Setting up a business is no easy task! A whopping 30% of businesses fail in their first two years? Every aspiring business person wants to know how to set up a successful, sustainable business.

Find your passion
Starting a business is hard work. It won’t always be pleasant, and you’ll probably feel like quitting a lot of the time! Being passionate about what you’re doing will keep you focused and your belief in what you’re doing will light up the many dark days you will stumble upon while you struggle to build your business.
Research
This is an important step when starting a business. Gather all the knowledge you can, read books, talk to experts, ask questions. Google is your friend! It’s not possible to be 100% prepared, but research helps prevent you from stepping blindly into the business.
Get a Mentor
Find someone who can guide you on the journey. Look for someone who has done something similar to what you are embarking upon. A physical mentor is great but virtual mentors will do nicely! If you do find a physical mentor, be prepared to give before you ask. Ensure you offer to do something for them, don’t just demand their help. They don’t owe you anything! Remember the principle of sowing before reaping.
Set Goals
Goal-setting will help you complete your tasks and make sure things get done. Ensure you have annual, monthly and weekly goals. Also, create a to-do list each day, prioritize and cross off the tasks as you complete them. This keeps things top of mind and ensures that all tasks essential to the survival of your business are completed.
Prepare for competition
Analyze your competition and prepare yourself for imitation. We are nearing a global marketplace and there is no shortage of competitors and imitators of good products. Learn from your competitors and stay one step ahead of your imitators with continuous innovation. Ensure you have a USP (unique selling proposition). Ask yourself “why would I buy from me?”
Aim to create radical improvement
Everyone is making similar products. Provide radical improvement to make an impact on your business. Let your potential customers see that they stand to gain so much more by investing in your products/services. Your value in business is positively correlated with the value you provide for your customers.

Focus on Sales & Marketing first

Run lean and start saving
It’s important to budget properly before you start. You should have an emergency savings fund before you start a new business. Saving is hard with a new business and it is common for businesses running in the red for the first few months. You need to be prepared for disappointments and low sales at the start, so run as lean as possible and save what you can.

Balance flexibility and Firmness
Many businesses have sunk because of their founder’s refusal to adapt to their markets’ needs, but a large number have also failed because they compromised on their core values. Balance flexibility to the customer’s needs with staying true to your mission, vision and core values.

Keep detailed records
Start well by keeping detailed financial records. This helps you know where your business stands financially and is useful down the line as the business grows. Learn Accounting & Finance. They are the language of business. The better you can speak to them, the higher your chances of business success.

It’s a Marathon, not a Sprint
Running a successful business is not about who gets there first. It is a long-term game that requires lots of patience and endurance. Focus on sustainable growth and function in the present without losing sight of your BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) – your future goals.

Live a Productivity Plus Life
A Productivity Plus Life is one that balances business, career, family, health, spiritual well-being, fitness, fun and finances. A person living a Productivity Plus Life is happy, healthy and on their way to Financial Freedom. Don’t forget to build your Productivity Plus Life whilst building your business.

Did you get all that? Leave me a comment about the step you’re struggling with, let’s build these businesses!
Remember always to Design Your Life, Live your Dreams, Day by Day.