What must young/first-time entrepreneurs know before they build a company?
Are there milestones, starting points or specific checklists I should go through before I begin to build my first company? Any advice would be appreciated, thanks.
What do you need to know - absolutely everything! And you need to learn it all fast. Start with your business plan - you shouldn't do anything without one - even if it's only a single side of A4. Beg, steal and borrow all the help you can get from Friends, Family, Colleagues and Network contacts - at an early stage find a mentor - someone who has started their own business and successfully grown it. As to milestones - don't start a company unless you know what market you are in, how big the market is, who are your competitors and why people will buy from you rather than them.
It starts for me with MGSPI.
M= mindset/attitude (high energy, enthousiasm in what you do, opportunity, burning desire)
G= goals (setting the right elements for success, where you want to go)
S= strategy (how do you get there)
P=Plan (planning when what to do)
I= Implementation (do what you describe above).
Try to search for a buddy that can help/support you. Good luick.
I think the most important thing you need to know before you take a leap and start a company is that it will be a lot more work than you think it will. Starting and running a business provides many great benefits and joys but is also a tremendous amount of work. If you don't absolutely LOVE what it is you are doing you will not be able to make it through the tough days and it will be too easy to give up.
I think knowing that it is Ok to fail is also a must. Not every business is a winner right of the bat. But NEVER EVER give up, keep putting a slightly different spin on your product or service or try and different market. If your work is your passion you will find a way to make it work.
I think everything else that has been mentioned on here is also important but as the first thing you need to know I think the above is it.
first I would suggest researching to see if there is a market for your product/service and if so what/who is the competition
Figure out a clear path to getting a salary. Don't plan on working for free more than a month or two. You gotta make an all in. Better find money first, if you can't you've got a problem.
Remember three important elements in starting a business (assuming you have the money)....First, ensure you have a GREAT accountant; Second, ensure you have a GREAT lawyer and ensure you have a GREAT imagination. You'll find numerous resources to starting a business, developing a short term and long term business plan and keeping it on track. I always found it more productive to keep your business plans in short 90 day attainable plans-of-action.. Let nature take it's course in the beginning before you accelerate. Keep a level head, eyes wide open and (again) never look back. Mistakes will happen. It's a natural evolution of a business. You goal is to keep those mistakes to a minimum. Remember too, People will tell you you can't make it happen and you're wasting time and money. But if you believe in it. It will happen. It's called a dream! Dream BIG!
The thing many first-time entrepreneurs seem to miss the most is how little they really know about the definition of being a true entrepreneur. Seek advice and wisdom from those you trust and those who have already proven themselves. And if you do not succeed, it is only a failure if you do not learn from it. Otherwise, it becomes another lesson in life.
I believe that crafting your brand--your promise to buyers with a foundation of trust-- is one of the most important initial steps in jumpstarting a business. Branding is about discovering the thing deep inside you and your business that creates unique value for your customers and differentiates you from the competition. All good business decisions are made in alignment with the established brand. Your brand determines the position and strength of your entire marketing framework, and serves as consistent point of focus. If you clearly and consistently brand your business, you’ll have a laser-focused understanding of your business’s values and goals, and a self awareness that dictates all your actions. Over time, you will build a stronger business identity.
Do something that you love doing, that you are talented at doing, and something that get's you excited every morning. Build around what you want, and build to design your lifestyle. I've started 21 companies, the first of which were not based around my desires. I was designing my businesses around what would make the quickest and most money. Bad idea to focus on the money first.
If you're considering starting a company you need to consider cost. The cost of a start-up varies on location, size, franchising, and so on but most businesses require a logo, and a sign. This is extremely important in creating your business' brand and getting your name out there.