By Jill Hart
We know what it’s like. You have a great idea and are ready to begin building your business, but how do you know where to start? What are the first steps that you should take? Below are a few tips to get you started in the right direction.
Have a Plan & Work That Plan
The first step toward starting a business is to have a plan in place. Most successful businesses take the time to make sure they have a blueprint to success, a plan. When you have a blueprint and a direction to go, you will be so much more successful. There are many free resources across the Internet that can aid you in structuring and thinking through the writing of your business plan. Once you get the plan in place, follow it!
Don’t Try To Do It All Yourself
A wise business owner knows that they can’t do it alone. Even if you have a small budget to begin with, you can enlist the help of a virtual assistant or possibly volunteers or mentors. Get more on board who have experience that can help you in your business.
Know Your Audience (and why they would be interested in your products or services)
Who are you trying to reach? Who needs your product or information? Take the time to do market research and list out who you are selling to and where you can find them – both online and offline. This will help you both when creating the product/service and in your marketing efforts. Also, make sure you keep in touch with your audience and find out how they feel. You can easily create surveys and find out valuable information about what they really think.
Be Clear On Your Rates
You must be clear not only with potential clients, but you must know for yourself what you need to earn. Be brutally honest with yourself about how much you need to earn to keep your business afloat. Now set realistic goals and figure out how to make that happen. Remember in setting your rates that often times you are selling the value of your services or products, and not necessarily the service or product itself.
You Gotta Want It
Someone asked me once why I thought some entrepreneurs succeeded while others, just as talented, failed. My answer? Those that succeeded wanted it bad enough to do whatever it took to make it happen. Running a business isn’t easy, especially in the beginning. There will be long hours, tough critics and disappointments that can’t be prepared for. The entrepreneur who works through the tough times is the one who succeeds in the end.
Don’t wait until you “have it all together” to take that first step – it will never happen. If you have a great idea and have done enough planning to know where you’re headed, go for it. Be prepared to learn some lessons. Be prepared to make changes along the way. But, if you never take the first step you’ll never know the joy of the journey.
Jill Hart of Christian Work at Home Moms, CWAHM.com . and Diana Ennen of VirtualWordPublishing.com  are the co-authors of So You Want To Be a Work-at-Home Mom. For more tips visit http://SoYouWantToBeaWAHM.com .
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