Too many entrepreneurs tackle starting a business as a random walk into a business minefield, and they count on their street smarts, thick skin and pure determination to get them to their destinations alive. That does work once in a while, usually with some serious collateral damage, but a less painful approach is to prepare and plan for each step along the way.
One preparation example is the value of building a business plan before you start. A popular startup myth claims you don’t need one, since investors never read them. The reality is that if you are only doing a business plan for investors, you are already in trouble. You need the business plan for yourself, to force you to draw a detailed roadmap through the obstacles ahead, and be able to measure your progress along the way.
In my perspective as an advisor and mentor to many entrepreneurs, there are a set of basic strategies that can be applied to every startup to dramatically improve the odds of success, no matter what the business domain. These include the following: