The United States has become the start-up nation. There continue to be millions of Americans coming up with new, novel ideas for businesses and applying all that they’ve learned in school and on the job to trying their luck at the big time.

The initial and most important step in kicking off a startup is to assess the need which your company is intended to address and to dedicate yourself and your team to solving that problem.

You should aim at the onset to please your prospective customers and plan to move forward with the self-assurance necessary to be successful in such an ambitious undertaking.

Prepare yourself accordingly by doing research into the industry in which you’re planning to compete. Also, make sure you and your staff are mentally prepared for the uphill climb.

Dr. James Nitit Mah is President and Founder of Intellegend Corp., an international marketing research and development institute.

He says entrepreneurs will have greater success if they understand what types of individuals make the best employees of small businesses. Effective entrepreneurial types are smart, resourceful, trustworthy, and willing to work long and flexible hours. What better place to start than with your own professional network? If you’ve typically worked at successful small businesses and with ambitious and intelligent people, then tap them or someone they would suggest to work now in your new business endeavor. In your discussions with potential employees, you will find that many people like to work with a company from the ground up and grow with it, rather than working perhaps anonymously for a large, already-established corporation.

Entrepreneurs can also rely on hiring platforms to find the right workers. Angelist functions as a hiring platform, especially for individuals interested in working for young companies.

Those startups which take into careful consideration basic customer interaction and satisfying customer wants quickly and efficiently will jump ahead of competitors. It can’t be stressed enough that any planned startup needs to hire dedicated and talented people to facilitate this symbiosis.

The odds of being one of the successful new companies among the many thousands opening shop each year in the U.S. are cut drastically when you choose the best staff available.

A skilled worker’s enthusiasm will go a long way to quelling any doubts on the part of prospective customers. Most new businesses charting virgin territory as far as products and/or services for an industry sector must battle through uncertainty in their initial stages of operation. How adept the employees you choose to help you through this period are at selling and persuading will make a difference and the right, determined and confident personnel will put you well ahead of other new ventures.

Another tip to keep in mind is to carefully consider funding sources. Do you have enough capital to cover risk areas and to make up for likely slower periods in your projected business? Industries have peak periods that coincide with the ebbs and flows of their particular enterprise and these are unique to only them. For example, pet sitting is a very busy activity during the summer months when most people take vacations.

Also, if you discover sometime in your growth process that there is a competitor very similar to your new company, carefully study its operations and services and determine that you will offer like but different and more effective solutions for customers. Delve deeply into new technologies in your area to make sure they are state-of-the-art and work with your most brilliant colleagues to even further elevate your technology by either developing new products or finding ways to get the service you provide to consumers more rapidly without losing effectiveness.

Another pitfall to avoid is not biting off more than you can chew. Target your activity toward selling and marketing one product or service.  For example, if you’re concentrating on offering the best built-in pool possible, don’t worry initially about branching out into selling backyard equipment or fences. Wait to expand until your company is profitable enough to sustain your first few years of business.

There will be plenty of opportunities in the future to broaden your corporate horizons. But Dr. James Nitit Mah recommends one step at a time for maximum efficiency. Of course, be sure to follow your best instincts and those of your trusted, valued team members.

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