People start businesses for many reasons. Some have worked for years in a particular field, acquiring expertise and professional contacts, and choose to go on their own. Others stumble across an idea or recognize a problem that isn’t currently being addressed. Whatever your impetus for starting your own business, there are several key steps you need to take to improve your chances of succeeding. Here are some of the more important ones.


Start Part Time

If feasible, it’s always advisable to start a business while you still have an income. That’s unless you have a rich aunt or the ability to raise lots of capital. Eighty-two percent of businesses fail because of poor cash management, according to Small Business Trends. Starting a business part time also gives you time to think your business through and eliminate the mistakes entrepreneurs often make because they need money.


Write a Business Plan

A business plan is a blue print of what your business looks like. It can include a simple mission statement, products, initial sales forecasts, and key elements of your marketing plan. It’s often prudent to start with a simple business plan until your work and ideas come to fruition, according to The Bottom Line. That gives you time to garner more detailed information, such as actual costs and sales, allowing you to make longer-term projections.


Know Your Target Market

Your target market is the core customer you’re trying to reach with your business. Target markets can consist of consumers, businesses, or both. When starting out, it’s best to limit your target market to the heaviest potential users of your product. Later, you can add secondary and tertiary segments to your target audience. Knowing your target market enables you to place your marketing messages where your core customers hang out, according to The Balance.


Seek Assistance as Needed

Whether you have experienced employees or go it alone initially, there are always people out there who can help you. If you’re trying to better understand satisfaction levels among core customers, for example, hire an experienced marketing research agency. You can also hire a legal advisor on a contingency to ensure you’ve gotten all the appropriate licenses.


Lastly, always strive to wow your customers. This will not only lead to more assignments, it’ll create positive publicity about you, which can lead to new business.