We hear this question a lot. Surprisingly, if you search for an answer on Google you will find a lot of bad advice. Some “experts” say the first step is registering your business. Others suggest writing a detailed business plan or getting a business license is a good starting point. While those may be necessary steps for a business to take, they are most definitely not the first step.
The first step to take when starting a business is to find a real customer.
What do I mean by a real customer?
- A real customer is NOT a friend or family member who is doing you a favor by buying from you.
- A real customer is NOT somebody who thinks you have a sound business idea.
- A real customer is NOT somebody who is thinking about buying from you.
Until you have someone actually paying you money for a product or service you don’t have a business; you have a hobby. Find a real customer and do everything you can to delight that customer.
What’s the second step? Find another customer. Once this becomes a repeatable process you know you have a business. At that point you can register your business, write your business plan, get your business license, etc.
So many entrepreneurs struggle at the onset because they spend time and money on a businesses before it even gets off the ground. If your first step is finding a real customer, then you’re starting out on the right foot.
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