So you’re thinking of striking out on your own in in 2015? Congratulations! Starting a company is notoriously tough but can reap personal and professional dividends if you make it. To help, here are five things you should start doing right now if you want to start a business in 2015.
- Learn Basic Coding
Whether you’re new business is a Southwest/African fusion Food Truck or a mobile app, you’ll need to have a digital presence which means knowing basic coding. But before you jump to #2 on the list, check out this list of coding resources from TED and you’ll realize that if you start now, you’ll be that much closer to being your own boss.
- Learn From the Mistakes of Others
Starting a business means making mistakes but some errors can be planned for or even prevented simply by heading the experience of others. Start asking business owners about their experiences and subscribe to Adam Bloomberg’s podcast, StartUp, that takes you through his process of starting his business in a very candid, insightful and entertaining way.
- Network, Network, Network!
You’ve heard it at every stage of your career: network! And this advice could not be more important than it is right now as you plan to start your business. Start by joining startup Meet Up groups, and attending networking events at coworking spaces, which are often hubs of entrepreneurs. Networking is more than just commiserating: it also allows you to bounce ideas off each other, share resources and even land your first client. Just remember to be authentic, vulnerable and generous to make relationships that last.
- Brush Up on the Basics
Whether you’re an MBA graduate or still in high school, start brushing up on your Business 101 skills right now if you’re planning on starting a business next year. With so many resources online, anyone can learn what it takes to build a business plan, develop a marketing strategy, and create financial statements and proformas. For extra credit, brush up public speaking and presentation skills along with different types of business models.
- Start Investigating Your Idea
If you’re planning on starting a company in 2015, chances are you have an idea of what you’d like to pursue, so use this time now to talk to everybody about your idea. Not only will this help you flush the idea out, but will also allow you to receive valuable input from a different points of view. Who knows? You may even find a partner to help you open your business.
If you don’t have an idea, but simply cannot imagine working for someone else this time next year, consider going through some idea generation techniques. Design Thinking is one proven process for getting out all your ideas and then finding just the right one or two to explore further.