If you have always wanted to be your own boss, so to say, and establish your own company, you have most likely already gone through a lot of sleepless nights, a pile of paperwork, and mugs upon mugs of strong coffee. You may even have a napkin somewhere with your logo on it. The fact is, no big feat in the world of business was accomplished without someone dreaming first. Most likely, someone else has also made it their business to say what you dream of cannot be done. And while in their dream form, your ideas may remain firmly grounded, if you lay the proper groundwork, they can sprout wings all of a sudden, and you will need to try and keep up with them. Washed out metaphors aside – if you are just starting out with your own little startup, there are certain things that need to be accomplished before you can call yourself an entrepreneur. Here are some of the more important ones. Research marks the spot A proper research can make you or break you. I know you have already heard this one – but believe me, I can’t stress the point enough. You need to know your market, your target audience, you need to create that perfect buyer persona, and you need to know how things work in your niche if you want to have any hope of making it big. There is surely some statistic about the number of startups that are created every day out there (I was just a bit lazy to Google it). Whatever it is, the numbers must be enough to keep you awake at night. If you are to shield yourself from your competition, your research is there to help you. Speaking of your competition, you will also need to do a bit of research about them. If they have failed, why have they failed; if they have made it, why have they made it, and so on. How can you improve your products and services, and offer customers the very things they are lacking. Another important note. Make sure you look up everything you can about company registration . You want to know everything you can about your future limited company. Don’t let these kinds of facts bore you – they can be a lifesaver. Or a money saver. Networking to success Before starting out, you need to make new contacts, and work on your old ones. I’m not talking only about your circle of friends and family. Don’t get me wrong, they can be of huge help, but you do need to become a part of the industry as well. A mentor would certainly come in handy. There are several ways of going about this networking task – you can either use social media, and all the power it has, or you can choose to network in the real world, and go to fairs, conferences, forums and meetups, and chat and hand out business cards. Yes, they are still a thing . You don’t need to be selling yourself or the product at this point. Being a friendly face in the crowd is enough, and you might run into someone who will later help you reach your next milestone. Market before you open Raising awareness and quality hype about your products, services, and company in general can never be a bad thing. And you need to do it before the launch, too. You can utilize social media for this if you are operating online, but if you are going to have physical premises, a few guerilla marketing tactic can have your halls full the very first day. The point is to have people curious about who you are, and what you plan on selling. Make sure you target your desired audience primarily, but general hype will do you good as well. This is also a great chance to earn some quality feedback. However, make sure you only really take in the feedback of the said target audience. You don’t need to acknowledge every comment. There’s a certain amount of luck involved in making it big. A lot more has to do with the actual amount of quality work you put in. There are those who claim they had the talent, but that fortune was against them. Don’t believe them for a second. If you can dream it, you can do it – it just takes a bit of legwork.