Thinking of starting your own business? The idea can be daunting, particularly when you’re faced with data informing you that around two-thirds of new companies fail in their first year. However, it’s important to note that a lack of planning contributes significantly to the vast majority of these failures. In this article, we provide a checklist of the central tools you’ll need to make your startup successful for years to come. Get these things right, and the rest will follow.

Startup resources
Image Credit: Startup Illustration by WOOBRO DESIGN

Ideas

Don’t take the leap with your new business until you are totally sold on your brand’s ideas and ideals. What are you selling? Why is it needed? Who will pay you for it? What are its strengths? How is it different to everything else that is available? How will it make your clients’ lives better? The ideas you have should enable you to easily work out an answer to all of the above questions. If you struggle with any, it may be worth going back to the drawing board for at least a portion of your plans.

Qualifications

Why should you be the person to head up this operation? As a startup boss, you need to be respected and trusted. Your employees, stakeholders and clients need to have faith that you will always do what is right for the company. A great way to make sure that this is the case is to become thoroughly qualified – either in your chosen field or in general business practices or administration. A strong theoretical and practical knowledge will give others – and yourself – confidence that you know what you’re doing. It will also arm you with the ability to research and develop new ideas and to keep on top of the ongoing changes in all relevant markets. Fortunately, you can apply for financial support in the form of private student loans for almost any course. Just remember to research the do’s and don’ts before your student loan grace period ends so you know when to expect repayments to begin.

Support

Don’t try to make it on your own. It’s easy to burn out and fall behind on vital tasks, so be sure that you hire all the staff you need in order to keep on top of everything, whether you opt for full time workers or casual contractors. You should also have loved ones to vent to when you need it. Perhaps talk to your friends and family about this in advance to make sure they understand why it might happen. Most of the time, they’ll understand the pressure you’re under and help you out where they can. Don’t worry about being a burden – things will get easier as your business grows, and they’ll want to be there to see you succeed.

Curiosity

The most successful business owners are always exploring new areas of their field, or reading into totally different practices to see what additional lessons they can learn. Attend events, talk to new people and keep your eyes open and you might discover an exciting new resource or way of thinking that will vastly improve the way you work.

Investment

Yes, this means money – you can apply for business loans from banks, crowdfund your company or invite specialists to invest in your company – but it also means effort. You can’t do anything by halves when you run a business. This kind of work will need your enthusiasm and concentration 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the rest of your working life. If you’re prepared to give that kind of investment, you’ll be a fantastic boss.