If you’re thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, you’ve got some company. According to PIIE, 4.4 million new businesses were started in 2020, a 24% increase from the year before. Starting a business can be more than a little intimidating, but like anything else it becomes more manageable when you break it down into bite-size pieces! Here’s a few of the initial things you’ll want to think about before calling yourself an entrepreneur.

A Good Idea

Chances are that if you’re reading this article, you already think that you have a good idea for a new business. Great! Entrepreneur recommends you put your idea to the test, however, with a few thought experiments designed to help you test and improve your idea before you apply it to real-world applications. Ask yourself about what makes your idea unique, or what new value you’re bringing to an established sector. Where does your idea fit into the larger industry sector? Proofing your idea with questions like these is a smart first step.

Get a Loan

Provided that you have a good idea and it does stand up to scrutiny, consider next how you’ll finance your new start-up. Most new entrepreneurs aren’t sitting on ready piles of cash, so it’s likely that you’ll need to apply for a loan to finance your idea and turn it into a reality. There are many different types of loans out there, so check out a few to see what you qualify for. According to Franchise Gator, Small Business Administration (SBA) loans are popular because they’re backed by the government, so they’ll often come with favorable interest rates. But do your research to find the best option for you!

Know Your Market

As brilliant as your idea may be, it won’t get anywhere if it isn’t marketed correctly. In other words, one of the key steps in building your own successful business is finding customers for your products or services. Learn How to Become says you’ll want to research and analyze your potential market carefully, looking at factors such as race, gender, age, location, language, cultural differences, and more. Your niche will determine outcomes such as which social media platforms you use, the style and tone of your brand, and even the details of your product.

Becoming an entrepreneur is certainly a big challenge, but it’s not insurmountable. In fact, once you’ve taken the first few basic steps in the right direction you’ll find yourself on a road of discovery and innovation. It’s easy to be an entrepreneur at heart, but when you really start up a business you’ll need more than sentiment to get you there!

Read this next: Common Challenges Every New Entrepreneur Will Probably Face

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