Starting a business is exciting, but just because you have a great idea doesn’t mean your business will stand a high chance of succeeding. There are thousands of variables that affect your eventual performance in the market, many of which depend on your abilities and position as an entrepreneur.
So before you start a business — or even start planning one — aim to accomplish these five goals:
1. Get your credit in order. Your personal credit may have an impact on the types of loans and credit you’re able to get for your business. This is crucial if you want to maintain positive cash flow and set up a financial safety net for your business.
2. Build up personal savings. Starting a business is financially risky even if you’re not investing that much personal capital. Your revenue is going to be unpredictable at first, and you may go several months without a salary as you get things up and running. A cushion of personal savings can help you get through those dry spells.
3. Expand your professional network. The contacts you have will support your business development, whether they become partners, vendors, clients, or even employees. Work on meeting new people and learning new things before you start a business.
4. Develop yourself as a leader. Your leadership skills will guide your team (and therefore your business) to success. Attend leadership classes, seminars, and other opportunities to learn to develop your knowledge and skills as a leader.
5. Create a backup plan. It’s good to be optimistic, but there’s always the chance that your business will fail. Have a strong backup plan in place in case it does.
With these five goals accomplished, you’ll be in a much better position to start a business and achieve your long-term goals. They aren’t requirements, by any means, but they will help you create a better foundation and poise yourself for better growth in the future.