Starting a business without any knowledge at all is a dangerous game. You can research and study all you want, but the cold hard truth is that you’ll learn faster by listening to the advice of tried and tested businesses instead of reading a book. You might think you know, but you don’t.

Many businesses have been started by over-confident individuals who fail after the first term. Their business idea might be unsustainable, a passing fad, or simply horrible. The business landscape is constantly evolving, and simply teaching it cannot prepare you for the harsh reality of trial and error. There’s a saying in the business world that you must fail faster to gain success, and it holds a lot of truth.

Fortunately, you can skip most of the failures if you prepare yourself properly. Here are some tips to get you started. Treat this as a checklist, and make sure you can give an honest answer to each point before even considering to start your own business.

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Is Your Idea Actually Viable?

Alright, so you’ve got a brilliant idea and you’re just moments away from signing a contract to take out a small loan of a million dollars. But stop right there! Do you think your idea is actually going to work, or are you just wishfully thinking? Consider if your idea is a passing fad or a proper business that will grow.

Make sure you do plenty of research into your target market and audience before even considering the option of starting a business. Chances are someone’s already beaten you to the chase. As the saying goes: “nothing is ever original”. Save yourself the embarrassment, time and effort by doing ample amounts of research to ensure that your idea will actually stick around for a long time.

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Are You In The Right Mindset?

Let’s face it, starting a business is as much a coin toss as it is hard work. Your idea might be amazing, but if you don’t market your services and products properly, you’re going to regret ever stepping foot into the cutthroat business industry. You’ll leave with burns and scars that may never heal.

Make sure you’re both mentally and physically prepared to fail. No idea works straight away, and some people try dozens of time and waste years of their life until they reach a viable idea that makes them money. Don’t be disheartened, but also don’t be afraid to fall flat on your face in shame. You never learn if you never fail.

Do You Have the Right Backing?

You can’t just start a business from nothing. You need to take a loan, you need to have friends, and you need to have support. Grabbing a co-partner to start your business might be a good idea, but the better option is to consult professionals like The Ice House to make sure you get the right support for your new venture.

It’s important to have at least some people supporting you. Starting up a business and dealing with new people every day is exhausting. Having a friend or family member to speak to after a long day is mandatory to keep your sanity.