With a new year comes a lot of new businesses and ambitious, starry eyed business owners. Starting a business is one of the most exciting and, at the same time, daunting experiences you can ever do. Whether it be opening a shop, developing a product for sale or starting a services business you want to do things right and ensure you survive well beyond the first 2 years.
Passion for the core business offering is obviously great; but it is not enough. There are countless things new business owners need to do but a few key points are to pay attention to the numbers, know your market and to not listen to everyone.

You have to know your numbers. These will tell you whether you are making money or not and more importantly whether you have enough cash to continue operating. Your numbers form the basis of your decision making. If you are someone that doesn’t particularly like numbers then think of it in terms of your product or service eg. I need to sell 100 regular coffees per day to break even.

Talk to your customers and potential customers. Get to know them and their habits. Seek their feedback on areas to improve or change. These are the people that will have a very big influence on your success so it is important to understand what they want versus what they expect. 
When it comes to the business operation, only listen to those that are qualified to give advice. You will have plenty of ‘experts’ telling you what to do as everyone has an opinion and they can provide them cheaply, but most of the time it is not going to help you. Trust your judgement and confirm it by the first two points above.
As I said to start, business ownership is quite exciting and can be very rewarding but you need to be smart and follow the key steps.