Starting and growing a business is one of the most challenging undertakings one can attempt in today’s world. It is a process of great risk that offers significant potential rewards. Regardless of what some books are gurus might promise, there simply are no guarantees anyone can provide that any particular business venture will succeed.
There are, however, a number of steps that entrepreneurs can take that will greatly increase their chances of survival of the startup phase and ultimate success. Such things as ensuring you start with adequate working capital and hiring the right people are always important aspects of such planning.
Learning from Experience
When it comes to business, one of the most important assets you can bring to the table is experience. In fact, many venture capitalists rank previous startup experience as a key qualifier for a prospective investment. However, if you’re just starting your journey, one way to gain the benefit of experience is to turn to someone who has been through the process before. Taking the time to find some mentors and assembling a board of advisors is one of the best investments you can make.
When you set out to build a group of mentors, you want to find different advisors for different aspects of your business. For example, a retired lawyer can provide valuable insights into negotiating contracts such as your lease and bank loan documents. Likewise, a former or current retailer can help you with such things as obtaining a merchant account necessary for you to be able to accept credit cards. A good small business accountant will teach you how important it is to focus on your receivables and other such payments.
The main thing such advice and guidance can do is to help you avoid common mistakes or waste a lot of time that could be invested in more productive areas of your business. Most business people will admit that most of what they’ve learned has been through overcoming simple mistakes and oversights. Those lessons often prove invaluable if you heed and avoid the problems behind them.
Take, for example, the idea of getting your business ready to accept payments by credit card. While it might seem simple to set up the needed merchant account, an experienced retailer can provide a lot of information about what to look for and what to avoid in credit card processers that provide such facilities.
The faster you want to grow, the more a group of qualified mentors can help you do it successfully.