If you’re ready to be your own boss, starting a business can be a great way to escape the daily grind and chase your passion. If you don’t have any experience in running a company, however, you might find it more challenging than you expected from your fantasies inside your cubicle. If you want to start your own business and run it successfully, here are just nine tips for keeping your head above water.

  1. Raise Money

Unless you have a trust fund to tap into, you’re probably going to need investors to get your business off the ground. This means that pitching, presenting and fundraising are all things you’ll need to get comfortable doing as an entrepreneur.

  1. Hoard Your Capital

Once you actually secure those funds, it’s very, very important that you don’t spend them all at once. As you’re probably aware, most businesses fail to turn a profit for at least a year, which means you might need to live and operate off what you’ve already raised for quite awhile.

  1. Stay Focused

It’s common for entrepreneurs to jump from one idea to the next when they’re excited by the prospect of owning their own business. Don’t fall into this trap. Find an idea, flesh it out and stick with it. You can only run one business at a time, at least as a newbie.

  1. Find a Niche

What will set your business apart from all others like it? Maybe you use organic materials. Maybe you cater to a very specific demographic. The details of your niche don’t really matter as long as you have one.

  1. Stick With What You Know

Don’t jump into an industry just because you think it’s profitable. You won’t understand the intricacies of it, so the chances are good that you won’t be an effective boss. Stick with an industry where you know the playbook.

  1. Get on Social Media

Social media is the contemporary equivalent of an ad in the phone book. If you aren’t in it, your customers are going to wonder why. Make sure you maintain at least one social media account that you update regularly so you can stay connected with your demographic.

  1. Beware Your Rivals

Always keep an eye on your competitors. You don’t want them to come along and sweep the consumers from under you because you weren’t paying attention. If your competitors offer a sale, create your own sale. If they run a sweepstakes, run a sweepstakes for your brand too.

  1. Learn From Your Mistakes

Don’t ignore them, but don’t obsess over them either. Everyone makes a bad call here and there when they’re starting their own business. The most important thing is that you learn from it and never commit the same mistake twice.

  1. Emulate the Experts

If there’s anyone in the business world that you admire, try to follow their example in everything you do. Men like Bob Bratt make it easy because of their presence blogs and social media, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a role model online.

These are just a few tips for starting your own company. Whether you’re a first-time business owner or an entrepreneur looking to branch out yet again, follow these tips for a greater chance of success.

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