Getting Started with Your Startup Business
When you get all fired up about an idea all you want to do is jump in and get it going. The challenge with that approach is it can be the quickest way to kill the brilliant idea; the opposite of your desire.

As a miner friend of mine is want to quote me Confucius' "success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure" (you'd want a miner working with explosives to readily appreciate this quote!) the key to making sure your most sparkling idea is to nurture it with some preparation.

7 Tips for Preparing for Your Startup Business

So to help your startup business be the success it deserves to be I thought some practical tips for preparing for the results you want would be just what the miner and Confucius would appreciate.

To prepare for your startup business:

1. Research your idea and what's around it. Find out what similar products or services are in the market and what sort of business models are being used. From this you can figure out what works and what doesn't work or could work really well if tweaked.

2. Analyse your skills and identify where you need more training and education and then get the skills. You might find out in this process that there are areas of the business that you are very good at and others that just aren't you. The key is in understanding what's involved so you can make wise decisions about delegation and outsourcing as well as implementation.

3. Create a learning path that is part of your regular routines. Having a business is about constantly learning and innovation. This can include learning from others through biographies, interviews as well as formal learning such as tertiary qualifications.

Make your content marketing work for your business

4. Connect with influencers in your field so you can not only learn from them but also share what you're doing. One key influencer sharing your work to their network is worth hundreds of regular customers sharing your story. You can connect with influencers online through their blog and social media, attend their events (the smaller ones give you a great opportunity to introduce yourself whereas the large conferences make this much harder) and webinairs.

5. Live on a reduced budget so you can save for your business as well as have a real understanding of the limitations of a constrained budget. The harsh reality of a startup business is the pressure it puts on your living budget for the first years.

6. Create plans so you can actually map out where you'll go and how you'll get there. The size of the plans themselves can be anywhere from a couple of pages to 20 pages. The real value is the working through the challenging issues and questions that make you think carefully and daunt you. The types of plans to work on include a business plan, business strategy, marketing strategy, marketing plans, financial plan, media plan and an exit strategy.

7. Build an audience for your new business so you have a targeted database and following already there for when you launch. Blogging is a great way to grow a database and an audience and lets you keep learning and exploring the field you're passionate about. A blog will start to position you as an expert in your field, give you a hub to bring back traffic from your social media websites and lets you connect with influencers more easily. Bring traffic to your blog through Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. Other business owners will want to connect with you because of the value of your database.

Preparing for Brilliance

Preparing for your brilliant new business can take as little as six months or as long as six years. It's down to you and what you have happening in your life, how ready you are for it and what you want to achieve with the business.

A girlfriend of mine realised she wanted to work more with her passion for design and decided she needed more skills in the field so started a graphic design university degree and was able to have some credit given for her first degree and work experience. With all that taken into account it came down to four years part time. While it sometimes means a tricky balance between work, kids, husband, home, blog and study she is very well prepared for making a career change in her 40's to her own business.

The preparation time and method is different for all of us but it is the key for success for all businesses.

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