There are two reasons why people go into business for themselves and those are, to have more time and to have more money. They want the ability to live life on their terms and have the financial security and independence of a lucrative business that can run without them.To be successful in business, a growth mindset is the key ingredient. There are two types of mindset: growth and fixed. The difference is that one will propel you forward faster than you imagined and the other will hold you back to a point that you quit and return to the 9-5 schedule.People with a fixed mindset:- think they know it all and are always right- don’t take risks- remain in the comfort zone- blame others- have many reasons/excuses why they are not successful- disregard education to grow and learn new skills- surround themselves with other like them- will quit when the going gets toughPeople with a growth mindset:- learn from others ahead of them in business- know the importance in investing in education and mentors- learn from their mistakes and change their actions next time- take 100% responsibility for themselves and their results- look for solutions to their challenges- keep going well after others have quit- understand the importance of marketing in business and invest in it to create sales and leads- keep up to date with the latest business tipsBefore starting out in business you must put together the all important business plan. This is not something most people like doing, but going through the exercise will save you lots of time, money, disappointment or nasty surprises later on. Within a business plan there are some key factors that must be addressed. Those include:- Vision Statement- Mission Statement- Business Values- Your ideal client (target market)- Economic assessment- Technology items and planning- Marketing Plan- Location of the business- Insurance cover- Website development- How much money will you need and loans you may take out- Various licenses and permits you might need to getEven if you are a sole trader, you might like to consider trading under a business name that will form part of your brand and it may describe also what you do. Business names are also something you must register for a fee and they must be unique within your country or state.Have a business account. This will enable you to be paid and also pay for any expenses incurred within the business. Once you have set this up, you may want to look into getting merchant facilities so that your clients can easily pay with their credit card or even via Ezypay if you end up having the option of direct debit and regular instalments that come out at the same time each month.Once you have those key areas organised, the next step would be to find the place where you will run your business from and purchase all the essentials you will need to get started.A business budget is essential to your success. You must invest money to make money! Some key elements that a business budget should contain include:· Initial set up costs (which may be a one off) and recurring ones· Rent or loan repayments· Marketing costs and budget· Printing and stationary· Utilities costs· Wages paid out· Education expenses· Networking· Internet marketing and design· Travel and cateringYou will be able to expand on the above list depending on what kind of business you are going into. In the beginning you will need to allocate a big proportion of the budget to marketing. This one key area will make or break your business. If you learn to be a great marketer you will have a very successful business in no time at all. You can have the best product or service in your hands, but if you don’t market it effectively and with personality than it will remain sitting on the shelf. People buy emotions and benefits not products and features.The ways you can market yourself and your business are countless. There are hundreds upon thousands of books with marketing ideas. The trick is to find the ones most relevant to your industry and start testing and measuring them.”9 out of 10 Marketing Initiative won’t work!” When you find the one that does for you and your business replicate it time and time again to get the results consistently. The key is to keep trying out different forms of marketing so that you gather enough information and feedback on what works for your business.Once you have come up with your business name, it is important to design your logo and create the brand for your business. This is something that will be around as long as you are in business. That’s why it is important to spend some time and money researching ideas and hiring a professional designer to create it for you. Never share your brand with anyone because it may reflect badly upon you if their reputation is not up to scratch. Treat it with respect and display it consistently across all of your stationary, documentation, website and any other marketing materials.”The riches are in the niches” say the Americans so famously. The secret to any successful business is the development of a niche within a broader general category. A great niche is one that is an inch wide but a mile deep. What this means is that there is a huge market out there that is after the product or service you are looking to provide, but not much competition from other businesses that are doing the same as you.Select your niche carefully and become the expert in it. Do your research and see what others are doing in the same field as you and learn how they market to their customers over a period of time. Figure out what is the character your dream client wants you to be and become that. Spend time learning who your target market would be and what keeps them awake at night that you can solve via products or services your will provide.For most businesses their website is the shop front window to their business. The face of marketing has completely changed and expanded since the internet. This has become the first port of call for most people. You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home to have a successful business. Knowing how to market on the internet is different to traditional marketing and a special niche in itself.Make sure you consult with professionals when it comes to your image on the internet. Your website look and feel will need to reflect who you are and exactly who your ideal client wants to do business with. Give something away for FREE of huge value in return for people’s details. When they see what you give away for FREE they will wonder what it is you have that can further help them solve their problem. This will help you build your database and create relationships with the leads generated over a long period of time.One of the last key points I would like to share with you is the importance of having a strong web presence. The internet is a huge place where you can get lost if you don’t know what you are doing. Here is a list of the top 7 things you can do to increase your web footprint and grow your business exponentially:1. Have your website Search Engine Optimised by an expert2. Submit articles to free article submission websites that will generate traffic back to your website and create backlinks that increase your profile3. Create videos and post them on YouTube for traffic redirection to your business website. Videos are a powerful form of marketing today and it is helpful to embed them onto your website so that your customers can see you and get a feel for you.4. Social Media – make sure you are a part of this phenomenon where you can also advertise and build relationships and followers for your business. It makes everything more casual but still lets your people know what you do. The three big ones to be a part of are: Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.5. Have a Blog and write an entry each week.6. Work on generating incoming links from other sites. This could work like a joint venture where you link to someone’s website and in return they link to yours.7. Speak at events and invite people to visit your website to receive something for free that you have specially created for them.The beginning of every business will pose lots of challenges and unanswered questions. You will play the role of expert, bookkeeper, marketing manager, copywriter, secretary, sales executive and many more other roles that big companies have assigned to specialists in that field. Being in business is a journey and not a destination. Each step and action that you take will bring you closer to hiring your first employee, each system designed will replace you needing to be there in the long run and each product you create will remove the need for you to sell your time for money.