In order to run a successful business, it’s useful to have some business expertise behind you. Trying to start a business without doing any homework is likely to have negative consequences. This post explains why you shouldn’t try to learn on the job when launching a business. 

50% of businesses fail in the first five years

Many businesses don’t make it past the first year. Meanwhile, around half of business don’t last more than five years. Why do so many businesses fail? There are many different reasons, however, you can boil most of them down to poor planning.

A lot of fresh entrepreneurs throw themselves into an exciting business idea without taking the time to do research. This includes market research and research on how to run a business. By taking the time to educate yourself on good business strategies, you can avoid making costly mistakes early on such as poor branding, failing to invest in the right equipment, skimping on security, or paying for services you don’t need. 

Trust is built through expertise

Having expertise behind you can help you to build trust. The idea that you can ‘fake it to make it’ is outdated – nowadays, you can be more easily identified as an imposter, as people can easily research things themselves online.

By educating yourself and becoming an expert in your field, you can make educated decisions and give confident factual advice, which will help to gain the trust of customers. You’re also more likely to get recommendations and get reviews by proving yourself to be an expert.

Business law is getting increasingly more complex

There are so many laws that businesses have to follow. Throwing yourself into a new business without taking the time to learn some of these laws is like walking blindly into a minefield – you’re likely to accidentally do something illegal, which could result in hefty fines or lawsuits. 

By taking the time to understand all the legal requirements of your industry first, you can prevent yourself from getting in legal trouble. 

5 ways to swot up before launching a business

There are many ways in which you can educate yourself before starting a business. A few options include:

Take a course

A business course could be a great way to teach you all the basics. Some courses are harder to get into these HBS essays prove, however, there are some courses with much easier entry requirements (some require no previous grades and are free!). Decide which level of course you think is best for you.

Read books and blogs

There are lots of books and blogs out there on business success that are worth reading. Consider buying a couple of books on marketing or accounting to read and subscribe to a few major business blogs like Forbes and Business Insider. 

Talk to professional advisors

There are professional advisors you can hire to help you understand different areas of business. This includes legal advisors, IT consultants, financial advisors, and marketing consultants – make sure to use these services.

Attend seminars and workshops

You can also learn a lot by attending seminars and workshops run by successful business owners. They’re a great opportunity to learn business tips and build a network. 

Learn from other businesses

Don’t forget to analyze what other businesses are doing. Competitor research can help you to learn tactics that you could be using, as well as help you to find your USP so that you stand out.