How to prepare yourself before you launch your own business

Being an entrepreneur means having the audacity to dream big and the skillset to see it through. Though some have characteristics and knowledge from a young age, there is no barrier to when or even how you start your own business. For some, they have a great idea at the age of 18, drop out of school, and make themselves millionaires. They are not the rule. They are the exception.

It’s easy to start a business. It is so easy in fact all you need to do is register for it so that you can start paying taxes. No, starting a business is not the problem. It is succeeding with your business. It is turning that name into a brand that people know, trust, and buy from for years.

business planning ideas
Credit: Kalawin

Launching a business that makes money and consistently performs well for decades is a feat unto itself, especially in today’s world.

You don’t just need a great idea to succeed nowadays. You need the business acumen to continue to reinvent your brand time and time again so that you don’t just keep up with the times, but thrive in them. Lead them.

It is not a simple feat to start a business with such massive goals in mind, but by preparing yourself you can be the leader it needs to succeed. Don’t start a business until you are personally ready to take on all the responsibilities of steering it through the muddied waters of change and consumer fancy. Don’t start your business until you have completed the steps outlined in this guide:

Improve Your Lifestyle

If you want to start your own business that takes the world by storm you are going to need to get on top of your health now. You cannot accomplish your dreams if your body is wearing down. All it will mean is that instead of heading towards a goal, you will actually be heading towards complete and total burnout.

It is hard to keep going at a consistent pace. It takes a lot of willpower and drive, but it also requires a great diet, regular exercise, a good night’s sleep, and for you to relax. Building up stress, feeling like you are isolated from everything, being worn down – that does not help you succeed. That is nothing more than a recipe for disaster.

So the first step is to improve your lifestyle. Start and maintain very healthy and very strict morning and night-time routines. Bring healthy meals to work. Exercise a minimum of thirty minutes a day, with fifteen of those minutes being vigorous. Try to fit in seeing your friends or family at least once a week or every other week.

It won’t be easy, but by mastering these habits now you can better manage the extra workloads you will need to take on to prepare yourself to manage a successful business.

Work and Thrive in Your Industry

Though your end goal might not be CEO at the company you currently work for, the experience you are earning is invaluable. Try to work your way up the chain of command so that you get experience with managing a team.

Your goal here is two-fold. You want to become an expert and well-versed in your industry. You also want to gain the necessary leadership skills that will either sink or sail your future business. If you can maintain a team and actually improve their collaboration and quality of work, you are well on your way to being the owner and CEO of your own company.

Work On Creating A Great Business Idea

While you are working your way up the chain of command it is a great idea to start hashing out your business idea. This can take a lot of time. Great business plans are short, but they are created after investigated a huge amount of different components that will make up your business.

Use this time to work out what you want, how your business will be different, industry trends, competitor reports, consumer reports, and so on. Researching this in depth will give you a clearer understanding of what hole is missing in that market and what you personally need to do in order to make yourself into an industry leader and business tycoon.

Into Your Industry’s History

Understanding where you have come from is crucial to predict what will come. Another benefit of studying your industry’s history is that it is the best way to avoid already-made mistakes.

Into Your Competitors

Researching your competition is the easiest way to figure out how to create a strong and stable business of your own. Types of competition you should look into include:

Old and Defunct

Companies that went out of business fifty years ago that were once the biggest names around should be researched. They failed to adapt to the changing times and you need to figure out how they failed so you can compare them to those that succeeded.

Old and Established

These will be the companies you know today that are household names. They are dozens of years old, even hundreds. They have been around forever and they are leading the back for innovation. Beating them will require some truly disruptive ideas, but you won’t hit the mark if you aren’t already aware of what they are currently doing and investing in.

New and Successful

Upstart companies are also a key player to keep an eye on. They are your direct competitors, after all, except they have already managed to find footing in the shadow of their biggest competitors.

New and Bankrupt

Try to find companies that went bankrupt or were forced out of business in the last few years as well, and try to work out what they did wrong so that you don’t make similar mistakes with your own company.

Into New Technologies

New technologies have the ability to change the face of business in an instant. Sometimes, however, you don’t need to make a new tool in order to make your own business unique and stand out. By following technology trends you know what is out there and what is available. If that new tech can work wonders in your company then you have a golden ticket.

Into Consumer Trends

Consumers, of course, will always have the final say. Keep up to date with consumer trends so that you can market and sell your brand and product better.

Determine the Skills You Will Need to Learn

When you create a business plan one of the most important steps you can take is to figure out the job roles you will need to help you run it. Creating clear-cut job roles for yourself and hypothetical employees will give you a good understanding of what skills you personally need to develop. As a bonus, when the time comes to hire employees of your own, you will have a clear-cut job role to advertise.

Where to Start Your Ongoing Education

To succeed as a business on the long term you need to understand how the future will look. This means making it a point to stay up to date with industry news, reports, features, and trends. It also means knowing where to turn to gain the skills you need to put your knowledge to good use.

Where to start your ongoing education:

With Books

Buy books, or, if you don’t have time to read them on top of the journals and other articles we recommend, invest in audio books. This way you can listen to great thinkers on your way to work, when you work out, or even when you relax. Don’t just stick to non-fiction within your industry. If your future business is going to produce a product then read about environmentalism, tech, history, and so on.

With Industry Magazines, News, and Journals

Invest in quality publications. Ideally one industry magazine, one credible newspaper, and an academic journal that regularly publishes reports, studies, and other research conducted by academics in your field.

Industry magazines are perfect for keeping up to date with your competition, the trends, and your industry. The news is essential because political dealings around the world have a tendency to affect businesses in one way or another and staying on top of them is crucial. Academic studies, however, are perfect for leading the pack. You will need to use your own deductive reasoning, however, because unlike industry reports these studies will focus on answering one question, rather than focusing on providing suggestions for businesses.

By Attending Industry Events

Industry events occur regularly, and if you live in an internationally-focused city like NYC, LA, London, Mumbai, or elsewhere you are likely to have these events come right to your door. If not, invest in one big conference or event to attend each year. This way you can keep up to date, network with the right people, and keep an eye on your soon-to-be-competition.

By Enrolling in a Master’s

When you want to start your business, and not just a local mom and pop shop that serves your community, but an international business with a global output, you will want an MBA by your side. Online MBA’s from James Cook University are created for the businessperson like you, and done with the real world in mind.

They are notoriously difficult, and yet incredibly invaluable for the businessperson with grand visions of success. It can be hard to foresee everything you need to learn to run a business, especially one with international reach. A great MBA from an exceptional university will guide you, and give you the skills and knowledge you need.

How to Know You Are Ready

There will come a time where there is nothing more for you to do but jump in. Yes, you will learn on the job. You will always learn on the job, but by having a strong background in business management, consumer behavior, marketing, pricing, and of course your industry-specific specifications is what will help you through it. You will know you are ready when there is not feasibly anything else left to do.

When you are confident in leading, confident in your business plan, and confident you are ready, it is time. You may not feel like you know everything, but fact is you can only prepare the best you can and trust in yourself to tackle challenges as they arrive. You will grow. You will learn. Just remember to take your business with you along your journey.

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