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When your business is still in the planning stages, it is important to know your mission. Start by clearly defining your business idea and being able to articulate it succinctly. Then examine your motives. Make sure that you have a passion for owning a business and for this particular business. Also be sure that you are willing to commit to the hours, discipline, continuous learning, and frustrations of owning your own business. You will also want to conduct a competitive analysis in your market, including products, prices, promotions, advertising, distribution, quality, service, and be aware of the outside influences that affect your business. And finally, be sure to seek help from other small businesses, vendors, professionals, government agencies, employees, and trade associations.
Want to improve the way you run your business? Entrepreneurs, academics, and consultants from diverse industries offer practical advice on a variety of topics each business day.
To submit a tip for consideration, first check our archive of previous tips to make sure you're not repeating a tip someone has already contributed. Then send the tip to Small Business channel contributor Michelle Dammon Loyalka. Because of the volume of material she receives, she may not respond to each individual.