If you are considering launching your own business for the first time – congratulations! The first stages of small start up can feel exciting but also overwhelming. There is so much to learn, so much to do, so many decisions to make. Here is an overview to the first steps any potential new owner should take.

Evaluate yourself

Evaluate yourself
Start by evaluating your strengths and weaknesses as a potential leader of a small business start up. The most successful leaders are, among other characteristics, creative, confident, visionary and persistent. This type of new venture is very risky and requires endless challenge.

However, it also provides opportunities to learn, excitement and self-satisfaction. Only you can evaluate whether you will be motivated enough by the benefits to deal with the downside.

Without the drive to take on the responsibility and the stamina to endure it for the long haul, a business has more of a chance of being among the 50% that fail. The good news is that anyone can learn what it takes to be an entrepreneur if they are committed to doing so.

Ask for help

A small business start up is going to require an entire network to survive.

From the family members closest to you, to the political decision makers in your state, your business will be impacted by a large number of connections. Make a commitment to reaching out to people. Don’t be too proud to ask for assistance when it’s needed.

From finding a mentor, to asking for a loan to asking for sales, the process never ends. Unfortunately, this process also requires the ability to handle rejection.
An owner must also be capable of developing positive relationships with people from a variety of backgrounds. As they are the primary face of the company in the beginning, it’s critical that their face be a positive one. This can be tricky when dealing with irritable customers or underperforming vendors.

Don’t rush the process

The excitement of the small start up can be addicting. It’s tempting to capitalize on this powerful emotion and get things moving as fast as possible. But the most successful entrepreneurs are those who commit themselves to exhaustive research, education and planning.

They don’t get bogged down and paralyzed by the process, rather they are able to effectively balance preparation with the capitalization of opportunity. This process is continuous; as the operations must be constantly re-evaluated as the business grows and expands.