What Not To Do When You Start A Business

There are a million tips out there for starting your business. But there are a few things NOT to do until you spend some time doing some serious research.

Don’t write a business plan yet

Research your idea and if it already exists, who the competition is, and who the perceived competition is. What’s “perceived competition” you ask?  Many entrepreneurs fall into the trap of believing they don’t have any competition in the market because no one else does EXACTLY what their idea does. But, the public doesn’t necessarily know or believe that. You need to research the companies who are doing something similar- even if you don’t think they are really competition, the public may not realize that.

Don’t name your business/ product yet

Research your concepts, and please please hire a professional designer and brand strategist to help you with this. You need to make sure no one else has that name, or similar concept- because I expect you want to avoid trademark infringement.  Plus, you need to know who your target audience is and how they will respond to your brand.

Don’t  start searching for funding yet

You need to have more than an idea. You need to have completed the research on your competition, market, target audience and overall idea before you even think about approaching someone and asking for funding. Serious investors are going to want to see a full business plan that is well written and well developed through research. Hire a professional capital generation firm to help you find qualified funders when you are ready.

Don’t rely on what your friends and family say

Listen, they are your friends and family, there are certain things that they will tell you and certain things they will not. Asking people in your inner most circle will not reveal how the general public and your target audience actually feel about your idea. Most people who know you will not share their full feelings- good or bad- with you as the idea originator. Instead, invest in a focus group. It will reveal a great deal about your idea and will ultimately lead you in the best direction possible for success.

So, get to work, you have a lot of homework to do! And, after you do all that- talk to a professional third party to do some additional research for you.  Being armed with the back up you need will make all the difference in your success.