So you’re thinking about starting up your own business and you want to hit the ground running? Well you’re in luck, because in today’s post, we are going to walk through ten things you MUST do in order to stack the odds in your favor of starting a wildly successful business.

1. Offer a product or service that people actually need, not what you think they might need.

When you have a product or service that people ACTUALLY need it is so much easier to sell what you have to offer. If people need your product or service,  they will do what it takes to seek it out and when they find it they buy it. Of course, your marketing and sales efforts will help further propel your business but if it truly addresses a real need your product or services will be able to practically sell itself.

2. Get cash flowing as quickly as possible.

Once you’re up and running you should worry about the most important and crucial thing, bringing money in. If you focus on that right off the bat and let the rest get figured out once you have the cash to make it happen then you’re on the right track.

3. Keep expenses low.

If you want to stay lean and fit in your own life you are sure to stay diligent with what you eat and how much you exercise. Running a business, especially right at the beginning, takes the same focus. You need to look at what you’re bringing in and what you’re putting out and sometimes that means trimming the fat.

4. Always overestimate expenses and underestimate revenue.

This is another way to make your numbers look better and projections meet expectations. If you take this approach, you give yourself a cushion if things get a little bumpy here and there.

5. Test and measure everything!

When you really care about your business and its success you’ll look deep into the numbers and measure your data and test your results. This is where the meat is. You can learn a lot from your numbers and results if you know what you’re looking for and willing to take the time to figure it out.

6. Sales and marketing should be your top priority.

If sales and marketing are your main focus, then you’ll be fine. If you have a product people need, you should have all the confidence in the world to go out there and share it with the world.

7. Find ways to increase profit margins without compromising quality.

When you’re set on keeping your quality you’ll find ways to increase your margins that will work in the short and long term. If you take the easy way out and say something like: “We can let the quality go down a little because we’re producing more,” than you’re setting yourself on a shaky foundation that won’t last. Cutting corners (quality wise) never pays off in the end.

8. Never discount, but find ways to increase value.

This seems counterintuitive but when you’re not just trying to hand out your products and services with discounts and deals then you have time to worry about how to bring clients more value through the money they give you. People are extremely loyal to companies who focus on value over everything else because in the end they know their dollars are well spent.

9. Never stop learning.

The day you start to get the mentality that you’ve made it and start easing off the gas pedal this is when someone else will do what you’ve done and make it better. You’ve always got to stay hungry and keep learning. If you’re constantly improving, you’re not worried about your competition but only on how you’re going to be better today than you were yesterday.

10. Look for people to help coach you along the way.

We’re not as smart and awesome as we all like to think we are. We need help in areas that we struggle or know little about and we need people who’ve done it before to mentor us and teach us along the way. If you have a good coach and you’re willing to be taught you have a great chance for success.