Starting a business can be a quite fearsome prospect, whenever you do it. If you’re still relatively in the first flush of youth, then enthusiasm may carry you a long way. If you’re a little older then your added life experience can be a positive. But neither of these things will quieten completely the little voice that tells you you might fail. And fear of failure can be something that paralyses a new business.

If you want to start a business, there are some principles that you should hold dear to ensure your best chance of success. Perhaps more than anything, you need to keep in mind simplicity. As you become successful, complicated challenges will present themselves. An established business is well equipped to take these in stride. A newer business can find they stymie early growth.

So the governing principle of getting your startup off the ground is simplicity. You’ll have time to diversify as you grow. Early on it pays to be lean, disciplined and committed, and to live by some rules for success.

1. Know Your Market!


It’s easy to look at the fields that seem fertile now and believe that you can walk on in and make money fast. Easy and arrogant. Without knowing the field that you’re working in you fail to establish an understanding of what makes it pay.

People can spot an interloper. If you give the impression of thinking that you can master a market without doing the groundwork, you insult your audience. That’s a terrible place to start in business.

2. Plan Everything!


Of course, as has been said it is important to keep things simple to begin with. Part of the reason for this is because it is better to do a few things perfectly than a few dozen half-heartedly. If you’ve not run a business before, a business model template will be useful as a guide in planning your approach. The early days will be like an intelligence-gathering mission, so be like a sponge.

3. Count Every Penny!


A start-up business does not need to be expensive, but if you think you can do it without spending you’re wrong. Spending needs to be scrupulously targeted. A lot of people live early on by the idea that you need to spend money to make money, and accept every cost.

The danger to this is that you can be in the red before you’ve begun. It’s much easier to dab on the accelerator than slam on the brakes, so carefully audit what you’re spending so you don’t go too far. You won’t stop needing to spend money. It’s best to make sure startup capital goes a long way.

The sad truth is that business is not going to be without teething troubles. If you run things along disciplined lines early on, you’ll have a much clearer picture of where you are. So many businesses have failed in their first year because they thought enthusiasm would drive them all the way. But it doesn’t lend itself to clear thinking, and that’s what you’re going to need.