Entrepreneurs must take a giant leap to become a business owner; it is a decision that requires a great deal of courage. There is always a financial risk involved – potential business owners should consider the possibility of failure – and it’s never possible to be 100% prepared, as you can always learn more, read more widely, and gain more experience.

For those willing to take the risk, there are a number of steps that can be taken to improve the chances of success which will be explored in this article. Knowing why you are starting a business – truly understanding the reasons, motivations and intentions that make you want to take the risk – is one of the most important first steps.

A list of business motivations should include at least one reason that is an unshakeable truth – something that will remain true and important in a year or two, once the real hard work has begun. At the very start of the entrepreneurial journey, having clarity around why you want to start a business can be more important than knowing exactly what the business is, and who it will serve.

The Importance of Research

Excellent research will equip potential business owners with a good understanding of whether their new business idea will become a success. Invest time and resources into researching all areas of the potential business, with a view to understanding the target market, the customer base, the product or service itself, and the competitors already operating in the market. Collate all of this research into a realistic and well fleshed-out business plan before committing to the idea, and at the end of the research process, ask if it is still something you are passionate about and have 100% belief in as a business.

Risky Behaviour

With the research done and a business plan in hand, it’s time to take the plunge. There will always be the potential for failure – no matter the business – but a motivated leader with unshakeable belief and strong attention to detail will be able to take the first steps towards success.

It is important to be aware of all the possible implications and sacrifices involved when starting a business – and moreover, be ready to accept these sacrifices should real life not follow the business plan. These sacrifices range from the personal to the professional, and include long hours at the office, missing parties and abstaining from expensive holidays, as well as potentially losing any financial investment.

For further information about how to mitigate the risks involved in a new start up, refer to the embedded PDF.

The Competition 

Even if there is already stiff competition in your field, don’t be afraid of taking on large corporations or big brands. If you believe that your product or service is better than what the competition offers, then there is still a good opportunity for success.

Take Advantage of Technology 

There are many resources that are available – and invaluable – for entrepreneurs and start-ups. Online training, blogs, webinars, research and government resources, such as funding and grants, can be used to grow a business – and online innovations and new technologies also open up a host of opportunities for new businesses.

James Hopkins, founder of James Hopkins Coaching Limited, understands the value of online coaching and mentorship programs, as his company offers a coaching service to expats and travellers that focuses on teaching how to establish and grow a successful digital advertising business.