Tips for a starting a successful business

9 August 2016

To succeed in business today, you need to be flexible and have good planning and organizational skills. Many people start a business thinking that they'll turn on their computers or open their doors and start making money - only to find that making money in a business is much more difficult than they thought. Here are a few tips to help you avoid having fairytale-like misconceptions in your business ventures by taking your time and planning out all the necessary steps you need to reach to achieve success. 

GET ORGANIZED 
Organization will help you complete tasks and stay on top of things to be done. A good way to do this is to create a to-do list each day - as you complete each item, check it off your list. This will ensure that you're not forgetting anything and you're completing all the tasks that are essential to the survival of your business. This first tip may be simple, but never underestimate the power of a good list! 

DETAILED RECORDS
All successful businesses keep detailed records. By keeping detailed records, you'll know where the business stands financially and what potential challenges you could be facing. Just knowing this gives you time to create strategies to overcome the obstacles that can prevent you from being successful and growing your business. Not a detailed oriented person? Hire someone that is and you will be grateful you did! 

SCOPE OUT THE COMPETITION
Competition breeds the best results. To be successful, you can't be afraid to study and learn from your competitors. After all, they may be doing something right that you can implement in your business to make more money. A little market research, testing of the product or service can go a long way, don't be afraid to do this, there are no rules for this.

RISKS VS. REWARDS
The key to being successful is taking calculated risks to help your business grow. A good question to ask is "What's the downside?" If you can answer this question, then you know what the worst-case scenario is. This knowledge will allow you to take the kinds of calculated risks that can generate tremendous rewards for your business.

CREATIVITY
Always be looking for ways to improve your business and to make it stand out from the competition. Recognize that you don't know everything and be open to new ideas and new approaches to your business. Follow social media trends, community trends, figure out who your market is and find a way to surprise them. 

FOCUS
Just because you open a business doesn't mean that you're going to immediately start making money. Stay focused on your product / service and don't get distracted with building your business bigger and bigger. Taking baby steps will help you assess what is working and not working and help you to focus on the things that does work / sell. 

SACRIFICES
The lead-up to starting a business is hard work, but after you open your doors, your work has just begun. In many cases, you have to put in more time than you would if you were working for someone else. In turn, you have to make sacrifices, such as spending less time with family and friends in order to be successful.

SERVICE WITH A SMILE
There are many successful businesses that forget that providing great customer service is important. If you provide better service for your customers, they'll be more inclined to come to you the next time they need something instead of going to your competition.

BE CONSISTENT
Consistency is key component to making money in business. You have to consistently keep doing the things necessary to be successful day in and day out. This will create long-term positive habits that will help you make money over the long term.

We aren't saying that these tips are the key to turning you into an overnight business shark, ready to roam the tank. But being organized, creative, consistent and smart about your business is a great place to start. Good luck and happy entrepreneuring Hong Kong!