Starting your own business can be an exciting venture, and can also be frightening as heck. Knowing the direction you want to go with good hard research, excellent mentors, and cold hard cash – can definitely help, and combining your talent, passion, and hard work along with the ability to be flexible can create something that could be a major success.

Of course, having experience in the specific field doesn’t hurt, as well as a great business plan and a team of successful people or a business whiz who can advise and counsel you through some of the hurdles you are bound to encounter are also important to success.

Starting a business is more than just a great idea. That idea is what will create your drive and passion, but the list below coupled with your inspiration is what some successful entrepreneurs say – put them over the top.

  1. Be in the right place at the right time. One of the most basic fundamentals of success is being in the right place at the right time. This can be true in many different facets of business, but the first and foremost is economic desirability and necessity. Is your service or product needed at this time or in the near future? Unfortunately, this is something that if everyone knew, we’d all be millionaires – but thorough research can give you the trends for your product or service and gets you on the right track.
  2. Visualize success – yes, visualization can and does work for many successful business owners. By visualizing that this business can and will be successful – it is the surest way to demonstrate that successful ‘air’ to others and in turn, bring a better chance at success. Who doesn’t want to jump on board of a successful enterprise?
  3. Believe in what you are doing. Is what you are doing something that you truly believe in, and is it something that you could ‘love’ doing? Studies show that people who actually do what they love – succeed in ways that others do not. The productivity level and passion that exudes from your efforts are more likely to pay off when it is something you truly believe in, and love. If you don’t love it, perhaps strongly believe in it.
  4. Stay motivated… every single business venture hits snags, but the trick to success is to get over the failures, correct them and keep going. Nobody has ever started a business that was trouble-free, and each hurdle only gives you motivation to learn more, and gives you more tools with which to succeed. Every mountain you have to climb only puts you closer to the top.
  5. Search out talented people. Every successful business has a team of devoted and highly talented people. Of course, starting a business will usually mean you are doing all of the work yourself to begin with – however, when you’re designing your business plan, include the funds for them. A good team will be one of the most invaluable assets you can muster for the start up of a new business. They can brainstorm with you during the rough as well as the favorable times and come up with solutions you never thought about – helping to make the business run more successfully.
  6. Set goals – never stop setting goals. Long-term goals are the most important, but in between those long-term goals, set short-term goals as well. Goals help you to see a finish line, and to strive to reach that line. They motivate as well as keep you on course. Diversions are eminent in business, but sticking as close to the plan as possible will help divert confusion and chaos.
  7. Think positively – yes, I know, a complete cliché – but many successful entrepreneurs agree that this is one of the most important components of success. Not only does your thinking affect how you interact with business contacts, or customers, when things start taking a turn for the worse, being positive will do wonders for your attitude and in finding solutions. There are many books out there to help you do just that – One book that I strongly suggest You Can’t Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought, by McWilliams and John-Roger.
  8. Get the latest technology – and know how to use it. In this day and age of super technology, software, phones and gadgets, it is imperative that you are able to market and network in the latest modes and with the latest technology. Get yourself out there on the networking sites, keep in touch via email, your phone and every other method available to you, and even when on appointments make sure you know how to use all of them so you never miss an important email, client or opportunity to network.
  9. Money is good – don’t be afraid to talk about it, ask for it, borrow it, control it, and never pass up an opportunity if money is involved. Money has become such a negative undertone in business, so much so that a lot of businesses claim they are “in it to make a difference” not to make money – well, we all know that is generally a false statement. You are in this business to make a good living – and making a difference is second. Or, to be successful, it should be.Also, be sure that you get enough financial support to sustain your business until you do begin making the dollars, or you could fail. Your accountant can prepare a financial forecast for you, and when you go to borrow or get investors, get more cash than you need.
  10. Get big fast – in other words, gather as much start-up strength or launch potential as possible before actually going public. If you start out big, you have a much better chance at success before your business, and potential customers go cold. You’ve heard about real estate homes that have been on the market for too long – people overlook them with the unspoken thought that something is wrong with that property. Get as many customers as possible in the beginning – numbers breed numbers. People see success and want to jump on board.In other words, don’t launch your business small – launch BIG and plan on getting bigger every day. Think from the end – and set reasonable goals that are achievable.

Good luck – and remember, Bill Gates had a great idea as well.