business-graphics-1428644-mStriking out on your own can be a complicated and scary process. It’s not always easy, and much of the time it's much more difficult than it originally seems. While taking the leap of faith and starting your own business is far from a bad thing, there are certain steps you should take to ensure that you don’t lose all of your money within the first year of starting it. Check out the tips below to see if you can learn anything before you start – or expand – your small business.

What Do You Like to Do, and What are You Good At?

Though you don’t necessarily have to start a business based on what you’re good at, you should generally consider starting a business in that general area. If you’re good at something, it probably means you can make money off of it. However, if you don’t love what you’re good at, don’t go into it. You’ll likely be eating, sleeping, and drinking your new business for several years to come, and you have to make sure you enjoy it – else you may feel burnt out before it’s even off the ground. If you can, try to figure out what you’re good at – say, marketing – and build a business around that, even if the company is designed to do something else entirely.

Find a Niche

Finding a niche that isn’t filled in can be a huge challenge, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Find a place where there might be a gap in a service that someone hasn’t already stepped in to fix. For example, marketing to a particular organization’s members can get you the headstart you need, and once you’ve established yourself as an expert in your field, you can continue to expand into the market and find even more clients.

Where are You Going to Be?

A lot of companies these days run off the internet alone, and don’t actual have a physical location. That’s a valid choice for a business these days as long as you spend a bit more on marketing your business. However, if you decide you need a brick-and-mortar location, consider where you want to set up carefully. You’ll need a location with good foot traffic and with decent proximity to the people with whom you wish to engage in business. A shopping mall may not be a great place for a tax service, but it would be excellent for a new candy store or a stuffed animal booth.