Top 10

The road to becoming a successful entrepreneur can be long and daunting. Successful business ventures require a lot of time and commitment, but are extremely rewarding when you see your idea transform into a real product. Consider these tactics to help prepare for your new endeavor.

Believe in yourself. In the first years of entrepreneurship, you’re going to go through ups and downs. It’s important to never lose focus, develop a thick skin and remember why you started. 

Build a great team. Surround yourself with a great group of people who will support you and also give the same amount of effort toward your goals as you do. 

Research your market. Take time to research your market. Learn if there are any products or services like yours, how they are doing in the market, and how they can be improved upon. 

Know your audience. When you are starting out, it’s important to nail down who your customers will be. Understanding what they want and need is going to help you sell more, and craft a better product or service. 

Get social. A majority of startups need to focus heavily on marketing to get the word out about their new business. At Cox, we use our social media pages to engage with customers and to provide information on new products. 

Spend wisely. Research and learn the best ways to spend your money. Ask successful business owners where they wish they would’ve saved, and invested, more money when starting out.

Get smart about taxes. Take into consideration how you will file your taxes in your first year. Learn all the possible tax breaks you could be eligible for, and what category your startup falls under. 

Take care of yourself. Being a successful entrepreneur often means many long hours and many hard days. That is why it is so important to prioritize self-care. Getting enough sleep is just as important as getting all of those emails out.

Follow your passion. Following your passion ensures that you will love what you do, day in and day out. With the amount of hours you will be working, it is really important that you find something that you are passionate about.

Have a “Plan B” strategy. Prepare alternative strategies for yourself in case your venture fails at first. Backup plans are never bad things to have, especially when a lot of investment is involved.

Lisa Lovallo is the Southern Arizona market vice president for Cox Communications. Prior to leading the Cox Southern Arizona team, Lisa ran a family business based in Tucson. Reach her at lisa.lovallo@cox.com.