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For first time entrepreneurs, launching your new start-up can be both exciting and intimidating. Over the years, successful entrepreneurs have shared the lessons they learned with their own new business launches. By heeding their suggestions, you may be able to avoid common pitfalls.

Know Your Clients

Starting a business is about more than just supplying a service. You want your product or service to fill an immediate need in a unique way. This means looking at your business from the client’s perspective and determining what problems they need addressed. Once you do this, you’ll have information that you can put to work to develop a sound business strategy.

Realize There’s Hard Work and Long Hours Ahead

This is especially true for new entrepreneurs who may only have a limited staff. During these first lean years, you will be filling a variety of roles, from manager to customer service representative to janitor. If you want to succeed, you’ll have to become an expert in running every aspect of the business.

Develop a Plan for a Better Life

You started this business, because you had a vision for a better way of life. If the reality isn’t living up to your expectations, it may be time to reorganize your life. Set new priorities and work towards making that dream a reality.

Seek Out a Mentor

In many cases, first-time business owners attempt to do everything by themselves, viewing this as a solo endeavor. In truth, there is help available. Look for individuals who are willing to mentor you. While learning from lectures, conventions, and online courses is beneficial, nothing compares to real world experience. Finding someone willing to impart what they have learned can be an invaluable resource.

Don’t Let Others Inhibit Your Ambitions

Whether it comes from a place of jealousy or with the best of intentions, criticism of your project can only deter you, if you let it. Don’t let others discourage you. Instead, pursue your dreams with abandon and don’t let others tell you what you can’t do. You know your own abilities and you know how to use them to achieve your dreams.

There is no shortcut to success. The reality is that it will probably take you years to achieve success in your business and only after you’ve toiled for long hours. Taking stock of your progress regularly can help. Seek out advice from experienced entrepreneurs in your area, when you need insight, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your own perseverance will lead you to success down the road.