why. Every business needs a careful plan. Every entrepreneur needs a hardheaded friend who will shoot holes through the plan. A good plan is a good start.
Superb plans fail, of course, or need readjustment. Despite the most diligent research, the market has a mind of its own. When it speaks, successful entrepreneurs listen carefully. The business plan may say a product is a winner, but the market says “no, we want something else.” The entrepreneur who succeeds has the courage to rethink, re-plan, and readjust, leaving emotion aside. Many of the most successful entrepreneurs began in one business only to thrive in another when the market pulled them in other directions.
Study other entrepreneurs; learn how they think, learn how they plan, learn how they fear and how they break through their fear. Then know yourself, your strengths and limitations. You will be able to bring in others to make up for your limitations. The best entrepreneurs always do.
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