You want to start your own business. Congrats, it’s a big step.

I remember when I first began researching about starting a business. Even more than a decade ago, there was a lot of information online about starting and running a business.

Looking back now, 95 percent of the content was total B.S. Fast forward to now and there’s even more. Point of the story, be careful where you get your information.

Now, let’s talk about starting a business. What are the 5 most important factors when starting a new business?

(1) You Need A Plan For Your Business

Rule number one, you need a business plan. Don’t shoot in the dark, don’t make guesses, be a straight shooter and follow your roadmap.

While this may only be a hobby for you or a test, you have to be serious about your business. A detailed business plan is important for a number of different reasons.

First, you need to take steps, getting task accomplished. Goal 1, Goal 2, Goal 3.

Key note, your business plan should be flexible if you need to pivot. New businesses pivot all the time, so don’t make a plan that limits you and your business.

(2) Building Your “A” Team

One of the most important steps a business can take is hiring the right people.

Look, you’re going to go through peaks and valleys (likely) trying to find a group of people that share your passion.

Your role as a leader is to ensure you put the right people in the right place and give them everything they need to excel. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, that’s a part of the process. Don’t get upset if you go through a few dozen applicants, it happens more than you think.

You’re only as good as the team you surround yourself with, that’s a fact. If I can give you one tip for hiring, choose creative, smarter people.

If you’re looking for strategic partners or investors, make sure they share your mission and goals.

Work with mentors to get the knowledge and experience you need. All of these relationships are priority.

(3) Never Stop Improving And Learning

I would of never been a successful business owner of multiple businesses if I didn’t adopt this philosophy when I first started my career.

I always had a passion for helping others, marketing, analytics, being an influencer.

For more than a decade, I’ve been learning something new that relates to my career every single day. Anything that can give me more knowledge in my field, more expertise, a competitive advantage over my competition, I do it. I’ve been doing it for a long time. I strive to be the best in the world and it takes that dedication to become successful.

Knowledge is powerful. The old saying is often true, “the more you learn, the more you earn.”

(4) Building Genuine Relationships

Another important step to starting a business is building genuine relationships. It doesn’t matter what people are to you, treat them with the respect they deserve. It could be your spouse, family, friends, strangers, customers, staff, you need to become a people’s person.

You can’t grow your business alone. You will eventually need help, we can only do so much. Always treat people like you want to be treated. Very important.

All of your relationships will play a role in your success or failure. Having relationships in place will likely bring more opportunities for you personally and professionally. You never know when a new friend can lead to your next business venture or a great opportunity to grow your business.

As for customers, you should focus on excelling in customer service. Happy customers come back, they stay longer and customer retention is a critical component of successful businesses.

Always take of your customers.

(5) Never Doubt What You Can Do

We all make mistakes when we start a business. If this is your first business, you’re going to make mistakes. Don’t let them drag you down, you have to stay motivated. Motivation plays a big role in growing your own business.

If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody will. This is your business, obviously you’ve come a long way if you’re in the position to start a business.

You have to be the leader, you have to be the role model in your business. Abide by your mission and values, lead by example. Eyes will always be on you, so be consistent but be fair.

I love storytelling in a business and the results show it works. However, I don’t want you to venture away from your unique story and what you offer. We all have a story, it’s your turn to tell yours. Don’t get caught up trying to be someone you’re not or trying to tell a great story about you, be honest where you came from and how you’re now at the point to be a business owner.

You can be great, we all have that ability. It’s up to you to take what you learned today and start applying it to your life.