What Every Entrepreneur Needs To Know Before Starting A Business

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Are you thinking of starting a business, and not sure how to build sales? Or already have – but need more revenue? Determine where the pitfalls beforehand… Look before you leap!

Most entrepreneurs develop a business because they have a great idea. Sometimes, entrepreneurs have market experience. In either case, the first thing on the To-Do list is usually “Go raise money.” Alternatively, it’s “Get business cards and hang out the shingle”.

Clearly, if you have a great idea, all you need is money, or to go ahead and just start it… because that’s all it really takes. Right? Wrong!

Satchel Paige’s statement “None of us is as smart as all of us” is highly applicable in this situation. More to the point: None of us is as smart as the market!

If you have never built a successful business, chances are you don’t really know what it takes to cost-effectively build a successful company. You may think you do, but after helping hundreds of entrepreneurs get to their first – and next levels, I am surprised by how many people (later) admit to not having a clue about what it really took to build their company! Chances are you don’t, either.

I certainly had no clue what building my own company would entail, 22 years ago. Even though I was previously in the top 2% of – and had led 250 people in line and project roles in – a Global 500 company.

Being an executive in business does not equal being an entrepreneur in a start-up. Even if you have market knowledge, assuming that you know what customers think or will think can be disastrous to your company. This is why investors want to know about the market. First. And this is why you should, too.

Forewarned is forearmed.

There are many ways companies fail, and only a few ways that they make it. Since 50% of business fail within the first 5 years and only 30% of those remaining are actually profitable, learning what the pitfalls are – learning the unvarnished truth before you start will help you and your business succeed.

From The Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide by Mark Paul. Paul is managing partner at Synergy Consulting Group, an executive / business development consultancy.