Starting a business requires some planning, and it doesn’t all happen overnight. As a budding entrepreneur, you have to be able and willing to dedicate a lot of time to making it happen.

Despite the many challenges and sacrifices a small business owner must face, 84 percent still say they’d do it all again. It’s smart to ensure you have covered all your bases prior to opening your doors. Take a look at these five things you need to do before you take the plunge and start your own business.

Research

Prior to selling your products or services, you have to have a good grasp on the industry you’re involved in. Your priority should be to dominate. Even if you believe you have a creative idea, you still need to learn all about the competitors. A brilliant idea doesn’t mean others haven’t already had a similar one. Make sure you’re offering something that is better or more affordable,- or find some other way to ensure you will stand out in a potentially crowded market place.

Focus on the customer and understand the market

Think about your target demographic – this should be the driving force in each decision you make. If you don’t have customers, you can’t churn a profit, so they have to be of utmost priority. Deliver what your customers want, not what you want. Do what you can to boost repeat business and customer retention.

Take care of legal aspects

Insurance is something small business owners need to think about. If you are looking for insurance for your small business, search around to ensure you make the best choice for your business needs.

You also must acquire proper registration from the government in order to open your business. You’ll get an employer identification number and any necessary licenses that are required. This will vary from state to state and by industry.

You also want to have assistance on the legal side of your business. This will ensure you’re protected and puts you on the path to long tern success. Legal counsel isn’t just for when you’re in trouble, it’s actually ideal to have proactive and preventative legal preparation.

Hire a team

It doesn’t matter how tempting, starting and running a business shouldn’t be a solo journey. Having some help on the ride will set you up for success. One of the top characteristics of successful entrepreneurs is knowing when to ask for help.

No one has all of the experience, perspective and knowledge to handle every business situation. This is why every business owner needs a coach or a mentor to help lead them on the right path.

It’s also a smart idea to hire an accountant. It’s next to impossible for one individual to be able to handle all aspects of running a business, and you never want to put your finances at risk.

Have passion for what you are doing

Being the founder of a business can be stressful and even lonely. It often means not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything and time away from those you love. This is why it’s vital that you’re fueled by passion every step of the way, when the times are good and when the times are challenging.

Starting your own business is a rewarding and exciting time, but it does pose some challenges too. Once you realize that there are no entitlements and that you must work hard for all of your achievements, you will find success.